Have you ever been in a meeting where you think that you rather be somewhere else?
Have you had the thought during the meeting, that there is so much to do but you are stuck in the meeting room with a bunch of people and wondering when will this all end?
I believe that most of us have been there; hopefully not too often 🙂
According to the Chief Happiness Officer blog: a study in The Guardian showed that meetings make people very unhappy at work and the more meetings one has to attend and the more time one spends in meetings, the greater the negative effects.
To be honest, it seems stupid to me to waste resources (such as people’s time and organization’s money) by making employees participate long meetings where some can’t find any touch-points with the topics.
Harvard Business Review even offers a meeting cost calculator (that also has a free mobile app) that enables people to calculate the cost of the meetings. So next time when you find yourself stuck in the long and boring meeting send this calculator to the organizer of that meeting and let him/her do the math.
Knock, knock dear managers! We live in the 21st century where people do flexible working with the help of modern technology. There are a lot of professions that don’t need to go to the office anymore to do the job. So why are we still stuck with long and to be honest (sometimes) boring meetings?
OK, so we can conclude that too many meetings are waste of time and money and make our people unhappy. How to solve that? Well, there are different ways how to lead meetings and make them more efficient. But this is not the topic of this post. This post has a different purpose; I want to give you some ideas how to make meetings more interesting and useful. Basically, how to do multitasking during the meetings.
So what I mean by that; for instance, next time when you have a team meeting or you are planning a meeting with your business partner consider to have the meeting in Starbucks or schedule a business lunch.
Do you have people on your team who need to do a lot of commuting? Safety first, of course! But why not to let these people participate in the meeting on their way to work or back home?
And there are also other ways to do multitasking during the meetings. For instance, you can promote walking meetings. We all know that sitting is the new smoking. So why don’t you ask your team to take a nice walk together during the next meeting?
Walking meeting is something that I myself use the most at the moment. Whenever there is a meeting coming up where I need or should participate, I take my baby, my stroller, my phone, and headphones and out I go. Love it!
Organize a meeting in the gym, at (company’s) sports club, at the golf course or similar. We all are busy, busy, and busy. Ask your friends how they are doing and the answer that you probably will get is “Busy”!
We struggle to find work/life balance, so to have a hobby or to work out is the last thing that we can afford because we are always busy. There are different sports activities that let us do business and sports together. Be different; think out of the box!.
We Estonians love sauna, so why won’t you be like Estonian and have a discussion or a think tank in the steam room instead of the meeting room? Yes, you probably can’t take any notes, so what?
There are actually a lot of employers who are organizing a different kind of meetings to make their people happy. Plum Organics (a well-known baby food manufacturer) is, for instance, one of them. Every Thursday when they have one-hour meeting they take out their coloring books and hold a creative-thinking meeting where staff members color, talk, and decompress. This meeting has proven to be extremely important to the company’s new product development. They have also felt that coloring during meetings helps promote active listening, and are more beneficial than multitasking on something like email.
How do you prefer to have a meeting? Leave your comment, share your story!
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