Does this really require a meeting? 6 tips for better meetings

Meetings are an essential platform for sharing information, brainstorming new ideas and collaborating as a team. But are they always necessary? Not according to those recently polled by Accountemps. More than 3,000 professionals surveyed said they spend 21% of their work hours in meetings but feel a quarter of that time is wasted.

What bothers us most about meetings?

Tips for better meetings

1. Limit attendees. Invite only those who need to participate. Smaller meetings tend to run more efficiently than larger ones.

2. Time it right. There’s no rule that meetings must be scheduled in 30-minute increments. Consider 15- or 45-minute sessions.

3. Meet in person. Phone conferences save time and money. But when you need a team’s attention and participation, gather everyone in the same room.

4. Create an agenda. An agenda lends structure, sets expectations and saves time. Assign owners to topics and let them know how much time they have. Send the agenda out in advance so participants can prepare.

5. Consider alternatives. For anything that requires a discussion, meetings are the way to go. But if all you need to do is give brief updates, send an email instead.

6. Find a creative way to meet. Whether you are working on a project, have meetings, lunches, or new clients visiting, offices are sometimes the perfect setting. However, they can also get old and boring after a while. A change of scenery could really do some good! Consider these four spots –

  • The local park offers a lot for business meetings, lunches or team building. It first gets you outside and breathing some fresh air. After being stuck in an office all day, you need to get out and stretch your legs. Maybe go for a walk and get some exercise. Sometimes moving and breathing fresh air helps you come up with new, creative ideas.
  • You can also pack a lunch and have a picnic with co-workers and other business men and women. This change of scenery can help bring you together and talk where you may be more comfortable.
  • Starbucks is becoming more than just a place to get coffee. Most if not all have Wi-Fi and provide a great place to set up a meeting. Many offer a quiet environment to talk and hold meetings at the same time as enjoying your favorite cup of coffee and pastry.
  • Other cafés are also a great place to go. For one, you would be supporting a local business and potentially be bringing them new customers. They also provide a different environment for those who are coming from out of town. Cat and dog cafés are becoming more and more popular and provide a more fun and relaxing experience for all.
  • Food trucks have always been around. Every big city has them and some are unique to your particular city. For anyone from out of town, this may be a new food experience to enjoy. All food trucks are different and provide a new flavor or experience. Many have tables and places to sit that provide a great place for meetings and getting out of the office.
  • The library is often overlooked as a place to have meetings. They are quiet, provide an internet connection, and offer a great place for conducting business. If you come up with any ideas that need research to develop further, you are in the perfect place! Even if you just need some alone time to think through your own ideas, the library is the perfect place to go.