We have all been there, questioning why we are sitting in a meeting that could have been an email instead. Over the past year with more companies incorporating zooms and work from home staff it feels like the number of those "Could've been an Email" have skyrocketed. Maybe it's due to the fact employers want to make sure staff are staying engaged with the company, maybe they want to help employees feel connected, whatever the reason good or bad it's resulted in one thing, BURNOUT.
Some companies have begun looking at ways to alleviate the fatigue by instituting caps on meeting times or eliminating them all together on certain days. Citigroup recently passed an internal moratorium for Zoom Free Fridays. Another company recently set limits that meetings cannot exceed 45 minutes, the remaining 15 minutes are to be used by staff to get up and walk away from their computers for a break.
Here are some other ways you can help you and your staff combat the meeting fatigue:
Define the purpose of the meeting. Why are you having it and who does it benefit? Is the purpose of the meeting a productive use of your team's time? Can the information be distributed in other manners or does it require discussion?
What's the cost of the meeting? Many leaders forget to take into account that each meeting is carving time out of your staff's day that they can be working on other projects. So does the value of the meeting outweigh the time spent away from completing other work?
Still feel the meeting is needed? Send around the agenda prior and cover the information to be discussed. This will help your team know what to bring and plan out their roles in the meeting allowing for a more effective use of everyone's time.
And remember if you are thinking that this could have been an email, chances are your staff feel the same way, don't hold meetings just for the sake of holding them!