These days everyone is incredibly busy. Despite technology’s advances, there is more to do and less time to do it in. Although logic might dictate that people have less time to meet, the opposite is true. People are meeting more and for longer periods of time. Perhaps all our dependence on technology has made us lonely for one another’s company. Or maybe we secretly enjoy lingering over conference room muffins. Whatever the reasons, if you’re doing business in America, we predict more meetings are in your future – and likely the present.
- Let’s get together more — American business people hold approximately 11 million meetings a day, which equals 55 million meetings per week and 220 million meetings per year.
- Go longer — The time employees spend in meetings has risen around 10% each year, since 2000.
- Got an hour? — The average meeting length is between 31 to 60 minutes.
Get a room
Ah space, it’s not only the final frontier, it’s arguably the biggest issue impacting meetings today. People can’t seem to find enough spaces to meet. What’s worse is that yesterday’s “knights of the oblong table” conference room set-up is a major waste of space and a less than ideal atmosphere for today’s mini-meetings.
- Think smaller — 73% of meetings involve only two to four people.
- Short supply – 53% of conference rooms are designed to accommodate seven or more people.
- Space quest — 40% of employees waste up to 30 minutes a day searching for meeting space.
Just do it
Running a meeting is a lot like losing weight, everyone knows what to do (eat less/exercise more), but few people every consistently do it. The easiest way to make meetings more productive is to start on time and follow an agenda. Before your next meeting, make a list; check it twice; and you’ll find out efficient meetings are nice.
- Copy this — Following a detailed agenda and starting on time can reduce meeting times up to 80%.
- Hidden agendas — Only 37% of US meetings use agendas.
Admit it, we’ve all been to a mind-numbing meeting and pretended to take notes on our devices, when in actuality we were entertaining ourselves in order to prevent an untimely death by boredom. It seems our nation’s collective lack of device etiquette has made us highly distracted. If you’re the person who called the meeting, you are also the one who can save it, and by saving we mean do everything within your power to keep it short, sweet, and engaging. Ask people questions. Solicit opinions. Tell a joke. Take a poll. Do something unexpected – like bringing an agenda or ending on time. Whatever you do, be the meeting change you wish to see.
Did you know visuals are processed 60,000 times faster by the brain than words? It’s true. Our brains like to see things rather than just hear about it. This is why video meetings are so much more engaging and productive than conference calls. It’s also why your eyes cross and roll back in your head anytime a meeting presenter whips out a PowerPoint and then proceeds to read it to you. If you’ve got a big meeting coming up (and given these stats, who doesn’t?) check out Highfive. You’ll love it. Meeting adjourned.
Bonus: Over 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual.