Meetings have been getting a pretty bad rap these days, and it feels like we might have forgotten why meetings came to be in the first place. They’re ideally created to block off time for collaboration and brainstorming, but all too often they transform into dreadful time locks with the same people talking about the same topics over and over again, breaking up workflow and downgrading productivity levels.

It’s time to say bye to unproductive meetings — start meeting better and smarter with Lifesize.

For American businesses alone, an average of $37 billion is spent attending and facilitating meetings. With an average of 31 hours a work month spent in the meeting room (half of which attendees report as a waste of time), what can we do to use that time more wisely and in a more productive fashion?

Tips and Tricks to Having a Productive Meeting

Determine if a meeting is really the best way to relay the information you need to share

Blocking off an hour with the whole team every time you need a question answered might not be the smartest and most effective way to get things done in the workplace. Before you go ahead and send that invite, ask yourself, “Can this be answered in a chat, email or a quick video call?”

Set up shorter meeting times

This encourages your meeting members to skip the small talk and get straight to the point. Thirty-minute meetings also seem less intense and intimidating than full hour-long meetings, and they give you time to send follow-up emails and prepare for your next call. If you’re a Lifesize user, you can learn a lot about your company’s average meeting time in the Admin Console.

Send a meeting agenda in advance

An agenda keeps people focused on what’s being discussed and gives attendees time to prepare their contributions to the meeting ahead of time instead of wasting valuable time tracking down data on the spot.

Use the 2/3 rule

When you make that meeting agenda and start pulling together attendees, make sure every person in the meeting is involved in at least two of the three things that are being discussed. That way, people don’t feel like they’re sitting in on a meeting where they aren’t needed. 

Use meeting room technology

Don’t fret when emergency doctor’s appointments come up or meeting times overlap. Virtual meeting rooms allow you to invite the right people to your meetings no matter where they’re located. And with a video conferencing solution like Lifesize, you can record your video meetings and share the recap so no one has to miss out on the content being discussed.

Meetings don’t have to suck. Give these meeting room best practices a try and show your teams what a productive meeting experience can look like with the right tools and collaborative mind-set.