Why It’s More Productive to Have Fewer Meetings

Why It’s More Productive to Have Fewer Meetings

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Many small businesses fall into the habit of meeting for meeting’s sake with the belief it keeps them organized. 

However, according to recent research, 70% of all meetings actually interfere with productivity and the completion of tasks. 

Here, we look at why fewer meetings help keep you more productive, with tips on how to reduce them.

Why Fewer Meetings Work Better

A study surveying 76 companies uncovered mind boggling data that has to be shared:

  • Removing 60% of meetings increased cooperation by 55%.
  • Reducing meetings by 41% made productivity 71% higher.
  • Using other methods such as project management tools, dashboards, and communication apps such as Slack resulted in a 57% decrease in stress risk for improved team member well-being.
  • An 80% decline lessened the perception of micromanagement by 74%, increasing the feeling of being valued, trusted, and more engaged by 44%.
  • Communication became 65% clearer and, in turn, more effective thanks to conversation trails using chat apps with a record of what was said.
  • Fewer meetings made teams feel more accountable for their work, increasing job satisfaction by 52%.
  • 83% of team members preferred using chat touchpoints over traditional one-to-one meetings, allowing them to contribute on their own time.

There is also a phenomenon known as “meeting recovery syndrome,” when teams waste more time post-meeting. This can include going over what happened at the meeting, deciding what they’re expected to do, and even cooling off due to frustration with what occurred. It also incentivizes complaining to others, which impacts team morale.

How to “Survive” with Fewer Meetings

You can reduce meetings and still maintain control and effective team oversight using these tips:  

Ask yourself if you really need the meeting

Consider why you’re calling a meeting and whether it will be useful not only for you but the team, such as:

  • Project post-mortems to address pain points, successes, and improve performance
  • Work distribution meetings such as a project kick-off meeting or busy season scheduling
  • Discussing new policies or team goals to keep everyone up to speed
  • Distributing work appropriately among your team

That said, most of these scenarios can also be managed via communication apps and project management tools.

Keep the invite list small

When you identify the need for a meeting, make sure you only invite the people who really need to be there. This allows the rest of the team to keep working.

Consider team input regarding meetings you schedule

Empower team members to point out when a meeting is no longer required. 

For example, if you scheduled a meeting to address a certain issue that was resolved, the team member who resolved it should feel comfortable sending a quick team email to cancel the meeting so everyone can move forward. It should also be easy for team members to flag when they’re too busy to attend to limit pressure on people who know how to manage their own time.

Introduce management and communication tools

You’d be surprised how many meetings can be handled with something like a project management app or an overview email. 

Another handy tool is real-time communication apps like Slack that allow people to deal with issues and questions as they arise. Managers can also send off quick morning assignment emails to the group. Team dashboards also track project progression and team member deliverables so everyone can see what’s happening in real-time.

Knowing how meetings negatively impact team morale, accountability, and productivity, assessing your approach to meetings is an excellent opportunity to effect change and reap the benefits. Trusting your team and providing the tools needed to improve accountability, communication, and oversight is all you need to help break down silos, encourage collaboration and reduce the time wasted with low-value meetings.

About Focus HR, Inc.

Focus HR, Inc. uncomplicates the people side of business by providing small business owners with outsourced HR, project HR, and Leadership Coaching. For more information, please contact us today! If you liked this post, please subscribe to our blog. You can opt out at any time. 

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