For many, meetings have become a drain on their time and resources. Has this changed as businesses embrace virtual meetings? Research from CV-Library of 2,000 UK workers revealed 34% had excused themselves from virtual meetings that had become boring. A massive 81% of men and 68% of women stating virtual meeting are a waste of time.
“We know that more people are working from home right now than ever before and it’s definitely taking some getting used to. While it’s great to keep the momentum going and connect with colleagues via conference calls or video chats, there is an argument that these can sometimes be counter-productive – especially if they’re filling up your entire day or nothing positive ever comes out of them.” – Lee Biggins, founder and CEO of CV-Library
The culture of meetings has become engrained in business processes. Often allowed to run out of control, the cost of unnecessary meetings can be high: Figures generated by eShare – a governance and board management software company claim UK businesses alone, lose £191B a year holding meetings that could be avoided.
“The fundamental mistake in how meetings are managed is that the leader of the meeting often starts off with the wrong intentions; to talk rather than to listen,” Johnny Warström, CEO and co-founder of interactive presentation platform Mentimeter told Maddyness. “This kind of mindset actually inhibits the efficiency and productivity of the meeting by hindering the leader’s ability to set a clear agenda and engage with people. It also treats the meeting participants as a mere audience, rather than contributors, which therefore impedes on their ability to voice their opinions.”
Connecting with colleagues and clients is vital, of course, but how these communications are achieved must be approached with care. Meetings still have their place; it’s re-engaging with meetings using new technologies that may be unfamiliar that can cause anxiety and even apathy when a meeting is called.
“If meetings are fewer but better called and better prepared for, and afterwards, people actually get a follow-up of what has been discussed and decided and implemented as continuity of the meeting, this feeling of time-wasting in a meeting will soon disappear. People will understand that whenever they are called for a meeting, real things are coming up, they will start to take meetings really seriously and value this moment of exchange.” – Virginia Drummond, Associate professor at EMLYON Business School
Making meetings count
According to research from Asana that quizzed workers from the UK, America, Japan, Australia and Germany, meetings have been impacted with 34% having fewer meetings, a third had the same amount and, just over a quarter (26%) have more meetings.
The use of more collaborative tools has rapidly expanded across all the regions Asana analyzed. By readily embracing collaboration technology, nearly one third (29%) of Australians reported holding fewer meetings while working remotely. Also, Australia had the highest number of survey respondents (51%) state their productivity had increased under remote protocols.
Also, the Japanese workforce took advantage of greater flexibility during the working day. More than half (57%) took more breaks and 43%—more than any other country—had fewer meetings. In fact, only 14% had more meetings since working remotely. The flexible approach workers are now taking also impacts on their approach to calling, hosting and actioning agreed steps after meetings conclude.