Today’s office meetings are vastly different from how they used to be. Decades ago, people would simply go into a meeting and listen to a speaker discuss important topics. With the advent of technology and better planning, meetings have become much more interactive. See how the tradition of the office meeting has changed, and take a look at what has been done to improve efficiency and interactivity in office meetings.
Office meetings have a reputation for often being long, but in recent years, more focus has been placed on better planning. Before a meeting is held, the person in charge will typically build a specific agenda so everyone knows exactly what to talk about without going off track. Topics are usually ranked by level of importance, so people know what can be dropped if there isn’t enough time to discuss everything.
Office employees have also discovered that meetings run much smoother when the right participants are involved. Bringing in too many people can make a meeting run much slower, since you need to bring everyone up to speed on topics they may not understand.
Technology Improves Engagement
One of the issues with office meetings is that most of the time one person takes charge, and the other participants are expected to listen and take notes. This lack of engagement makes it hard for workers to get invested in what is being discussed. Fortunately, advances in technology have made office meetings more engaging, improving their effectiveness.
Larger display screens and audio systems allow presenters to showcase key points to large groups of people without the fear of someone missing important information. With phone apps, you can even build quizzes into your presentations to ask workers for their feedback on a certain topic. These systems are user-friendly too, so anyone can use them easily.
The Benefits of Online Scheduling
Something that consistently delays meetings is the one person who shows up late, or the person who forgets about the meeting entirely. This is understandable in some regards; workers have such big workloads that it can be easy to forget meeting times. Fortunately, the advent of online scheduling services has mitigated this problem today.
With the tools offered in services like Google Mail, you can set up a meeting on your calendar and invite participants all at once. An email will be sent to the participants, letting them know exactly when the meeting is. You can even get reminder emails before a meeting begins.
Other tools let people work together to set up an ideal meeting time when conflicting schedules are an issue, which removes headaches.
The Advent of Offsite Meetings
We are at a point where we can hold office meetings at any time, even when someone who needs to participate isn’t in the office. Thanks to webcams and video services, people who can’t make it into the office can still participate in a meeting if they have to work from home. Now workers don’t have to play catch up by asking others for crucial details they missed from an important meeting.
This is especially helpful when you need to meet with out of state clients. Now you can communicate with them directly, and can even show them specific updates you have by sharing computer screens. These improvements in communication have allowed businesses to gain new clients they never could have worked with decades ago.
We Know When a Meeting Isn’t Necessary
The biggest change with meetings in recent years comes with our ability to quickly share information. How many meetings have you participated in that were so short you questioned the point of having it? Over time, we’ve come to realize that we don’t need to hold a meeting every time information needs to be shared.
Thanks to emails and instant messaging services, people can quickly share information with coworkers and clients without needing to set up a meeting. This gives employees more time to focus on important assignments they need to finish. Of course, this doesn’t mark the end of office meetings; they are still needed when information needs to be shared with a large group of employees and clients.