— 7 min read

Imagine a scenario: You call a team meeting to discuss yet another crucial aspect of the company's marketing campaign or selling strategy. You get a response from your team members, open the email and find one beautifully designed poster, something similar to this one below. Declaring a war to team meeting.

Team meetings, trying teamwork without meetings

So, what are the emotions that you would experience in that exact moment? Perhaps it is:

  1. disappointment
  2. anger
  3. surprise
  4. or maybe even relief?

This scenario happened in the Weekdone office. While one of us was preparing to have another team meeting to discuss how employee reporting tool's new feature should be communicated to the users, the rest of the group decided to declare a war on meetings. Not just a simple battle against inefficient meetings, but a thermonuclear one.

This happened quite some time ago and with reason. After all, we are building a team collaboration and reporting tool that helps get quick insights to the team. So, instead of calling a meeting to find out what the team has been up to, everyone can just open their browsers or mobile devices and get a quick glance. Therefore, it was about time to put a stop to fruitless meetings. There is no need to disturb the sales team with questions that have an answer in their report.

Now, this might sound harsh, but before the team has not learned the basics about efficient meetings, there is no point in having them at all. There is no logical reason why you should step outside and throw thousands of dollars in the air. So, how come does it feel reasonable to have insufficient meetings that do the exact same thing: waste our time and money.

According to researchers Alexandra Luong and Steven Rogelberg, the more meetings employees attend, the more exhausted they feel and the higher they perceive their workload to be. What is more, did you know that:

  • Professionals lose 31 hours per month to ineffective meetings (that is almost four work-days).
  • 91% of meeting attendees admit to daydreaming during meetings.
  • Unnecessary meetings cost around $37 billion to US businesses alone.
  • Most of busy professionals (89%) believe that technology will make meetings easier in the future.

There are tons of depressing statistics that confirm previous facts. Nevertheless, there is no sign that businesses are decreasing their team meeting times. Well, we might have one example, how The Whole Foods improved their meetings, but there are still millions of businesses that have done nothing about it.

It might be due to the fact that these indicators often seem worlds apart. There might be a beautiful illusion that these surveys are made in country X and therefore do not affect my business or that my case is totally different.

Truth to be told, it is only humane to concentrate on your case. In order to bring some light to each individual case, just follow this simple formula:

Average nr. of employees at a meeting × (average hourly wage of your employees × hours spent on meetings per week) = $ spent on weekly meetings.

This cost is not the final. This is only the soft cost calculations that are based on employee's average hourly wage. In order to find out the overall dollars being thrown out of the window, we also need to add hard costs. These include expenditures like food, facility rent and travel cost if your team is distributed.

Everyone has made the mistake of attending unproductive meeting. For example, Darren Hardy, the force behind SUCCESS magazine, wrote that a meeting he sat in cost $12,250, or $82 per minute.

The important part is to understand the relationship between the value of the meeting and its cost. Always keep in mind, that the value of a meeting must exceed the costs. I know, it is difficult to measure value, since it is not directly transferable to dollars. Yet, it is possible.

Taking everything into account, it is still one question unanswered:

Why do we keep having unproductive team meetings?

Is it because we feel lonely and hate making decisions by ourselves? Working alone can get boring and the fear of being responsible for the actions we take could be daunting. Perhaps it is due to an annoying habit. We are use to belonging to a certain group and feel the need to discuss matters within the group. Or perhaps you just called a status update meeting to schedule a new team meeting?

Team meetings, trying teamwork without meetings

Team Meetings – you are doing it wrong

 

Whatever the reason, these unproductive team meetings cost businesses billions of dollars.

Would you dare to take on a challenge and cancel your next week team meeting?

What would be the worst thing that could happen? You could actually get more work done by the end of the week?

Try the team meeting free approach for just five days and analyze the results. We are not asking you to stop collaborating with your team. Better yet, we are offering a great online team collaboration tool. Let everyone in the team set up their weekly plans and without calling a meeting, you are able to monitor how they are doing, what problems are encountered and whether progress is made. In addition, try out this fun interactive Team Meeting Toolbox to improve productivity. Before the meeting, go over the checklist, reminding of what makes a productive meeting. Send the meeting checklist to other participants together with the event invite. During the meetings use the team meeting timer, to make sure your time is used mindfully.