Have you ever left a meeting that lasted far longer than you could have ever expected, covered far little than you could have ever hoped for and wished you could get that precious time back into your day?
Maybe you weren’t even directly involved with anything discussed in that meeting. Or, maybe you were directly involved but nothing was accomplished and you ended up wasting valuable work energy – and, let’s face it, there is a limited amount of work energy in our bank each day! Well, don’t worry. You’re definitely not alone.
You’re probably sitting there reading this thinking exactly what most others are thinking, “Most meetings are a waste of time and I dread the moment I have to step into one.”
Well, we have to ask ourselves “why”. Why are these meetings inefficient and what is the fundamental problem with these meetings? Is it the leadership running the meetings that isn’t able to engage their team? Is it the topics discussed? Is it that the initiatives and strategies covered during the meetings are often leading to little to no results, anyway? Even after hours and hours of unproductive meet up time?
The answer is probably all of the above, and more.
Meetings are supposed to be productive, encourage team members to collaborate, engage and create. Meetings should inspire employees to act.
No matter what we say about meetings, an efficient and time conscious meeting is still a fundamental necessity in the business environment. When done properly, meetings are designed to bring everyone together on the same page, give everyone a platform to voice their creativity, and provide an environment to connect the best minds on your staff to produce measurable results.
So, when you think about it, people shouldn’t hate meetings. People should be able to embrace them as a function of their job, that helps them fulfill the requirements of their roles more effectively and contribute to better gains overall.
So, again… we have to ask ourselves, “why are most meetings inefficient and what exactly can we do to make sure that meetings aren’t costing valuable time, energy, creativity and money on something that yields little to no results?”
Inefficient Meetings Cost Money
Time = Money
We know this. In fact, time is at the core of how employees are paid. Whether it’s by the hour or an annual salary, time is what employers are paying for.
Did you know that in a study done by The Muse, it was found that 92% of employees multitask in meetings?
Seriously, that’s not good. Maybe employees are overworked and feel the need to focus on multiple projects at once (another problem plaguing the workforce entirely). Or, maybe the meetings are just boring and they feel their time is better spent elsewhere. Either way, if your team isn’t focused on the task at hand, the time spent during that meeting is greatly wasted.
And because time = money, MONEY. IS. WASTED!
So now that we know we are wasting money, let’s look at another fun fact. The same study by The Muse found that “unproductive meetings waste more than $37 BILLION per year”! Ouch!
Wait, we’re not done with the shock factor…
A study by Steven Rogelberg, of the University of North Carolina showed that out of 182 senior managers surveyed in a range of industries: 65% of them said that meetings keep them from completing their own work.
That means that not only is time wasted during an inefficient meeting, it’s literally creating a backlog of projects and slowing processes because everything gets disrupted after an inefficient meeting. Think… butterfly effect. You’re not just losing the meeting time, you’re losing time on all the projects that were put off for the sake of a meeting that should never have happened in the first place.
So, how much precious money do you think your company is wasting in unproductive meetings?
Identifying the Core Issue
There is no one real issue that leads to inefficient meetings. Sometimes it’s the redundancy of topic, the lack of preparation on the team lead’s end, a lack of a true goal for the meeting, an unstructured agenda, disagreeing points-of-view or even just an overall lack of enthusiasm across team members.
There’s always the complaint, “why do we have to sit around and talk about what is already documented, shared, archived, and available for all to read”. Or the, “couldn’t this just be said in an email?” (By the way, we’ll get back to this very important concept shortly.)
You’ve probably experience most if not all of the above mentioned meeting issues in your professional career, on a daily basis, and inefficient meetings are becoming a norm for you.
Not good! Why are we as organizations, normalizing unproductive behavior and then complaining when projects take longer than anticipated or staff members aren’t delivering the quality work expected of them?
Does that make sense? No…
Perhaps it’s a combination of several issues or perhaps it’s all of it. One thing we know for sure though is that, the old-fashioned-type meeting is dying. Team members are begging for change, whether verbally or in their actions, and team leads are starting to catch on.
Technology Makes Meetings More Efficient
So, at this point… you’re probably looking for a solution after reading all the ways inefficient meetings are hurting your bottom line.
Whether you are the IT decision maker for your organization, or you’re the CEO, understanding how technology can make your team more productive, in and out of meetings, is critical.
Let’s consider business VoIP solutions for a moment. After all, VoIP solutions are essentially becoming a staple in every successful organization.
So, how does business VoIP solutions lead to more productive meetings? It’s pretty simple. All you have to do is look to the major enterprises and understand how they are using VoIP solutions to lead more meaningful productive, collaborative and mobile team meetings.
MiCollab: A Collaborative Multimedia Interaction Tool
Okay, this isn’t really a “ditch the meeting” type solution. Really, nothing is because as mentioned above, efficient meetings are still a fundamental necessity in the business world.
However, business VoIP solutions deliver technology that makes hosting meetings less of a requirement to collaborate.
MiCollab is an application, available on desktop, mobile or a tablet, which encourages employees to connect, collaborate and communicate from anywhere, at any time. It literally provides employees with everything they need to communicate with other team members, regardless of location.
Essentially, team members are given a single application to handle voice, messaging and video communication with each other.
That means that employees are spending less time in conference rooms, less time trying to connect with each other and more time engaged in productive communications without having to leave the comfort of a desk, or even their patio lounge chair.
Take that conference room meetings! We’re collaborating on our own time, in a way that doesn’t waste valuable energy and from the comfort of our own desired location.
Now, let’s take it a step further and really nail down teamwork outside of boring, never-ending meetings.
MiTeam: Connecting Virtual Teams Around the Globe
MiTeam is an extension of MiCollab (another “goodie” brought to you by VoIP solutions) that provides teams with a seamless open virtual environment that promotes content sharing, project management and web-based conferences.
With the use of MiTeam Pages, team members are able to create, share, edit, annotate, approve, and store critical documents so that all team members have access to the same information, whenever they need it.
Remember when I said above that a major problem with meetings is that employees often ask “why couldn’t this be said in an email”? Well, here is where business VoIP solutions step in to take one for the team.
MiTeam is the perpetual team meeting minutes, accessed by employees from anywhere, on any device, at any time with all relevant documents beautifully organized for easy consumption.
Yeah, now we are talking. What a total game changer!
Contributing in real-time to project Streams, everyone and anyone required to successfully execute any given project has 100%, unrestricted access to create, collaborate, innovate and produce. Everyone is on the same page, understands their tasks, knows exactly the status of each aspect of the project and is completely in-tune with all other colleagues.
…and guess what, they didn’t even have to step into a conference room. Or, even get on the phone for an inevitable chit-chat session. Now THAT is productivity.
Your meetings are costing you money, time, energy and wasted talent. So, what are you going to do about it? It’s time to address the elephant in the room and stop normalizing inefficient meetings.
Knowing all that we know about business VoIP solutions, it’s a pretty simple way to fix the inefficient meeting problem.
While there are a slew of other benefits to VoIP solutions that weren’t discussed above, we know for a fact that collaboration applications like MiCollab and MiTeam are transforming the way businesses connect, collaborate and produce – all without needing to spend an unnecessary amount of time in an inefficient meeting.
There is a way to combat the dread employees are feeling when they step into a conference room or on a conference call. It’s time to start making the changes your employees are begging for. Start looking at VoIP solutions.