Help Your Customers Turn Team Meetings into Productive Work

Companies all over the world have become obsessed with meetings, so much so that they dedicate several hours each week to sitting in them. In US, on average, employees spend 33 percent of their workweeks in meetings and will attend between 6 to 15 meetings per week. Unfortunately, not all of them are productive. Quite the contrary! Some team meetings often pull employees away from periods of concentration where they can work without disruption.


Four strategies to revamp team meetings

It’s time for your clients to have fewer team meetings and accomplish more in the ones they have. Here’s how you can help them do exactly that.

Bonus read for virtual meetings: The Ultimate Checklist for Virtual Meetings Done Right

Recommend a meeting audit

The first step is to conduct an audit to see which ongoing conferences are essential and which can be removed or reduced. Here are three questions your clients can ask as they review each meeting within their departments:

  • Does this meeting need to happen as often as it does?
  • Can this meeting be shortened?
  • Is every attendee at this meeting essential?

Meetings can grow large and unwieldy as more people get invited in an attempt to keep everyone looped-in. It is also common to schedule weekly check-ins when monthly or alt-weekly meetings would suffice.

An audit like this can have a significant impact on the time your clients spend in meetings. It will result in freeing up space for more meaningful work. Consider how employees often multitask during meetings. If someone only has to partially pay attention to the discussion, they likely don’t need to be there.

Encourage your customers to embrace shorter meetings

Every meeting doesn’t need to be an hour-long summit where different parties and departments cover various agenda items. While these meetings might be useful for department-wide collaboration, they can bog down employee schedules if they’re the standard way to meet.

According to data shared by the Harvard Business Review, the length of remote meetings has dropped from nearly 45 minutes to less than 35 minutes over the past two years. In addition, the average number of participants has dropped in half from 20 to 10. Companies are switching to shorter meetings where only a few items are discussed. And your clients should make this shift too.

Shorter, more focused meetings like this will be more actionable because attendees are more likely to remember what was discussed. They’re also more relevant because they only involve team members related to a specific task.

Shorter meetings are also easier to schedule. A few people can hop on a call over a few minutes to get the answers they need. Those team members can then move forward with productive work based on the information they now have.

Follow up with what was discussed

If employees are multitasking or a meeting is covering multiple topics, it can be easy to forget what the action items are. This can limit everyone’s ability to take the next steps, making the meeting less relevant and productive.

As you talk to clients, highlight the benefits of sending a follow-up email after every meeting that covers what was discussed and what actions each person needs to take. And if they use Hubgets like us, simply follow up on the specific Topic for everyone involved to get the summary and access it whenever it’s convenient for them.

It should only take a few minutes to draft these bullet points and everyone involved can have clear documentation of what is expected of them. Your clients can even create a template that everyone uses for post-meeting summaries.

Recommend meeting-free work hours

A rising trend in corporate America is the Meeting-Free Day, where companies assign one day a week without conferences or calls. This day allows team members to focus deeply on their projects without fear that an unexpected call or pop-up meeting on their calendar will disrupt their workflows.

If your clients feel overwhelmed by meetings, suggest implementing this option. Companies can also set Meeting-Free Hours throughout the week where employees cannot schedule calls. These usually fall before 9 a.m. and after 4 p.m. and also contribute to a company’s culture and work-life balance.

It could have been an email

Your clients want to improve their productivity, so remind them that it’s not about having more hours in the day. They should instead focus on being more effective with those hours. This starts with meetings, which are a common time-suck for most companies.

Help your clients create a plan for better meetings so everyone can be more productive every day. And nobody will remember the last meeting that should have been an email…

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