— 5 min read

What is the fastest way to waste 10 productive hours at work? Invite 10 people to a 1-hour meeting. And while this may sound like a joke, $37 billion is spent every year on unproductive meetings. This is not just lost income: big part of it is wasted money. Still, the number of meetings is increasing every year. In 1974 there was 11 million meeting held every year in the US, by 2014, this number rose to 55 million.

If you are like me and want to do more at work than burn cash and hold unproductive meetings, you need to learn to live with as few meetings as possible and make the most of the meetings you absolutely must have.

Bringing status update meetings online.

One of the most common reasons for meetings it the "status update" meeting where team members share what they've done over the week. And while these meetings were necessary 30 years ago, hardly ever is any information shared in these meetings that couldn't be communicated faster in real time online.

By now millennials and younger employees make up the biggest chunk of employees. These are people for whom Facebook, Twitter and social sharing is an integral part of life. It only makes sense to take advantage of this, use an online status reporting tool and save hours every week.

Reporting tools like Weekdone allow you to achieve all the benefits that are usually ascribed to meetings. Weekdone promotes socializing without unnecessary time-wasting banter. It allows to brainstorm and share ideas without sitting in the same room. It lets you achieve better teamwork without playing old-school team-building games.

How does Weekdone work?

Weekdone combines weekly status reporting with Objectives and Key Results to make sure your weekly tasks align with your long-term goals. You have a personal page that you fill in at least once per week. That lets your co-workers and manager know what you're working on at any given moment and how it impact your personal, team's and company's goals. Having this info accessible online will reduce the needs for a lot of meetings.

Moreover, Weekdone provides:

  • accountability – you know exactly who is responsible for which task. It is easy to measure and grade results, assign tasks, find solutions, and provide feedback;
  • transparency – you can be sure that the information you receive is both relevant and accurate. Every step of your work is reflected in these reports, which makes for a smoother work process;
  • means to set goals – no team can call itself effective without a proper plan laid out before it. With everyone's objectives clear, you can work together towards a greater goal.

Handling weekly 1-1 meetings with ease.

You can use the same online solution to handle a second type of meeting: the 1-on-1 meeting with an employee. If you're afraid, online collaboration is not as effective than face-to—face time, then know that According to recent series of studies by M.I.T. scientists, there is no difference whether a team worked face to face or online.

The third reason for meetings is the need to discuss some decision that needs to be made. And this is a valid reason for a meeting as there are many things you can't decide alone. But when you're absolutely sure that you need to call a meeting, make sure to follow strict guidelines to minimize the negative impact that meeting may have.

A (sometimes) necessary evil.

There are some meeting you must have. And there are some meetings that are have real value to your company. However, unless you plan your meetings, focus on result and solve some problems online, they'll become distractions that just waste your precious time.

If you want to learn more, take a look at Weekdone's guide to 1-1 meetings or try out Weekdone now and save hours every week.