Meetings are an essential part of most workplaces, but they can be a huge drain on time and resources. Here are six things you can do to make your meetings more resource-efficient:
Reduce the number of attendees.
If you can, limit the number of attendees to one-on-one meetings whenever possible. If you must have a group meeting, try to keep it small (fewer than 10 people).
Invest in remote participation.
- Invest in remote participation.
Meeting participants are often spread across multiple locations, so it’s important to consider how you can make your meeting accessible for those who aren’t physically present. Consider using video conferencing tools like Skype or Zoom, which allow participants from different locations to see each other (and even share screens). You could also use online collaboration tools like Google Docs or Dropbox to share documents and files with your team members before the meeting starts. And don’t forget about chat tools like Slack–these can help facilitate communication between remote participants during the meeting itself!
Consider the travel impact of your meeting location.
In addition to the cost of the venue and food, consider how your meeting location will impact travel costs. As an example, if you’re holding a meeting in New York City and most of your participants live in Boston or Chicago, chances are good that they won’t need to fly into JFK or LaGuardia airport–they can take advantage of cheaper flights from their local airports instead.
This is especially important for remote meetings that include remote participants who may not have access to high-speed internet connections at home (or anywhere else). If this is the case for your organization, consider choosing a venue close enough so everyone can easily get there by car or public transportation. Of course this isn’t always possible; if it’s not feasible for everyone involved in your meeting then think about ways we could make it easier for those who do attend remotely.”
Set an agenda that is realistic and achievable.
- Set an agenda that is realistic and achievable.
- Meetings should be efficient, not just efficient. They should also be productive, actionable, focused and with a clear purpose and outcome.
Communicate with participants before the meeting, during it, and after.
Before the meeting:
- Send out a reminder email with any important information, such as agenda items or action items.
- Use a chat tool during your meeting to keep everyone on track and give updates when needed. Afterward, send out an email summarizing what was discussed so that people can refer back to it later if they need to access information in the future. Also send out a link to a document summarizing what was discussed in case someone wants more detail than is provided in your summary email or document (for example, if they want more details on one particular item).
Keep track of what was accomplished at the end of each meeting by listing all actions and next steps, rather than having one person take notes or document minutes.
The next step is to keep track of what was accomplished at the end of each meeting by listing all actions and next steps, rather than having one person take notes or document minutes.
Google Docs is a great tool for this because it allows you to create a new document for each meeting that includes:
- A list of open questions for future discussion
- Action items (including who will do them)
There are lots of simple things you can do to make meetings more sustainable
- Reduce the number of attendees
Meetings are often large and unwieldy, but there are many ways to make them more efficient:
- Reduce the number of people who need to attend by inviting only those whose input is necessary. For example, if you’re planning a business trip and want feedback from your colleagues before you go, consider scheduling separate meetings with just those colleagues instead of having everyone come together at once. This will save time and money on travel costs (and it’ll probably make for a better meeting experience).
- Invest in remote participation technologies like video conferencing or webinars that allow you to conduct meetings without actually traveling anywhere–especially if your goal is reducing greenhouse gas emissions associated with transportation!
So, next time you find yourself in a meeting, remember to ask these six questions: What can I do to make this more resource-efficient? Who else should be at this meeting? Is there an alternative way we could conduct this discussion? How can I communicate with participants before and after the event? What was accomplished at the end of each meeting by listing all actions and next steps rather than having one person take notes or document minutes?