Reimagining Workplace Meetings

Reimagining Workplace Meetings

The Problem of Over-Meeting

It’s another Monday morning and your calendar is already brimming with meeting invites. Sound familiar? Studies indicate that 70% of meetings keep employees from engaging in productive work. And let’s not forget that newly promoted managers are holding 29% more meetings than their seasoned counterparts. But hold your horses! The meeting dilemma is more than just a time sink; it's affecting employee wellbeing, including psychological safety. If you're stuck in a whirlwind of endless meetings and are feeling the toll it's taking on your wellbeing, this article is for you.

Meetings and Workplace Wellbeing: A Troubled Marriage

Ever thought about how meetings affect your overall wellbeing at work? It's no secret that too many meetings can leave you feeling drained, but it goes deeper than that. An overabundance of meetings can contribute to a culture of stress, affect your mental agility, and impact the core elements of wellbeing—Optimism, Resilience, Attitude, and even your 'Now' or mindfulness. Let's not forget the Gratitude you can feel for a fulfilling job, which also takes a hit.

The Surprising New Data on Meetings in the Remote Era

The pandemic has had an intriguing impact on meetings. On one hand, the average meeting length decreased by 20%, but on the other, the number of meetings attended by workers increased by 13.5%. Surprisingly, new managers are contributing to this problem. Research revealed that these eager individuals are holding more meetings, driven by the urge to connect digitally and make their presence felt. 

Ah, the paradox of connection in the Zoom era!

Why More Meetings Are Bad News

  1. Employee Burnout: An overload of meetings can lead to ‘Zoom fatigue,’ a major contributor to technostress.
  2. Decreased Productivity: Studies reveal that 92% of employees consider these interactions costly and unproductive.
  3. Low Psychological Safety: Meeting overloads impact workplace wellbeing, indirectly hampering initiatives like wellbeing programs and psychological safety in the workplace by causing employees to experience low job control.

What are The Benefits of Fewer Meetings: The Stats Don’t Lie!

Reducing meetings can have profound effects. Companies that cut back on meetings by 40% saw a whopping 71% increase in productivity and a 52% boost in employee satisfaction. It was even noted that removing 60% of meetings led to a 55% increase in cooperation. Beating burnout, anyone?

The Consequences on Wellbeing

Lack of Autonomy

Overbooked with meetings? Then, you're familiar with the feeling of having no control over your time. This lack of autonomy is detrimental to your emotional wellbeing and can contribute to increased stress levels.

Overwork and Burnout

Continuous meetings often mean work piles up, causing employees to work extra hours to meet deadlines, further encouraging a culture of overwork and burnout.

So, How Do We Fix It?

Mindfulness Over Multitasking

Let’s start with being present—Now, in the moment. As part of our O.R.A.N.G.E.S framework, mindfulness teaches us to focus on one task at a time. If a meeting is essential, be fully present rather than mentally ticking off your to-do list.

Cultivate Resilience

Another slice of our O.R.A.N.G.E.S toolkit—resilience—can help you bounce back from draining meetings. It teaches you to adapt, so you're better prepared mentally for any workplace challenge, be it an overload of meetings or looming deadlines.

Practical Tips to Declutter Your Meeting Schedule

Be Selective and Prioritise

New managers take note! Be highly selective about the meetings you hold. If a meeting isn't vital for reviewing work, clarifying things, or distributing tasks among your team, consider scrapping it. Give your employees the autonomy to cancel meetings that don't serve their needs, thereby enhancing their job satisfaction and psychological safety.

Transition to Slack or Teams for Daily Updates

Why not shift your daily status meetings to Slack or Teams? A 9:00 AM prompt can easily replace a 30-minute meeting, saving precious time for all. In fact, 83% of employees in a recent survey preferred these digital check-ins over traditional meetings. They're agile and efficient— which is what we’re all about!

Leverage Digital Tools for Asynchronous Collaboration

Tools like Mural, Miro, and even Canva can revolutionise the way we brainstorm. They facilitate asynchronous work, enabling you to cut your meeting time in half. Imagine the positive ripple effect that such an approach can have on your workplace's wellbeing.

How to Strike the Right Balance

Reducing meetings significantly can deliver remarkable benefits, but it's essential to find the sweet spot that works for your unique context. The data reveals that advantages plateau after a 60% reduction in meetings and even decline beyond that. So, keep a balance to ensure optimum levels of satisfaction, productivity, and engagement.

It’s time to take control. If you’re looking for a structured path to improving your team’s wellbeing and performance, explore the health and wellbeing programs that we offer. After all, wellbeing is not just a buzzword; it’s a critical business strategy.

By fine-tuning your meeting strategy, you're not just optimising time—you're enriching lives. So, are you ready to turn the tables on meetings and make every interaction truly count?

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