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You’re Spending 11 Years of your Life in Unproductive Meetings

In theory, meetings are important. We use them to create opportunities for people to exchange ideas, discuss objectives and make decisions. The goal of a meeting is to get everyone on the same page and encourage ongoing productivity. And therein lies the irony.

A common complaint, we at Fluid hear among professionals everyday, is that meetings get in the way of their productivity. If getting things done is the key to success, then why are you spending up to 50% of your time in unproductive meetings?

What’s worse, is that according to an article in MIT’s Sloan Management Review, the average executive spends 23 hours a week in meetings. If you have a 45 year long career, 22 years will be spent in meetings. If 50% are unproductive, that’s 11 years of wasted time. Imagine what you could do with 11 years?

Given the amount of time and money that organisations spend on meetings, improving their effectiveness should be an important goal.

WHAT’S GOING WRONG WITH OUR MEETINGS?

When you dig into what’s actually going on, you discover that it’s not as simple as poorly run meetings. A lot of blame can be attributed to what happens after the meeting ends. Watching our clients over many years, we’ve observed that post-meeting:

  • minutes and agendas from the meeting are distributed late;
  • information is scattered across various sources such as email, notebooks, documents, action-trackers etc,
  • the management of meeting outcomes can be challenging and time consuming.

And then there’s the time wasted in between meetings, where we put work on hold and wait for the next meeting before we agree, approve or move the work forward.

In today’s fast paced environment, where people manage their work, family and lives on the go and from any location and device, shouldn’t business meetings naturally follow suit? We need teams to be able to constantly action and move projects forward rather than being hindered by the constraints of old-school meeting formats.

So, rather than clarifying what needs to be done and increasing productivity, our meetings can lead to the opposite – uncertainty on what has been agreed and confusion as to what happens next.

3 THINGS THAT WILL INCREASE POST-MEETING PRODUCTIVITY

fluid meetings meeting software solution platform better meetings

Create Less Mail

Did you know that on average around 40% of your email traffic is generated by meetings?

With Fluid you can liberate your inbox and keep the conversation and feedback in Fluid. Not only does this keep all conversation contextual, but also keeps it visible to everyone, so all meeting members are on the same page, all the time.

Visibility

It’s not easy to stay on top of who needs to do what and by when, especially when your team works remotely. With Fluid you can see exactly what each team member has committed to across their projects and meetings.

Fluid takes the meeting out of the office and into your pocket, enabling you to meet and work no matter where your attendees are.

Accountability

You know you’re in a good meeting when everyone has a clear understanding of the objectives and required actions – we call this purpose-driven meeting. Fluid facilitates this, giving you a clear picture of the performance of each individual team member in real-time.

There is total transparency and therefore accountability across the whole team. Everyone knows exactly what they need to do and any pressure points, should they arise, can be resolved quickly thanks to the level of clarity Fluid’s meeting management provides.

Mark is CEO & Co-Founder of Fluid Business Solutions where he helps people work a better day