Infographic: 9 ways to make meetings more productive

Choosing unusual start and end times, banning electronic devices and limiting the amount of attendees will not only make your meetings more efficient, but help you have a better workday.

There are many things that inevitably happen when you work in an office.

A few of them include suffering the foul odor of a co-worker’s lunch, making awkward small talk at the watercooler and trying not to freeze when the air conditioning is set too cold.

Though these occurrences are frustrating, there is one aspect of the workplace that seems to anger people more than any other: inefficient meetings.

According to an infographic from CT Business Travel, workers spend 31 hours in unproductive meetings every month. In the United States, organizations cumulatively lose $37 billion each year due to unproductive powwows.

Something must be done to make meetings more effective, and the infographic offers nine suggestions.

You might have a heard a few of them before, such as distributing an agenda before the meeting or assigning someone to keep everyone on topic. Others, however, are a bit unconventional. For example:

  • Choose start and end times that mimic a train schedule. If your co-workers struggle to meet on time, schedule meetings as if they were departing trains, like 9:27 a.m. or 1:36 p.m. This will encourage attendees to pay close attention to the clock.
  • Limit the amount of attendees. Keep meetings between four to seven people, and invite only those who can make important contributions about the topic at hand.
  • Go device-free. Banning laptops, smartphones and tablets from the room will keep distractions to a minimum.

What’s your advice for productive meetings?

Check out the infographic for more tips:

(View a larger image.)

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