Although meetings are often an effective way of sharing ideas and information, you know that they can cut into your already busy schedule. No one wants to waste precious time on an ineffective or unproductive meeting. Instead of getting together in person, you may be better served by alternatives such as these:
- Online collaboration tools can help users in different places work on projects together.
- Videoconferencing allows groups to communicate both visually and remotely.
- Teleconferencing may serve simpler needs.
To save time, you may also consider using online survey tools to gather opinions before presenting conclusions to the group. No matter what system you choose, keep your meeting secure by using passwords to protect information from hackers.
Holding some in-person meetings is inevitable, but it is always prudent to keep them fresh. Sometimes alternatives to regular in-person meetings can be more productive. An informal get-together might yield more participation because the tone is relaxed. There may be a higher level of energy at a shorter, stand-up meeting. Changing the dynamic can waste less time, so why not try smaller meetings or a conversation between just two people? Even a simple change such as an out-of-the-ordinary location can make a difference.
Sometimes meetings can frustrate for reasons other than wasted time. Paying attention to details such as making your meeting as environmentally friendly as possible can go a long way towards a positive corporate culture and engaged participants. Green your meeting when you:
- Use as little paper as possible by providing links to information online
- Distribute only items that are necessary
- Use tablets or laptops for taking notes and minutes
- Encourage the use of reusable cups
- Avoid supplying plastic bags to collect handouts
- Provide a list of green accommodations
- Choose a meeting location that minimizes travel
- Donate leftover food and drink to a local food bank if possible
Make your meetings engaging by sticking to a clear agenda to keep participants focussed. Have different employees lead meetings on a rotational basis and be sure to get up and stretch to get the blood flowing and attention spans back on track.