The dreaded conference call...
Remember heading to the meeting room and crowding around the speakerphone in the middle of the table? The robotic automated voice telling you that someone is about to join the call? There was nothing quite like the embarrassment of forgetting to press “mute” before saying something about the boss, or suddenly hearing your name and realising that you hadn't been listening to anything anyone had said for the past 10 minutes.
Some businesses still insist on doing this despite the fact that conference calling has become a lot more sophisticated in recent times. The video conferencing software now provided by numerous technology companies allows our fellow attendees to see us in varying states of presentability and with all manner of possible interruptions. And the video conference puts us on display and makes us permanently alert in a way that audio conferencing never could.
Avoiding the conference call is an office artform, but sometimes the meeting must go on. If you follow our tips you’ll soon be on the path to conducting better meetings out of the office. And if you’re still not convinced, we have a solution.
Our tips on conducting better meetings
- Consider whether you really need to have a meeting. Ask yourself if the meeting’s objectives could be fulfilled in any other way.
- Streamline the agenda. Make sure that only salient points are covered in the meeting by determining clear objectives.
- Are the correct people attending the meeting? Your attendees are giving up their time, so make sure you bring the energy.
Avoid the meeting
Getting everyone together at exactly the same time, despite different commitments, locations and time zones can be extremely difficult and frustrating. That’s why an online workspace such as Dropbox Paper can negate the need for conference calling and ad hoc meetings.
Paper makes it easy for teams and collaborators to view, coordinate and contribute to a project in its entirety with real-time updates. Reducing the number of meetings we have while increasing our productivity is just one of the many actions we can take to create a more efficient workplace.
City A.M. and our partner Dropbox have collaborated on an editorial series which explores better ways of working. Read more at: cityam.com/workinflow.