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Are Meetings a Waste of Time?
September 27, 2010 @ 11:55 AM | By Sara Steele

According to a survey posted in USA Today, many Americans believe so. Nearly half (49%) of respondents surveyed by StrategyOne believe that most company meetings are a waste of time. I’ve only been in the corporate world for a few years, but have already experienced this first-hand.

We have all walked out of meetings feeling as though we just lost an hour out of our day. None of us can afford to unnecessarily waste time, yet it seems like most of us do just that. Here are five questions everyone should ask themselves before calling a meeting:

  • Is there a clear objective of the meeting? If not, then don’t call a meeting.
  • Who needs to attend the meeting? Ever been in a meeting with lots of attendees and yet there’s dead silence? When the appropriate individuals are involved, smaller meetings can be much more engaging and constructive.
  • How long does the meeting need to be? Longer doesn’t always mean better. Accomplish your tasks at hand, assign action items and call it a day. You can always reconvene if needed.
  • Do you have an agenda? Create one and don’t stray from it. Share it with your participants before the meeting so they can come better prepared and focused on the objective.
  • Can it be held virtually? Do you need the meeting to be face-to-face or can you meet virtually through audio or web conferencing? Don’t ask your attendees to travel if it can be accomplished just as effectively from their home office.

While these best practices may seem obvious, they are often overlooked by many. If we all follow these best practices, we can avoid wasting our co-workers valuable time and our own!

Sara Steele is a Marketing Coordinator at InterCall.

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