How to make meetings better – 10 best tips. Efficiency In The (Remote) Workplace

How to make meetings better

In our previous blog post, we’ve taught you how to get rid of 8 out of 10 meetings that you have per week. But, we all know that at the end of the day, meetings are an inevitable part of our everyday working life.

When you do choose to have meetings, this is how to make them better.

How to make meetings better
Image source: Unsplash (How to make meetings better)

Meetings do consume a lot of time and energy, leaving little time and energy for the actual job. 

Unproductive meetings are a significant drain on your time, your staff, and your company’s bottom line. 

They cost your company money indirectly, such as salary and time lost and productivity losses due to stress, work discontent, and a lack of employee dedication.

Meetings, whether you love them or despise them, are unavoidable. They should be as beneficial as possible. To do that, here are some proven tips that we’ve been doing at Livit to help you have better meetings:

Proven tips to make meetings better

  1. No meetings longer than one hour: An hour is about the maximum amount of time that produces productive discussion on one topic. Scheduling meetings for more than an hour is non-productive. You lose people’s interest, energy, and attention.
  1. No meetings without GAP (Goals, Agenda, Preparation): If we’re booking a meeting for the sake of showing up, forget it, don’t book it, don’t show up. A meeting should have a clear outcome, so if you’re not sure about the objectives of the meeting, don’t make one. 
  1. Provide as much context as possible before the meeting: You can do this by sharing the document we’ve mentioned on another blog post.
  1. Never have more than 6, max. 8 people in a meeting. More people are never truly needed/active in a meeting and can benefit more from a written summary.
  1. Ask all attendees to accept or decline in advance: saves a lot of time lost in re-scheduling and having unprepared/engaged participants.
  1. Always have a designated (and trained) facilitator (who moderates, make sure we stay on track and within time) and a secretary (who takes notes and draws action for each item discussed); ideally, these are different from the team lead roles, so authority and engagement is distributed.
  1. Have no-meeting days: Companies from Shopify to Facebook have embraced the “No Meeting Day.” Setting aside one day per week to focus on heads-down work without being interrupted by meetings can increase productivity and reduce stress. At Livit, Thursdays are no-meeting days, so we dedicated those days to focus on work with no interruptions.
  1. Meeting budget: set up a “meeting budget” per week. For us at Livit such quota is max. 10% of the weekly work time to be spent in internal, recurring meetings. And ruthlessly cut down on meeting requests accordingly; stop accepting and requesting meetings once you run out of meeting time.
  1. Walking meetings: this one is an incredible hack–doing walking meetings is a great way to get work done and exercise and get some fresh air. A walking meeting is a meeting held when taking a walk – away from meeting rooms or your screen.
  1. Use during a meeting: it’s a tool that allows you to remove all background noises so you can work in a noisy environment. No more “what did you say”s!

Meetings are mainly thought of as time-draining, unproductive workplace necessities. But they don’t have to be – when managed well, meetings bring people together to share ideas and get things done. It is within the spirit of collaboration where businesses thrive. 

This blog post is written based on our webinar on How To Have Better Meetings with Lavinia Iosub. If you missed it, watch the recording here.

Raymond Hasiholan

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