Meetings almost seem like an archaic workplace time wasting ritual. It’s like the part of your work day that evolution forgot. According to a recent TED talk given by David Grady and Jason Fried, there are more than 3 billion meetings every year, where executives spending 40 to 50 percent of their total working hours.
With almost 34 percent of all meetings ending up as wasted time, that means executives who spend 23 hours of work per week in meetings are flat-out wasting almost eight of those hours — nearly a full day of work every week. That loss in productivity is estimated to waste nearly $37 billion every year in the U.S. alone.
Additionally, a recent study by Jabra concluded that 36% of respondents surveyed think office meetings diminish productivity and 78 percent would rather send an email than make a call to resolve an issue. In fact, the study concludes that technology is becoming crucial to the success of meetings especially as 29 percent of meetings are held across multiple locations.
Collaborative technology is becoming integral to meeting planning.
Here are some top tips on how to use technology to bring your meetings into the modern era saving your company money and saving you time.
Define the purpose of the meeting
The Jabra study also revealed that 51 per cent of its respondents agree that meetings without direction or a clear agenda lead to wasted time. If you have decided to hold a meeting, chances are you most likely will have a general idea of what should be discussed. For the sake of clarity and for respect of attendees’ time, be as specific as you can.
If you can’t define the purpose of your meeting in one short sentence, rethink it.
Knotable’s knotepad allows you to set the topic, attach documents and share meeting details with attendees – all ahead of time. It’s also a perfect way of getting their weigh in on what should be discussed – you can use Knotables’s task feature and ask attendees to cast their votes on what items to discuss. Perfect, simple and efficient pre-meeting planning!
Outline the agenda to keep your meeting on track
The number one reason meetings get sidetracked is because the agenda hasn’t been clearly defined.
When you know exactly what needs to be discussed you can plan your time better and also make sure you get the right people involved in the discussion. A clear agenda allows attendees to prepare ahead of time and allows you to meet the objectives of the meeting more efficiently. Using Knotable’s task feature you can make a quick fire list of items to cover during your meeting.
Take notes during the meeting
Assign someone the task of taking notes. This is paramount to ensuring everything that was discussed is documented. This can be crucial in eliminating the need for further meetings down the line. By taking notes on the conversations, you remember exactly what was said and who said it, you keep a tab on concerns and challenges, you have a hold on solutions, ideas and action plans.
Always record the meeting if you don’t manage to capture all of the information manually.
Keeping a log of what’s been discussed in a meeting is also really beneficial for those who were unable to attend and it also allows you to formulate plans and assign follow up tasks much easier. Knotable’s knotepad is great for helping you to jot down the key points in real time against the agenda.
Keep in mind attendee schedules
Give attendees fair notice, especially if this will be a recurring meeting.
Do not assume participants’ calendars are always up-to-date when choosing a time and day. Getting confirmation ahead of time from regular attendees is key. This can be achieved with Knotable’s voting system. Simply list a few available time and date slots you think will work for everyone and then get participants to make a vote on when works best for them – simple! Once the date has been agreed you can mark it in the handy calendar feature on Knotable as a countdown reminder to the meeting.
Implement a clear follow up plan
How much money is wasted in meetings? How much time is wasted in meetings? If you don’t have anything to show post-meeting, congratulations you have just wasted everyone’s time and company money.
Practice smart follow up: set aside ten minutes at the end of the meeting to go over what was agreed upon and the meeting’s deliverables. Then, use the agenda as a checklist to note the deliverables accountable to each attendee. Simple. This is easy to do if you use Knotable to mark up the agenda and then turn them into tasks that you can assign participants to.
Go forth and slay your meetings!
There you have it – meetings don’t have to equate to a boring waste of time. By taking some simple steps in your pre-meeting, during meeting and post-meeting phases you can enhance the productivity of your discussions, brainstorm better and come up with better deliverables. And with collaborative technology like Knotable, you can automate and streamline a lot of meeting tasks. Learn more about how to enhance your meeting format with this demo of Knotable.