Let’s face it: workers spend a lot of time in meetings. In fact, a recent survey from Officebroker.com revealed that workers in the UK spend 16 hours in meetings each week, which adds up to a whopping 200 hours each year.
While the statistics may be based on workers in the UK, it’s safe to say that this trend is common in business environments around the world. If you constantly find yourself sending or accepting meeting requests, attending the aforementioned meetings and then wondering why you didn’t accomplish more in those meetings, here are three simple tips to help maximize your and your team members’ time.
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1) One is Not a Magic Number
While the one-hour time block fits neatly into an Outlook calendar, meetings aren’t like a television schedule. There is no cardinal rule that requires them to take up the same space as a prime-time show.
Rather than a weekly meeting to address upcoming work, think about how much time you really need. Can you have a 15-minute session? Or does the meeting actually warrant even more time?
2) Optional is Optimal
Sure, you want everyone to feel like they’re a part of the team, but some employees may have pressing deadlines or issues that deserve their time more than an hour of discussion. Be sure to stay informed about what’s currently on your employees’ plates. If those plates are full, give them the option to stay at their desks, on their phones or wherever they need to be to help your organization.
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3) Leave the Office in the Dust
Want to really inspire creativity? If your meeting is longer, consider getting everyone out of their comfort zones, and look for an off-site location that wakes up your employees. A recent survey of 2,000 workers conducted by UK-based office refurbishment company Overbury found that 50 percent of respondents found their office settings did not inspire staff to be creative.