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Insights: Make meetings great again

Do you ever suffer from Zoom fatigue? 💻🧟 This phenomenon refers to the tiredness and exhaustion that can arise from participating in frequent and lengthy video conferences. Curious about how we're trying to improve our meeting culture? Find out here!

Author: itesys AG |
 read time: 3 min.

Bye, Zoom Fatigue!

The pandemic has left its mark on us, both positively and negatively.

Home office became the norm, improving work-life balance by saving commute time, and our beloved pets couldn't have been happier... at least, we hope so!

On the flip side, the increased focus on meetings led to a culture of excessive exchange, often overshadowing key points such as the purpose and objectives of the meetings. Time wasted in meetings is not only costly and unproductive but also negatively impacts well-being. Not even humming the song "Endboss" and replacing the word "level" with "meeting" can change that.

Many of us found ourselves grappling with 10 to 15 meetings per week, averaging 30 to 45 minutes each. While only about 10% of meetings were perceived as unproductive, our employee survey revealed a general dissatisfaction with the meeting culture.

We decided: let’s make Meetings great again!

Here are our top three tips:

  1. Shorten the meeting duration
    Setting a generous meeting duration often leads to it being fully utilized, even after all the essential agenda items have been addressed.
  2. Use Timeboxing
    Defining a timebox for each agenda item ensures that it is completed promptly, without taking longer than necessary.
  3. Stick to the agenda
    Share the agenda in advance, preferably with the Teams invitation. Any off-topic discussions can be postponed for later.

Absolutely, you're getting it! It's all about you and your agenda:

Meeting Agenda Checklist:

  • The goal is named
  • All topics are listed
  • Agenda items are listed according to their priority
  • Each topic has a designated duration #timeboxing
  • Send agenda with the meeting invitation

The I DO ARRT Method

How to sail on a safe course? Try it with I DO ARRT - a simple tool for effective meetings.

(I) Intention
Why are we meeting? What is the purpose of the meeting?

(DO) Desired Outcomes
What do we want to have achieved by the end of the meeting?

(A) Agenda
What activities are planned to achieve the goal?

(R) Roles
What roles are needed besides the moderator and note-taker? Can every person in the group contribute something to the meeting?

(R) Rules
The Meeting Etiquette provides you with some self-explanatory rules:

  • Always comment on "accept" or "decline with comments"
  • No meeting without preparation
  • The agenda must be included!
  • Be punctual
  • Be attentive
  • Let others speak
  • Stick to the topic
  • Avoid disruptions
  • Respect the time frame
  • The host is the moderator

(T) Time
How long will the meeting last? Are breaks to be scheduled? How much time do we need for each agenda item? #timeboxing #throwback

We've learned that preparation is crucial. However, if no one follows up afterward, essential content is simply lost, there is no accountability, and meetings end up being meaningless again. Our final tip:

Meeting Minutes are your lifesaver!

They are a written summary of the meeting and should capture the key points and decisions made during the meeting. Before the meeting starts, it must be decided who is responsible for taking the meeting minutes. This can be done at the beginning of the meeting or even during the creation of the meeting agenda.

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