Online meetings constitute a huge part of work where employees view it as a necessary task that keeps the company’s processes intact, and the team members engaged. Equally important key is to perceive the amount of time spent on such meetings and their effect on its employees.
Although online meetings save money for each company, they often don’t save time. Recent research on the nature of work by Sadun and Polzer have revealed that the average workday lasted an extra 48.5 minutes when working remotely. This often includes organizations dealing with time spent on the essence of the meeting and other part spent socializing. In order to reveal this tension, we offer 4 tips on how to save precious time in online meetings.
1# Only invite the people that need to be there
Be deliberate with who you invite to the specific online meeting. Before you send out meeting invites, go through each name on the attendees’ list to understand whether that person needs to attend. Consider how each person could contribute to the discussion and what point he or she needs to hear or learn from the meeting.
If people don’t have a purpose to be on that call, you might lose their attention and focus. Thus, it may be surprising to discover how many people are not obliged to participate. As a side benefit, these people may be overjoyed – they save time and complete other responsibilities.
#2 Choose the right time
Finding a time that will work for everyone, especially if people are in different time zones might be quite challenging. For this reason, we induce you follow these points:
> Schedule meetings with at least 24 hours’ notice.
> Avoid arranging a meeting around lunchtime or straight after it as it’s harder to concentrate when hungry or feeling sluggish.
> It is better to not organize meetings before the end of the workday, as many employees have reduced concentration at this time.
> Try to keep meetings no longer than one hour. The perfect recommended time is between 20-40 minutes.
#3 Follow the agenda
Create an agenda ahead of time with key talking points, the meeting structure, timestamps to discuss each meeting topic, and so on. It’s recommended to appoint someone to be a “timekeeper”. This would help the host know when to move on to the next topic, check that topics won’t be shifted and don’t let meeting run overtime.
A few other tips follow:
> With the invitation to the meeting, assign talking points to other people, list out responsibilities that needs to be brought to the meeting. Let them know very clearly about the meeting expectations and meeting goal.
> Have time limits for each topic to help stay on track.
> Be concise and keep reporting to a minimum, focus on decision-making topics rather than reports (that can be sent as attachments).
> Ensure the meeting ends at the agreed time. Before then, the topics must be clarified, and the desired results reached.
#4 Save time with online tools
There are quite a few online tools that could help to save the meeting time as well:
1) One of the most important outcomes of a meeting is a list of a set of action items. It is better to reject traditional note-taking and move to project management systems like Jira, Azure DevOps, Asana, or Trello to track its progress.
2) Weekdone’s is a goal-setting app that lets monitor employee’s work every week. You can use it to easily give feedback and make sure of keeping long-term goals in front.
3) Toggl app helps to follow how much time you spend on different meetings, projects and specific tasks. Overall, it includes features that reveal how you can manage everything more effectively.
4) With the help of isLucid, you can stay fully engaged during every meeting and note-taking will be done for you. This allows you to focus on the conversation with confidence that you won’t miss any important details. You get the full transcript of for all meetings both during the meeting and after it. The app ensures everyone is on the same page and the meeting has a presentable result showing what was agreed upon during the meeting, and who is responsible for each task.
We hope that after reading the tips above, you now have the tools you need to maximize your time and reduce meeting management wastage.