Meeting fatigue is a problem that many remote workers face. Learn how to minimize it and reclaim productivity.
In order to limit the effects of virtual meeting fatigue, you need to schedule meetings that are short and focused on goals and priorities. You also need to make sure you take enough breaks.
Have an agenda and clearly defined purpose
Having an agenda and clearly defined purpose for meetings can help you keep everyone engaged, and keep discussions on track. In addition, an agenda can save your team time and effort by letting them know what’s going on before they get to the meeting.
Whether your meetings are in-person or virtual, having an agenda makes them easier to manage. It also ensures that all attendees know the purpose of the meeting and what you expect from them during it.
A good agenda should include only business that the group needs to address. Avoid any items that aren’t related to the topic, unless they can be done in a separate conversation.
The agenda should be prepared well in advance of the meeting, and it should start with a call to order followed by the Chair saying, “The meeting will come to order.” This signal helps to ensure that attendees are ready to begin the meeting on schedule.
When you prepare the agenda, be sure to consider which items should come first and which items should be put off until later. This way, you can make sure that the discussion is focused and that all business is completed.
If there are any items on the agenda that don’t seem to be addressing the group’s needs, ask team members for suggestions and explain your reasoning to them. Then, create an agenda that is based on what you heard and what your group needs.
Include only the necessary people
Including only the necessary people in meetings is an important way to avoid meeting fatigue. This can help you ensure the meeting is productive and that everyone can benefit from attending it.
It can also help you reduce the time it takes for a meeting to run smoothly and efficiently. Having only the necessary people in a meeting can also help keep distractions at bay, as well as allow participants to focus their attention on the agenda.
Another way to avoid meeting fatigue is to include a time limit on each discussion topic. This will prevent attendees from spending too much time on each item and from extending the meeting beyond its intended length.
In addition, a clearly defined purpose will help attendees see whether the meeting is successful or not. This will help them determine whether they should continue with the meeting or if it is time to move on to other matters.
Finally, a questions-based approach to meetings can help bring focus and engagement to the discussions. It also helps teams build a culture of learning, non-complacency, and taking reasonable risks.
It is important to have a clear agenda before sending out meeting invites. It should include the date and time, the venue, and who will be involved in the meeting. It should also list any action items that need to be addressed in the meeting. This will help people prepare for the meeting and avoid missing any necessary materials.
Schedule shorter meetings
When people sit in a long meeting, they are often distracted and can’t focus on the conversation. They may even be physically tired from sitting in a room that’s noisy and uncomfortable.
If you can find a way to schedule shorter meetings, it will help prevent people from becoming fatigued in the middle of a long one. In addition, it will allow time for breaks between meetings.
Several studies have found that people can only pay attention to things for about 18 minutes before they begin to check out. This is because the brain requires large amounts of oxygen and glucose to process new information.
The best way to make sure your team stays focused is to make sure that all meetings are brief and specific. This means ensuring that you clearly define the purpose of the meeting and include questions about the topics to be discussed.
This will ensure that your team will come prepared and have an easy time getting to the point of discussion. In addition, it will reduce the likelihood that someone will omit important facts or viewpoints, which can make it difficult for a discussion to be fruitful.
Shorter meetings can also be beneficial if you work with a remote team. Back-to-back meetings can cause stress and burn out for your team members. Keeping meetings short will alleviate this and promote mental health, which can help everyone to feel happier and more productive.
Avoid the noon hour
The noon hour is a popular time for meetings, but it’s not the best time to have one. Studies show that workers are most productive in the morning, when their brains are still fresh and they have plenty of energy to devote to the task at hand. However, it’s also important to keep in mind that many employees are on the go at this time of day.
If you do have a meeting during this time, consider incorporating technology into the mix that will allow employees to work around the clock and keep their productivity up. For example, create a Wiki or FAQ sheet so that teams can communicate with each other efficiently.
Ideally, you’ll want to have meetings on a schedule that will keep your team engaged and happy throughout the week. This is a great way to avoid having meetings that are long and boring.
In order to make these meetings a success, managers need to plan ahead and keep track of which ones are most effective at delivering the most value to the business. By evaluating the needs of each team member and establishing priorities, you’ll be able to make more informed decisions about the number of meetings that are necessary.
The most successful companies have figured out how to keep their teams happy by scheduling meetings that are fun, entertaining and useful. These may include fun activities such as a wacky icebreaker game or a lighthearted discussion about the company’s goals and objectives.
Avoid Friday afternoons
One of the easiest ways to minimize meetings is to nix Friday afternoons altogether. While Friday is an excellent day for catching up on work done during the week, scheduling back-to-back meetings at this time can be a recipe for disaster. The latest research shows that workers who have back-to-back meetings are less productive than those who take a break from the office every now and again.
Fortunately, many employers are taking notice and introducing meeting-free days or even entire weeks. For example, Allianz has a ‘Silent Friday’ program where no meetings are scheduled between 9 and 12 o’clock in an effort to promote employee health and wellbeing. Other examples include Zoom’s ‘Zoom free’ afternoons or their ‘Zoom free’ Mondays and Thursdays. While the new no meetings rule may sound like a good idea on paper, it can be hard to enforce on a busy schedule. As a result, you’ll have to be a bit clever in order to make it work. In the meantime, if you can’t avoid the office on Fridays, be sure to use your PTO wisely.
Be considerate of times zones
Time zone differences are a common challenge for global teams, particularly when it comes to meeting schedules. For example, if you’re based in Boston and have colleagues in California, you may struggle to find a time that works for both groups of people.
The best way to avoid this is by being considerate of time zones when scheduling meetings and calls. This includes making sure everyone knows what time the meeting will be held, and it’s important to include all of the relevant time zones.
In addition, consider asking your team to share their work hours with you so that you can schedule meetings around those times. This helps keep your meeting schedule more flexible and avoids misunderstandings.
It’s also a good idea to minimize the number of emails and messages you send after regular work hours. This helps ensure that your global teammates can focus on their day-to-day tasks.
If you’re not able to avoid sending emails and messages after standard work hours, it’s best to do so during office hours or on weekends. This gives your colleagues a chance to read the email or message at their leisure and reply at a time that is more convenient for them.
Managing time zone fatigue isn’t an easy task, but it can be done with a few simple strategies. By following these tips, you can help your team stay productive and engaged in all of their meetings.