A new year is upon us, and, if you haven’t already, it’s time to come up with a resolution or two for 2015. You can always go cliché with your resolutions—read more books, get healthy, call mom more, etc. But if you’re interested in skyrocketing your productivity at work, you might instead take a look at resolving to address some common workplace problems.
For example, meetings can be a source of great collaboration and efficiency, but can also be equally frustrating, complicated and wasteful. There are a number of steps to take in order to ensure a productive experience for both in-person and online meetings.
Don’t settle for bad meetings in 2015. Choose one or all of our 2015 Meeting Resolutions below and commit to meeting smarter in the New Year:
Being Late to Meetings
One of the biggest reasons why meetings are often viewed as more of a productivity drain than booster is how much time gets wasted waiting for people to show up. A meeting starts five to ten minutes late, has to run five to ten minutes long to compensate and suddenly your 30 minute commitment starts looking more like 50. Multiply that by a few meetings a week and suddenly that time drain becomes substantial.
Commit to always being on time to both your in-person and online meetings in 2015. Make sure all of your calendar notifications are active on your laptop and mobile devices. Or, better yet, download a smart calendar like Agenday that automatically provides multiple notifications and gives you instant access to your online meetings directly from the notification itself!
And while you can’t guarantee that your guests will always be on time, you can “nudge” them with reminder emails for in-person meetings, and facilitate easier online meeting entry by leveraging web conferencing tools that don’t require guest downloads.
Providing a Meeting Agenda
The word “agenda” tends to scare people off as they envision an overly complicated document, complete with meticulous time-boxing and intricately detailed goals and objectives. However, while those types of agendas certainly have their place in more complex, lengthy and large gatherings, the fact of the matter is that an agenda doesn’t have to be more than a simple explanation of the meeting’s purpose.
In 2015, stop sending blank meeting invites with little more than a vague title. Take the 10 extra seconds to list out the meeting’s goals and objectives, even just at a very high-level so that all of your attendees understand why they’ve been gathered together. This will save everyone time and frustration in the New Year.
On the subject of saving time, meeting online can save valuable time and can be more conducive to busy schedules than trying to get everyone into the same room at the same time. In the past, meeting online often seemed to be more trouble than it was worth; the complicated interfaces, downloads and compatibility issues made for a unnecessarily difficult experience compared to meeting in-person.
However, with the increased prevalence of Software-as-a-Service delivery methods, hopping into an online meeting is as simple as entering a URL. making online meetings ideal for quick, ad hoc chats between groups or more substantial meetings with remote, flexible or globally dispersed participants.
Only Meeting When Needed
Finally, while valuable collaboration tools, meetings aren’t always the best way to tackle every problem. Because of the added time of wrangling schedules and gathering everyone together, sometimes a simple email exchange is a better first step. Resolve to be sure that your meeting is actually warranted before sending out that invitation.
Even regularly scheduled weekly meetings should be carefully evaluated on an ongoing basis to ensure that they’re actually necessary that week (or are still necessary overall). If a particular week is “status quo,” or a large, ongoing project is still, well, ongoing, the weekly status meeting may not be necessary and can be handled with a simple email.
Meetings certainly aren’t going anywhere in 2015. Will you resolve to have better ones?