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Business meetings can be a notorious time sink for employees at all levels of an organisation, with the average office worker spending more than 20% of their time in or preparing for meetings. This number is also on the rise, with executives now spending 23 hours a week in meetings, compared to 10 hours in the 1960s.
It’s no surprise that meetings have therefore been under scrutiny in recent times, with outspoken business leader Elon Musk being popularly noted for advising Tesla employees to walk out of meetings that they can no longer contribute to. With that tactic not likely to sit too comfortably in the vast majority of more traditional companies, we wanted to take a look at what the alternatives were and how people can spot the warning signs of an unproductive meeting.
When time is money, it’s important for people to look out for meetings with no agenda or set objective. 63% of all meetings have no schedule, and with a time saving of 17 minutes per meeting by simply having a plan, it’s an early warning sign of wasted time that can be easily avoided.
Instead, there are a number alternatives that are more productive. In order to make the most efficient use of time, people should consider a ‘stand up’, avoiding distractions with no laptops or phones allowed, limit the number of attendees and set an unusual start and finish time.
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