What is your feeling about meetings? Do you think it is acceptable to spend so much time on them? Do you even have a clue on how to reduce this time and have effective meetings?
If the answers are “They’re alright”, “No” and “No”, you should take a look at the following tips.
*** Is the meeting necessary and helpful?**
Determine beforehand if the meeting has to take place or if it is just a literal phone call between you and another colleague.
*** Look at repeating meetings. What is the frequency of the recurring meeting?**
Is it a bi-weekly, monthly or even a weekly meeting that sometimes gets dismissed because actions aren’t done or no new information occurred then go ahead and look at the past meetings and determine a new schedule. Need to choose between frequency and length? In general, it is better to have more frequent and shorter meetings; this way work doesn’t have to wait
*** How long have meetings to take?**
This is a tricky one. Honestly, we have no general answer to this one. You have to distinctly determine the time frame for each meeting itself and consider the exact topics, goals and the outcome beforehand. One thing that works really well in the real world: don’t take too much time, people sense this and tend to talk about things in greater length if there is more time. Ever wondered why meetings never seem to end early but regularly run out of time?
*** Do all participants really need to be in the meeting? Should they be there?**
If the meeting is crucial, then go ahead and determine exactly who is adding any value to the meeting and has to be present.
*** Do all participants need to be present?**
Well, not really. There are tons of ways how people that are absent can still take part in a meeting. If you use any technology like recording or video calls, always make sure that everything works beforehand and run a test on your devices.
*** How long does the preparation take?**
That combines information, scheduling, updating lists, distributing papers and updating them. If this takes up most of your workdays before the meetings, then it is definitely too much time. Try shifting everything to an online platform if you haven’t already and make life easier for yourself.
*** How much time does it take after the meeting is over?**
On average one person spends about 30-60 minutes per meeting to work on the minutes, to update action and decision lists and sending the updates out. Once again it is a great advantage to go online. Then you can check the minutes simultaneously to being in the meeting, write all lists and other participants receive all updates in real time.
*** Do you have a shared action list?**
If not, then you should. There is no need of writing any emails to check up on others and still, everybody has to keep up with their own actions.
How much Time Can Be Saved?
Our own research and experience helped us to put together this calculation of time you can save if you take the tips above into account and make use of the RocketMeetings tool that facilitates all of them for you.
|Improvements per week At average meetings||Improvements per week If you meet x hours per week|
|Preparation of the meeting||30 - 60 min/week|
|Less meetings||60 - 120 min/week|
|Shorter meetings||45 - 90 min/week|
|Minutes of the meetings||15 - 120 min/week|
|Follow-up actions||30- 60 min/week|
|Total||3 - 7,5 hours/week|
Of course, this table isn’t a one fits all kind of thing. Everything can differ from case to case, for example, if you only have a 1 hour meeting per week you won’t save 3 hours.
Happy (productive) Meetings!