Meetings are intended to be an engine of productivity in the workplace, a way for people to get together to discuss ideas, debate issues, overcome obstacles and drive outcomes. The reality is many meetings end up being about as valuable as a Snapchat post -- people talk, then the ideas quickly disappear into the ether with no outcomes or follow up.
As “information workers,” we spend a lot of time in meetings. According to a report by consulting firm Bain and Co., as much as 15% of an organization’s collective time is spent in meetings, a percentage that has increased every year since 2008. Given this significant investment in time and energy, it’s surprising companies don’t do more to ensure employees are good at facilitating meetings.
When researching our latest infographic (below) it was shocking to learn how widespread the problem is. In one survey, executives felt that as much as 67% of all meetings were unproductive. Another study estimates the time we waste in unproductive meetings costs the global economy as much as $37 billion annually! Meetings fail for many reasons, some of which are complex involving organizational culture and politics. Yet, many meetings fail simply because people don’t follow basic best practices or because participants are multitasking and not paying attention. According to Gartner, by next year approximately 75% of knowledge-based work project work in the Global 2000 will be done by distributed virtual teams.1 As people and teams increasingly work in different locations and from mobile devices, the everyday communication and collaboration challenges become even more difficult.
The good news is there are new cloud-based tools like Fuze that can help distributed organizations become more connected and engaged. Incredibly simple to deploy and use across devices, Fuze enables people and teams to collaborate more effectively and meet face-to-face anytime, regardless of location. In fact, technologies like Fuze have been shown to improve focus and engagement, enhance decision making and increase team productivity. Educating people about effective meeting best practices and applying tools like Fuze to connect and engage distributed workers and teams might be one of the fastest ways to improve productivity in many organizations. Check out the infographic below and let us know what you think. Is your organization making the most of meetings?
1 - Gartner, PPM Market Universe: Techniques and Tools for Project Collaboration, June 2011)