Teamwork without meetings

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

Assuming this has happened to you in one form or another, what are you feeling as you read this image from your team members?

  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, our company is a SaaS tool for team collaboration and status reports with the goal to help get quick insights to the team. One goal is to reduce the amount of meetings needed – thanks to the simplicity of opening your Weekdone dashboard to see what everyone's doing at a 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.

If the team has yet to learn the basics of an effective meeting, there is no sense in holding one at all. There is no logical reason why you should waste anyone's valuable time; as it costs the company money with every wasted second.

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. Check out these statistics that drive our point home:

  • 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. Yet, there is no sign that businesses are decreasing their team meeting times. This may be because the indicators seem worlds apart.

If you're currently saying to yourself "these surveys are done in (insert country) and therefore do not affect my business. My situation is completely different." Stop now! It's always beneficial to try and apply the situation to yourself.

So let's shed some light onto your case. Follow the simple formula below:

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 he once sat in a meeting that 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.

No! We're not suggesting you stop collaborating with your team. But we do recommend a software that supports your team's productivity, helps you get things done, and run more purposeful team meetings.

Try Weekdone with your team. It's free for teams of 3 or less. And for larger companies you can get a 2-week FREE trial! Invite your team: collaborate in your goal setting, set up weekly tasks, and track progress toward goals without calling a meeting. As a team leader with Weekdone, you can monitor how everyone is doing on individual, team, and company levels. Weekdone uses the simple Plans, Progress, and Problems methodology to weekly planning and reporting.

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.

We know that with the right tools and mindset, you'll be on your way to a healthy balance of teamwork and meetings!