Ever been stuck in those meetings that should’ve been an email? Or worse, the ones that drag on forever, leaving you wondering if anything’s been achieved? Yeah, we’ve all been there!
Ineffective business meetings are a major time drain. In fact, more than half of us Brits say spending too much time in meetings stops them from getting their work done.
But that doesn’t mean we should ditch meetings altogether. They’re crucial for keeping teams aligned, sharing updates and throwing around new ideas. The real problem isn’t meetings, it’s the badly organised ones.
So, what can we do about it?
In this guide, we’ll cover what to do before, during and after your team meetings to make sure they’re productive and really pack a punch.
Define objectives: Be clear on the meeting’s purpose. Why are you bringing everyone together? What are you hoping to get out of it? Make sure everyone’s on the same page.
Create an agenda: Whip up an organised agenda with specific topics, time allocations and presenters for each item. Share the agenda with participants beforehand so they can come armed and ready.
Get your materials together: Prepare any documents or presentations needed for the meeting and share them with participants in advance. This way, everyone’s up to speed and ready to contribute.
Choose a meeting room: Find a meeting room that suits your needs. Look for a comfortable and adaptable space in an inspiring, accessible location. Make sure meeting rooms have the equipment you need, like Wifi, a whiteboard and pens, and video conferencing tools.
Invite the right people: Only invite individuals who absolutely need to be there. Less is more, and keeping the attendee list focused will help keep things moving more efficiently.
Decide on a chairperson: Pick someone to lead the meeting and make sure it stays on track. Also, assign a designated note taker to send out the minutes after the meeting.
Set expectations: Communicate expectations for participation, punctuality and conduct during the meeting. Make sure everyone knows their role and what’s expected of them.
Start on time: Kick off the meeting promptly (even if some attendees are late) to respect people’s time and set a positive tone from the get-go.
Review the agenda: At the beginning of the meeting, quickly run through the agenda and objectives to ensure everyone is singing from the same hymn sheet.
Encourage participation: Create an environment where all participants feel comfortable sharing their ideas and perspectives. We’re all about active participation and keeping the conversation respectful and lively.
Stay focused: Keep the discussion focused on what’s on the agenda – no rabbit holes, please! Also, remove distractions by keeping laptops closed unless you’re presenting. Make sure Slack, Outlook and other distractions are closed for virtual meetings.
Manage time effectively: Keep an eye on the clock and make sure you’re sticking to the schedule. If you run out of time, you can always circle back to less urgent topics another time.
Take notes: Ensure the designated note taker is there to document key points, decisions and action items to share after the meeting.
Conclude the meeting: End the meeting with a recap of what has been agreed and a /10 score with improvement feedback if relevant.
Send a meeting summary: Along with the meeting minutes, send a meeting recap to all attendees, highlighting key takeaways, decisions and actions. Make sure everyone’s crystal clear on who’s doing what and when it’s due.
Follow up on action items: Keep an eye on those action items and make sure they’re getting checked off the list. Follow up with the people responsible to keep things rolling smoothly.
Ask for feedback: Foster a culture where everyone takes responsibility for improving meetings. Encourage participants to provide feedback on the meeting process, structure and outcomes positively and constructively. You can then use this feedback to improve future meetings.
Evaluate meeting effectiveness: Reflect on the meeting’s effectiveness in achieving its objectives. Did you hit the mark with your meeting goals? Any areas where you can tweak things for next time? Keep evolving and improving your meeting magic!
If you’re on the lookout for a meeting room in Central London, Reading or Manchester, we’ve got just what you need! Our meeting rooms accommodate 2-20 people with a range of seating configurations to suit your vibe, whether it’s a team catch-up or a sit-down with clients.
And that’s not all. Our spaces are available to rent by the hour, and trust us, they’re like little hubs of inspiration and collaboration. We’re talking about spaces that breathe life into your ideas and fuel that teamwork energy.
Here’s what all our meeting rooms come with as standard:
Whether you’re a Work.Life member or not, you can book a meeting room instantly online! Find out more and book your perfect Work.Life meeting room today.