There are several mistakes that most companies are continuing to make when it comes to meetings, whether online, in-person or a mixture of the two:
Having too many meetings
Inviting too many people
Making all of them stay for the duration of the meeting.
This has led to a lot of pretty painful (literally as well as metaphorically) days for far too many of us – 8 hours in front of a screen, with barely enough time to go to the bathroom, let alone time to have a break, stretch, eat, get some fresh air, and so on. And that’s before taking account of the additional challenges for households with two parents working full time and school age children, who aren’t at school!
Let me be clear: Setting or agreeing to attend back-to-back meetings is stupid, counterproductive and unnecessary – even in an emergency, and especially on lockdown.
Failing to recognize and address this will inevitably lead to lower productivity, increased stress and higher rates of illness among employees.
Here’s a better approach:
Stop holding meetings whose sole objective is information exchange.
Only hold meetings in order to make important decisions.
Only invite those who can offer unique and specific value to the decision-making process to the meeting.
Only require attendees to attend the portion of the meeting that is specifically relevant to them and their contribution.
Doing this will free up time for everyone – and help us all manage ourselves and our lives more effectively in whatever state of lockdown we find ourselves. .
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Copyright Hamish Mackenzie, 2020