Let's Not Meet - Executives Believe One-Quarter of Meetings Are Unnecessary, Survey Shows



    TORONTO, May 12 /CNW/ - Professionals should think twice before
scheduling that next meeting, a survey suggests. Managers interviewed said 25
per cent of these gatherings are a waste of time. Moreover, four out of 10 (41
per cent) respondents felt employees would be more productive if their company
banned meetings one day a week.
    The survey was developed by OfficeTeam, a leading staffing service
specializing in the placement of highly skilled administrative professionals.
It was conducted by an independent research firm and includes responses from
100 senior executives across Canada.
    Executives were asked, "What percentage of meetings do you feel are
unnecessary?" The average response was 25 per cent.
    Executives also were asked, "How much more or less productive do you
believe your employees would be if your company banned meetings one day a
week?" Their responses:

    
    Much more productive...............................................   11%
    Somewhat more productive...........................................   30%
    No change..........................................................   57%
    Don't know/no answer...............................................    2%
                                                                        -----
                                                                         100%
    

    "Businesses are operating with lean teams, which implies more people are
stretched for time," said Robert Hosking, executive director of OfficeTeam.
"Sometimes meetings outlive their original purpose, so professionals should
carefully consider whether one is warranted or if there's a more efficient way
to share the information."
    Hosking added, "The adage, 'Be brief, be brilliant, be gone,' rings
particularly true in the workplace right now. Meeting organizers and
participants both play a role in keeping these gatherings in check."

    OfficeTeam offers five signs that a meeting could be a "time waster":

    
    1.  Everything but the kitchen sink is being covered. It's wise to have
        an agenda, but one that is lengthy or unfocused could indicate that
        not all of the information will be relevant to every attendee. When
        the agenda becomes too long, organizers should consider whether it
        would be better to hold smaller, more focused gatherings.
    2.  It'll take more than an hour. You often lose people after 60 minutes,
        so think carefully about scheduling a meeting that will take more
        than an hour of someone's time. If there's no way to condense,
        consider snacks, interactive elements or multiple speakers to keep
        people engaged.
    3.  The attendee list goes on and on. When a participant list is
        extensive, it may signal an overly ambitious meeting, or one where
        people are being invited as a courtesy, rather than because they need
        to attend. If you're organizing the meeting, be sure to list people
        as "optional" if their presence isn't required.
    4.  There's a large PowerPoint deck involved. Visuals can be useful for
        reinforcing information, but it's possible much of that information
        could be shared prior to the meeting. The gathering then could be
        used to field questions or highlight the most important data.
    5.  It's a habit. Routine meetings can become, well, routine. Think about
        whether regular gatherings are necessary or could be held less
        frequently.
    

    "Meeting participants who notice these signs should confirm with the host
that their attendance is required and, if so, offer ideas for keeping the
meeting efficient," said Hosking.

    About OfficeTeam

    OfficeTeam provides businesses with the highly skilled administrative
professionals they need to maximize productivity, achieve cost efficiency and
support existing staff. The staffing firm has more than 325 locations
worldwide and offers online job search services at www.officeteam.com.





For further information:

For further information: Kristie Perrotte, (416) 350-2330,
kristie.perrotte@rhi.com


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