In theory, holding regular company meetings makes sense. It’s a good opportunity for everyone to check in and brainstorm. But, more often than not, meetings only waste your precious time and money.
And that’s not just my opinion. According to one study, professionals lose about 31 hours every month due to unproductive meetings. That’s nearly a full workweek! What’s more, a survey by Microsoft found that 71 percent of U.S. respondents believe their meetings aren’t productive. It’s estimated that $37 billion is lost every year due to useless meetings.
That’s not to say that collaboration isn’t important. You need a way to bounce ideas off one another and facilitate communication between your teams — it’s how you turn ideas into actions.
So what’s the key to a more meaningful meeting? The solution is enterprise collaboration software.
Change the Way You Meet
By working within an enterprise collaboration platform, you’re still essentially having meetings, but the difference is that these “meetings” don’t require your team members to be in the same room or participate at the same time. This corrects a number of problems that pointless meetings present, including:
- Off-topic discussions: Traditional meetings often veer off topic, but when you’re having a discussion through blog comments, people tend to stay on subject and communicate more concisely.
- Lost productivity: In face-to-face meetings, there’s always that one person who turns up late or not at all. Working within an enterprise collaboration platform means team members can contribute to the discussion on their own time.
- Dominating voices: One or two people often dominate a meeting, but the loudest voices aren’t always the most useful. Working in a collaboration platform gives everyone’s voice equal weight.
- Fear of decision-making: Key data and information isn’t always available during meetings, so crucial decisions can’t be made. When you use a collaboration platform, all the necessary information is stored and shared via the platform, which encourages people to make actionable decisions.
- Repetition: Working within a social collaboration platform prevents the same meetings from happening over and over again because discussions are stored within the system. You can see what decisions resulted from the discussion and how well they worked. This record keeps everyone accountable and action-oriented.
Enterprise collaboration software also facilitates constant communication and brainstorming. There’s no reason to drop everything and meet face-to-face when team members can catch up over the web. In particular, social tools in the software make communication easy via blogs, microblogs, comments, and wikis. These platforms also allow your team members to see what everyone is working on, stay updated, assign work, and provide feedback. That way, employees are still communicating and tracking progress, but they don’t have to interrupt their work to talk about it.
Keep Productivity Top of Mind
Not only does enterprise collaboration software streamline communication, but it also saves time by reducing the need for meetings. And even when you do have meetings, they’ll be more productive. Here are three ways using an enterprise collaboration platforms fosters productivity:
- It streamlines document distribution. When you can store prep documents on a platform, they can be circulated before the meeting and accessed at any time during or afterwards. This way, you don’t have to spend time printing documents and circulating them by hand.
- It simplifies note-taking. Instead of having team members take their own notes, one team member can type notes directly into a wiki. This is especially useful when you’re drafting documents or brainstorming. After the meeting, each teammate can easily access all the information.
- It allows for efficient knowledge sharing. Once stored on the platform, all outcomes, decisions, and documents from a meeting can be easily shared with absent team members, utilized by key decision makers, and referenced during future meetings.
Traditional meetings aren’t just counterproductive and wasteful; they’re obsolete. How do you expect to get anything done if you’re sitting in meetings all day? Enterprise collaboration software streamlines virtually every aspect of a meeting. With all its benefits, you’ll be hard-pressed to think of reasons to have meetings at all.
Susanna James is a copywriter and marketing executive at HighQ, an enterprise cloud collaboration company that has been recognized by the Deloitte Fast 50 and Sunday Times Tech Top100 as one of the fastest-growing technology companies in the UK.