When done well, meetings can be the most productive and collaborative part of the work day, bringing bright minds in your company together to tackle problems and projects as a team. However, in today’s world of technology-driven meetings that usually accommodate both in-person and remote participants, it can be common for meetings to be plagued by technical difficulties or late starts—the “hate” and “late” of meetings. Both problems equal lost time, and as cliché as it may sound, time is most definitely still money.
Here are a few examples of problems that cause meeting “hate” and “late” and how you can solve them:
Hate: Unproductive Meetings
There’s always plenty of meeting hate out there on the internet, whether it’s frustrated employees venting on social media or an endless string of blogs about how meetings are pointless and unnecessary. The vast majority of these complaints boil down to one problem: unproductive meetings. Meetings that are ill-defined, poorly run or trying to address an issue that could be better handled in another setting.
Solution: Plan and Communicate
If your meeting is complex enough to warrant it, create an agenda, even if it’s just high-level talking points, and send it to your attendees before your meeting begins. This not only ensures that your meetings stay productive and on track, but it gives your participants insight into whether they actually need to attend. Often, during scheduling, unnecessary parties can end up on the guest list; the agenda gives them the freedom to opt out of a potentially unproductive situation.
For more tips on keeping your meetings productive, visit the dedicated Meeting Tips section of the PGi Learning Space.
Late: Forgetting Meetings
We’ve all been there; five minutes after the hour you get an email or IM asking why you haven’t joined the meeting yet, a meeting you’ve conveniently completely forgotten about. By the time you make it to the conference room or web conference, the meeting has already been disrupted and you’re just trying to remember what it was about in the first place.
Solution: Calendar Alerts and Push Notifications
Most popular calendar tools, such as Microsoft Outlook or Google Calendar, have built-in notification systems for your meetings, alerting you about upcoming appointments. If you’re not receiving these notifications, check your mail client’s settings or have IT take a look for you.
It’s also vitally important to sync your work calendar with your mobile device of choice—your smartphone, tablet or both! This will ensure that your meeting notifications are also being pushed to your devices, so you’ll never miss another meeting even if you’re on-the-go or away from your desk.
Hate AND Late: Technical Difficulties
Few things are as frustrating (and time consuming) as having technical difficulties with your meeting software. Confusing plug-in downloads, issues with administrative rights, video difficulties or audio connection issues can plague virtual meetings, causing your meetings to start late and with an already-exasperated audience.
Solution: Intuitive online meetings tools like iMeet® and GlobalMeet®
Both iMeet and GlobalMeet are web browser-based and require no downloads for guests and no irritating dial-in numbers and passcodes to remember. To join either an iMeet or GlobalMeet meeting, your guests simply have to navigate to a persistent meeting URL and they’re in your virtual meeting in seconds, eliminating a huge source of both “hate” and “late” from all of your meetings.
Looking for more insights to have better meetings? Visit PGi Resources today for tips, tricks and best practices for your meetings!
Photo credit: bark