10 surprising facts about meetings
July 10, 2019 / Productivity / Greg Atkinson
Before calling or attending your next meeting, have a look at these 10 surprising facts. They can help make your meetings more productive (or less frequent)!
1. 15 mins is the optimal meeting time
Longer meetings don’t get more done. The average person’s attention span is only 18 minutes, so keep things short.
2) Setting timers really works
Set a timer to keep the meeting to its allocated time. Having a set period within which to get things done significantly increases motivation, decreases interruptions, and enhances concentration.
3) Controlled meetings are crucial
Having an agenda and sticking to it is fundamental for a productive meeting. It ensures everything that needs to get done is done, and superfluous discussions are minimised.
4) Standing increases teamwork
Standing gets people more excited about the creative group process, and encourages more sharing of opinions.
5) 8 18 1800 is the optimal number of attendees
No more than
8 – to solve a problem or make a decision
18 – for brainstorming
1800 – when rallying the troops
6) Passive observers don’t get much out of meetings
Meetings are only useful when the person is actively Participating in the Decision Making process. If the person is not crucial to PDM, don’t waste their time by having them there.
7) Environment matters
Open, attractive spaces increase engagement and lead to better decision making. Space, lighting, ventilation, and visual stimuli can all make a big difference.
8) Handwritten notes are better
Because writing is slower than typing, it requires active listening and the filtering and capturing of only important data.
9) Billions lost to pointless meetings
Pointless meetings will cost US companies $399 billion and UK companies $58 billion in 2019. Don’t fall into the same trap!
10) Results of good meetings can be felt 2.5 years later
Companies who get meetings right can reap the rewards of good decision making for years to come.
So, what do these facts teach us? For a truly productive meeting, limit the number of attendees. Have an agenda that is manageable within 15 minutes. Gather the troops in a nice open area (try the gardens for an extra boost of Vit D). Encourage everyone to stand and make notes in small notebooks. Then watch the savings and benefits of a well-conducted meeting roll in!