Meeting behaviors to avoid, meeting metrics to track

Meeting behaviors to avoid, meeting metrics to track

While meetings are a vital element of effective collaboration, if there are too many of them, they can become overwhelming. In America alone, 11 million meetings take place every day, out of which a third is considered unproductive. This lost productivity costs companies $37 billion annually.

What’s worrying is that the switch to remote working caused by the pandemic has doubled the number of meetings from 7 to 14 a week

Therefore, it’s crucial to consider what can be done to introduce a healthy meeting culture. This is what we’re going to cover in today’s piece. 

3 tips to introducing a healthy meeting culture 

#1 Avoid these 5 meetings behaviors 

Let’s imagine the following scenario. Anna is a team-leader in a tech company, she manages a team of 5 people. She has no time for deep work as she spends most of her workday in meetings (6-8 hours, to be more precise). Unfortunately, most of them are unproductive, as they’re not managed appropriately. I bet this sounds familiar! 

If you can relate, then here are a few behaviours which you should avoid to improve your meeting culture:

  • Multi-tasking - i.e doing other work during a meeting. Research shows that employees send three or more emails every 30 minutes while being in a meeting. 
  • Lack of planned agenda and structure of the meeting 
  • Not being prepared for the meeting 
  • Starting and ending the meeting late or rescheduling it
  • Not agreeing on an objective after the meeting ends.

#2 Be aware of the meeting cost 

Let’s go back to the previously mentioned scenario. After spending hours in meetings, Anna has finally decided to calculate how much it really cost, and it shocked her! She realized that it’s a massive expense, which motivated her to do something about it. As mentioned above, unproductive meetings cost companies billions of dollars! If you want to check how much it costs your company, then we recommend using this calculator. Hopefully, it will act as a trigger for you to improve your meeting culture. 

#3 Track these 4 meeting metrics 

After realizing how expensive it is to sit in unproductive meetings, Anna started to collect data on the time spent by her team in meetings. This helped her ensure that her team and herself have enough time for deep work, which made a massive difference. Spending just 10% less time in meetings would save Americans $3.7 billion yearly. So, here are 4 metrics worth tracking to make sure your meetings are productive:

  • Time spent on meetings – calculate how much time your team spends in meetings. 
  • Long & large meetings – it relates to the number of hours an average team member spends weekly in meetings that last more than 2 hours and involve more than 8 people.
  • Multitasking meetings – the number of hours an average team member spends weekly in meetings where he/she is multitasking, for example, writing emails
  • Conflicting meetings – the number of hours an average team member participates in meetings that happen simultaneously.  

Final remarks 

Even though meetings are necessary for effective collaboration, it’s vital to keep its number under control to avoid productivity losses and enable enough time for deep work. To introduce a healthier meetings culture, among others I recommend gathering data on the time your team spends in meetings and avoiding behaviors that negatively impact productivity during meetings. If you want to discuss this subject in more depth, then get in touch with us at Network Perspective. 


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The New Future of Work: Research from Microsoft into the Pandemic’s Impact on Work Practices

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August 1, 2021

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