If you've ever sat in a boardroom, smirking at the irony of your boredom, you'll agree that meetings can be a killer of all things creative and productive. Thankfully, sending the world into lockdown provided a hiatus from those micro-managing 'leaders' who insist on getting the team together for a meeting about a meeting, savouring the sound of their own voices or passing the baton from one drone to another.
One thing that Covid has proved is that we are actually amazing specimens, capable of managing our own time, producing stuff without the big cheese over our shoulder and, well... getting on with it. We’ve found new ways of doing things and, in many cases, enjoyed the flexibility. Replacing an early morning traffic jam with a jog or a coffee ride (you know who you are), and by figuring out tools called Zoom, Teams, Monday.com and Telegram, we’ve revolutionised the archaic 8-5 office regimen for good.
Enter Mr Zoom addict.
“That meeting could have been an e-mail” is alive and revived and now worse than ever. Back-to-back ‘jumping’ onto Zoom meetings has created a new monster in the workplace and Zoom fatigue emerges.
Although we provide clients with great solutions, tools and techniques for effective online and remote working, many managers seem to skip a crucial first step: Does this need to be a meeting?
So, before you head on over to your favourite meeting tab, ask yourself a few questions like:
- Does a decision need to be made?
- Do we have all the information we need?
- Do we need to talk through ideas and solutions?
- Is there anything new to report?
- Who really needs to be there?
- Can the information be communicated in a brief e-mail?
- Will this meeting build staff morale and camaraderie?
- What about a swift phone call?
- Have you tried any other means of communicating? (A video conference or online meeting should be your last resort).
- Is there not a better way to communicate the idea?
Weekly meetings, status updates, exco meetings, our calendars are overlapping with Zoom links, and Teams invites, but very often the meeting is futile and mostly just a waste of time and money. Think about the cost of your entire team sitting in a weekly status update for 40 minutes, when honestly that could have been an old-school email, phone call or, if you must – voice note.