Make the most of your next meeting

Love them or hate them meetings are part of working life but there are ways to make them more productive, and less, how can we put it... painful. Here are our top tips:

Tip 1

What is the point? There needs to be a reason for the meeting and people need to know the objectives in advance. Send round an agenda a few days prior, this will give people the chance to do their homework first so they can interact.

Tip 2

Stand up. Yep, no snoozing while you listen to the boss ramble on. Standing up makes people think creatively and stops meetings dragging on, and on, and on... you could even adopt one of the newest trends, having a meeting while you walk. Not only do you boost your daily step count, your meeting will be energised!

Tip 3

Create the right environment – no-one wants to go to a meeting in a boring old meeting room. Be creative and think about how your office is planned out. Is there space for an open, more sociable meeting? Can you have a more private meeting if needed? For tips and ideas on planning your space, check out our modern furniture feature on page six of our Office Life Autum Issue.

Tip 4

Involve everyone. We love 3M’s giant Post-It® notes for brainstorming – they’ll help even the most retiring of people get their voices heard. A useful way to start a brainstorming session is to remind everyone that there are no bad ideas. Attendees are not allowed to shoot down an idea and if an idea comes up more than once, it means it could be a good one!

Tip 5

Be creative – check out the roll of film online  that lets you turn a whole wall into a giant white board (we so want one of these for home too!). Visualising ideas through mind maps is ideal on large surfaces like this and will keep your team on board with your thought process.

Tip 6

Set a time limit - and when the time is up, call it a day, you have lost your participants’ attention after about 45 minutes so anything longer is pointless. Meetings can often start with people catching up from different departments, you could consider starting a meeting five minutes early to allow for a quick catchup, which doesn’t eat into your productive time.