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Online Meeting Overload

Are your employees expected to attend too many meetings in their day to day job? Could this be demotivating your employees? Are we really addicted to meetings and is it a form of control?

In a recent survey done with a pool of managers, they felt that 83% of the meetings they are required to attend were unproductive.

When employees’ daily calendars are crammed with meeting after meeting, whether it is face to face or via Zoom or other virtual source, employees are losing a chunk of their daily working hours, this can cause them to feel demotivated and also stressed as then they do not have the time to do their actual work.

Since the Coronavirus pandemic online meetings have increased dramatically, it is all to easy now to quickly schedule a Zoom, Teams or similar call between employees.

Employers are now spending a lot more time, money and effort into their employee wellbeing and mental heath, ensuring they are providing support to employees if they need it, however requiring employees to be in constant meetings, where a huge chunk of their time is taken up, can be having a negative impact on their wellbeing.  Employees can feel drained and stressed having to attend so many meetings in a day, which leaves them with little time to do their actual work, which can result in late working or missing deadlines.

Why so many meetings?

According to previous research, employees fear if they do not attend every meeting they are invited to then they will be black marked or judged in the workplace and even possibly forgotten about and not included in future meetings. Therefore, employees can feel pressured to attend all meetings, even if this puts extra pressure on themselves.

Employees can assist themselves in eliminating these fears by managing how many meetings they attend. If there is a meeting that they can not attend, then they could send apologies for the meeting, but still send any input or information they have that they feel is beneficial for the meeting.

Organisers of meetings have a responsibility to ensure they are only inviting those who need to be at the meeting and can add value, as inviting employees to meetings they do not need to attend is really a waste of their time and not a good use of resources.

By inviting everyone to a meeting to get ideas or discuss a topic, this does not necessarily mean it will be more productive the more people that are there, sometimes less is more. Meeting organisers can always identify the key employees required for a meeting, and if required ask others, who are not invited to the meeting, to submit any comments or opinions they may have prior to the meeting and these can be discussed to.

No meeting zone

A good way of reducing meeting overload for employees, is to introduce a no meeting zone, this is when employees’ calendars are blocked out, and no meetings are to be held during these times. This has been trialled in several organisations and works well as employees know they have this time to be pro-actively working and meetings will not be arranged during this time.

Tips for scheduling meetings:

  • Schedule meetings in advance where possible to save interrupting employees work.
  • Find mutually convenient times by looking in employees’ calendars to see availability, most email programmes have this function for you to use.
  • Cancel a meeting if it is felt the benefits don’t outweigh the downsides.
  • Keep the meetings a brief as possible

If you would like more information on managing employee well-being and performance, contact our specialists today.

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