How many times have you sat in a meeting thinking that you would rather spend that time doing something more productive? How many precious minutes of the day have you wasted arranging for a suitable meeting room? Remember the time when you had to keep a valued client waiting while you searched for the right meeting room?
Quick fact check: Meetings are often inefficient, in fact they mostly are. They waste precious time for hard-working employees, who often leave these meetings more confused than before. They are immensely costly too. The cost of poorly planned meetings is expected to reach a whopping $399 billion in the US and $58.11 billion in the UK in 2019, says Doodle’s State of the Meeting Report 2019. The reality isn’t any different for India.
Yet, meetings are necessary for business. They are vital for efficient team coordination and keeping the communication flowing. Work hurdles can be addressed and project timelines tracked through meetings. Moreover, important business connections are formed in meetings.
The key then is not in avoiding meetings but in making them super-efficient, saving costs in terms of time, effort and money.
What Makes Meetings Inefficient?
There are many factors that make meetings burdensome for employees. Inefficient meetings typically consist of the following elements:
1. People Arriving Late
Everyone is on time, yet there will always be someone who was either unaware of the time, was stuck in traffic chose or couldn’t find the location easily. Then there are times when visitors are made to wait at the reception, while the front desk personnel scramble to find out what to do next and the host remains unaware of their arrival.
2. Too Many People Invited
People who have no clue about the agenda get invited. So do people who aren’t even required at these meetings. There also could be times when is no leader to drive the sessions.
3. Lack of Suitable Meeting Rooms
Often meetings are planned with no prior intimation to the admin department. There is no way to book a room for a specific time or inform everyone not to use the room during a particular time on a specific day. This becomes even trickier in complex environments, like co-working spaces, which leads to wastage of precious time.
4. Lack of Communication during Meetings
With the absence of a clear goal, discussions might prove fruitless. Topics might be often repeated, people might become overzealous about trivialities, while others simply watch and waste time. Intense debating leads to people losing sight of the actual priorities.
These are only some of the factors that account for poorly organized meetings. The consequences could be far-reaching for an organization. Broadly speaking, ineffectual meetings can lead to:
- Disengaged employees
- Reduced work productivity
- Loss of focus on projects, leading to bad outcomes
- Weakening or loss of client relationships
- Hampering of brand image
How to Enable Smarter Meetings?
If you have taken the pains to find the root causes of inefficient meetings, you have already embarked on the path to improvement.
The good news is that the task of improving business meetings actually boils down to 4 main questions:
- Do you have a defined meeting objective?
- Have the concerned people been invited or notified?
- Does the meeting room have all the necessary facilities, so that you can start on time?
- Is there a defined outcome?
Technology can resolve these issues and dramatically reduce the time needed to organize a meeting. The Veris Meetings solution, for instance, helps you schedule meetings right from your Outlook or Google Calendar or any other scheduler that you use, immediately notifying the people concerned. The system then helps you book a suitable meeting room, from anywhere and at any time. Employees can track room status, invitee lists, meeting agendas and schedules in real-time, on LED-enabled meeting room displays.
Moreover, since this system is easily integrated with the Veris Visitor Management System, visitors receive meeting room information, even before they set foot in your premises. Along with that, hosts receive an immediate notification of guest arrivals, so that the meetings can start on time. This creates a positive impression on clients, business partners and other valued guests.
The Veris solution provides robust analytical capabilities for your HR and admin departments too. By tracking room usage patterns and peak hours on real-time dashboards, they can ensure optimal resource availability and usage, or even make improvements to underperforming rooms.
Poorly held meetings do occur, but when the number of such meetings increases, it leads to significant costs for the company. The best way to optimize both meetings and costs is with a smart meeting solution.