WebEx published an interesting infographic this month, illustrating the “irony of meetings“. When done correctly, meetings can be effective for collaboration, sharing, and brainstorming. But when meetings get out of control, they waste time and cause frustration.
WebEx created the infographic based on a survey of 800 workers. Here are some of the most interesting findings:
We Say We Don’t Like Meetings, But Spend a lot of Time in Meetings
9 out of 10 workers prefer to interact in any other way than meetings. Yet we spend more time in meetings than any other form of interaction. We spend more time interacting in meetings than email, telephone, social media, and IM.
Common reasons people don’t like meetings include: Nothing getting accomplished, lack of a clear agenda, and the needed people not attending the meeting.
What People Like About Meetings
Despite these annoyances, people do find meetings helpful for some things. For example, people feel that meetings are good for: getting or sharing important information, brainstorming and problem solving, and building relationships.
What Happens When Meetings Get out of Control
Perhaps the biggest problem with meetings is that it stops us from producing. In fact, because of meeting overload people often stay at the office late to finish work, or end up having to take time to work from home, so they can minimize distractions. It’s no wonder that people have such a strong disdain for meetings.
How to Get the Most out of your Online Meetings
Meetings themselves aren’t bad, it’s meetings done poorly that tend to irk us. Here are some tips for mastering your meetings:
- Have a Clear Agenda – Don’ even announce the meeting until you have a clear idea of what you want to cover, who you want to attend, and each persons contributions. Make sure that people know what their role in the meeting is too.
- Use an Online Meeting Service – Don’t make people commute to your meeting, or go out of their way to attend. An online meeting minimizes the time that people spend away from work, keeps distractions to a minimum, and allows you to record the meeting for those who couldn’t attend. Read our reviews of online meeting services.
There’s no reason meetings have to be a waste of time and productivity. When done correctly, using the right online meeting software, meetings can help you achieve more, connect with others, and come up with better ideas.