Meetings can be a valuable aspect of the workplace schedule…if handled correctly. They are an opportunity for people to share ideas, solve problems, and provide project updates. But if not managed correctly, meetings can spiral out of control and become a huge waste of time. When you get more than three people together, it’s very easy to get off topic and waste valuable work time. To keep meetings efficient, follow these tips and employees will be able to keep their meetings precise and on point.
Have a Clear Objective
Set a clear objective for every single meeting you hold, and be a stickler for keeping every topic of conversation headed toward that goal. Be nice about it, but if meeting attendees are bringing up items for discussion that aren’t focused on your objective, say something like, “That’s an important discussion to have, but let’s table it for now.” Or, “That’s a great topic—let’s talk about that sometime soon, but right now let’s get back on track so we can get everybody out of here on time.”
Only Invite Those Needed
Meetings are a great opportunity for multiple people, perhaps from different departments, to get together and discuss a particular topic. But when it comes to productivity, the more is not merrier. Each invitee should serve a specific purpose. If you can do without them, you usually should. The main exception to this rule is brainstorming sessions, where more perspectives can be valuable.
Designate a Meeting Leader
Sometimes the meeting leader is obvious, but if it’s a group thing, someone might need to take the reins and facilitate. The leader should be in charge of setting the agenda and keeping the meeting on task. The leader should also assign action items and be responsible for sending out notes after the meeting.
Stick to a Schedule
The leader should also be in charge of making sure the meeting starts and stops on time. For meetings that are longer than a half hour, there should be a set agenda with estimated times attached to each item, so you can monitor your progress as the meeting goes along. If you’re the meeting leader, keeping people longer than you told them you would is often just as frustrating as being late. When your expected meeting end time arrives, consider postponing the rest of the agenda items until another meeting. At the very least, saying something like, “Hey, everybody. Our meeting is supposed to be over now. Does anybody have anything that they need to get back to, or is it ok if we keep going?” This simple courtesy will go a long way.
Consider Your Meeting Place
Meeting location is a critical component that’s often overlooked. Pick a place that’s as distraction-free as possible, Ergonomic workspaces are an excellent place to conduct your meeting. Your meeting attendees are more likely to stay alert if they’re standing, increasing the interaction and participation in the meeting. Standing desks also help your team stay on target, which helps everyone get in and out of the meeting faster.
For meetings that involve collaboration, standing workstations are ideal because their design allows multiple people to gather around a table but they still provide a more intimate feel than being seated in a massive conference room.
If you’re ready to boost productivity in your workspace by ditching the same old commercial office desks and investing in the best standing desk solutions on the market, start here. If you’re looking for a standup desk that can support more than the average meeting size, try the True North Odyssey line.