How many times has that 10-minute brainstorm turned into a 2-hour discussion with little to show for it? Although meetings are often put in place to encourage productivity and increase efficiencies, they seem to have the opposite effect. After all, time spent in a meeting, is time spent not working. They may serve some purpose, but fewer meetings could make far better use of time and resources. Here’s 5 reasons why you should limit or even ban some of those upcoming meetings.
As mentioned above, any time spent sat in a meeting is taking time away from work. A 30-minute pow-wow may seem innocent but this could be having major implications. As an example, if that meeting were to include 15 members of staff, you would lose a total of 7.5 hours in wages. In other words, that brief meeting would have cost the business almost a full day’s salary. Always ask yourself whether the meeting outcome is worth that lost productivity.
Studies suggest that office workers spend an average of four hours per week in meetings. What’s more, a recent survey shows that almost 50% of staff feel that meetings are the biggest time-waster in the workplace. All this ‘lost’ time could be spent doing something beneficial, such as capitalising on new opportunities for business growth. As they say, actions speak louder than words.
Lack of value
In order for a meeting to be worthwhile, information must be shared that is both valuable and relevant. Decisions and strategies through this sharing of knowledge can then positively impact the company’s growth. Unfortunately, poorly planned meetings often share information which employees are already familiar with. This no longer adds any value and the practice becomes worthless. Be sure to plan meetings beforehand, ensuring that all attendees will benefit from the new information.
Not always necessary
It’s important to ask yourself whether there is more efficient ways of sharing information than face-to-face. Could you relay the information to 5 colleagues via email and include a quota for them to spread the word? Email is a great way to delegate responsibilities, share insights and provide updates to a large group of individuals. The recipient can then use this knowledge and share it with other staff. It provides the same results, without the hassle of meeting in person.
Impacts staff motivation
Overly ambitious meetings can be mentally draining, leaving staff feeling tired and uninspired. For many, stifling yawns in one meeting to the next, can be the hardest part of their daily duties. It’s essential to consider your staff satisfaction before holding a meeting. Spending two hours in a stuffy conference room can take its toll. Employees can be left deflated which could impact productivity for the rest of the day.
Clearly there are some benefits to a brief meeting and brainstorming session. They will always be commonplace for best practices, but avoid the unnecessary ones and always plan for the best outcome.