A major issue that arises with meetings is that they are typically not carefully planned; they are often mismanaged, interrupted, and suffer from a multi-tasking culture.
– Typically imprecise agenda, if any.
Why not make sure people know what the purpose of the meeting is and receive materials ahead of time?
– The manager explains his or her view on the matter at hand and then invites “other opinions”.
Why would employees contradict their boss in public? Smart managers ask everyone to talk and then share their opinions, last.
– Where is being late “a good” thing?
In many companies, the later you show up to the meeting, the “busier” you are. When a culture that correlates lateness with importance is prevalent, the company wastes thousands of employee hours on those who just sit around waiting for the “important” guys to show up.
– “Do you have a minute?”
This is probably one of the most wasteful sentences in corporate America. How can you get anything done if every few minutes someone knocks on your door and asks for “a minute”? (And, it’s never just one minute, is it?).
– “I need you urgently”
Even while meetings are being conducted they are interrupted, on more than one occasion, by someone who enters the room asking for one of the employees to step out and help out with “an emergency”.
– The cell phone always wins
And even if all goes well, and everyone arrives to the meeting, and there are no interruptions, laptops and cellphones mean that multitasking steals attention.
How can one deal with these issues, without “re-educating the workforce” and enforcing complicated measures and procedures?
Well, apparently, a single, great, simple action can do most of the work:
hold the meetings outside the office.
It seems that when an offsite meeting is scheduled, employees and managers take it seriously, since they know that the company is paying for the “offsite” meeting room. Meetings start on time, people come prepared, and they focus on the task at hand. And of course, since they are outside the office, those “urgent”, “do you have a minute?” interruptions don’t happen.
Other important points on the merits of offsite meetings:
1. Where do you do your best work?
Most of your best work and meetings happen outside the office.
You already know that when you have to do some meaningful work you typically step outside the office. The office environment is good for operations, but ill-designed for deliberation. It’s hard to brainstorm and think about the future when you’re busy putting out fires.
2. Offsite doesn’t necessarily mean faraway
Offsite meetings don’t mean that you have to go off to the countryside. You can have an “offsite” or brainstorming session, or even just a weekly team meeting, pretty close to your office – sometimes within walking distance.
As the importance of meetings is being realized by more and more managers, more options to rent meeting rooms are becoming available.
3. Offsite meetings don’t mean boutique hotels
Most older people think of a hotel when considering renting a meeting room, and that’s usually very expensive. Meeting room brokers like Breather and Meeting room complex operators, like Meet in Place, offer significantly lower prices.
4. Offsite can actually mean you save money
Although it’s still too early to call it a trend, it’s been noted that some companies are already reducing some of their in-house meeting rooms and replacing them with employees’ offices, while outsourcing most of their meetings to external meeting room providers. This means that growing companies don’t have to get more (expensive) office space when they hire more employees. We hear CFOs love that.
5. Offsite meetings can be more fun too
The meeting room complex experience, where multiple, high-end design rooms of various shapes and sizes are available, is also an incredibly fun experience (it’s ok to have fun while working, right?). While Breather-type meeting brokers provide an inconsistent, basic user experience, it’s often said that places like Meet in Room provide a boutique hotel experience while keeping “Breather” level prices.
Conducting offsite meetings is expected to become par for the course of doing business as more and more companies realize that internal meetings are very often ineffective.
Offsite meetings, as odd as it may sound, could be a simple and quick way to increase productivity.
If you’d like to try Meet in Place for your organization, please click here to receive our “Explorer Coupon” worth $500.