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Seven questions to ask before booking your next business meeting

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Workers have been offered expert tips and advice to ensure their business meetings are as streamlined and efficient as possible in 2023. 

The team at Craft.do, the company building the future of documents, have come up with seven questions that all employees should ask themselves before booking meetings with any of their colleagues going forward. 

Business meetings have undergone several changes in the last few years, primarily driven by technological advancements and evolving work cultures. Notably, the Covid 19 pandemic had a significant impact. 

The rise of video conferencing platforms like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Google Meet has made virtual meetings commonplace, in turn making remote work more popular than ever.

Also, the availability of online collaboration tools such as project management platforms, document sharing, and virtual whiteboards has revolutionized how meetings are conducted. These tools enable real-time collaboration, file sharing, and easier brainstorming, in turn enhancing productivity and efficiency.

However, a third of meetings are still deemed unproductive, highlighting the need to prioritize efficient and effective meeting schedules. 

A spokesperson for Craft Docs comments: “Over the last few years, there’s been an emphasis on making business meetings more convenient, efficient, and accessible than ever, enabling organizations to adapt to the evolving dynamics of the modern work environment.

“Gone are the days of needing to make lengthy journeys to attend meetings that last for hours on end. In a lot of cases, meetings have become shorter and more focused, and technology is being utilized to streamline meetings – or even to replace them altogether.”

Businesses have been urged to ensure their meetings are ticking these boxes:

  • Have you set clear goals and objectives?

You should aim to define the purpose and desired outcomes of the meeting in advance. Communicate these objectives to participants so that everyone is aligned and understands what needs to be achieved during the meeting.

If necessary, you should also consider creating a detailed agenda outlining the topics to be discussed, time allocations for each agenda item, and any necessary pre-meeting materials. Share the agenda with participants ahead of time to allow them to come prepared. This will ensure that the meeting is as efficient and useful as possible. 

  • Have you limited attendance and participation?

Only invite essential participants who have a direct contribution or need to be informed about the discussed topics. Including too many people can lead to inefficiencies and decreased engagement. Those not directly involved can always receive meeting minutes or updates afterwards,

  • Does the meeting need to be held in person?

The increasing prevalence of remote work has transformed the nature of business meetings. With teams spread across different locations or even time zones, virtual meetings have become essential for collaboration and communication. 

Even for office-based or hybrid organizations, consider whether your meeting requires everybody to be together in person, or whether a quick call or virtual meeting would be more effective. 

  • Is the meeting going to be as short as realistically possible?

With the rise of remote work, there’s a greater emphasis on efficiency, leading to more concise and goal-oriented discussions. Shorter meetings also tend to be more focused and result-oriented. By keeping the discussion concise and to the point, participants can address the main objectives of the meeting without wasting time on unrelated or tangential topics. 

  • Is the meeting being held at a convenient time for everybody?

Flexible work arrangements have led to more flexible meeting schedules. Meetings now often need to be scheduled to accommodate participants in different time zones, allowing for greater inclusivity and work-life balance.

  • Will you be leveraging appropriate tools and resources?

Where appropriate, try to leverage technology to streamline your meetings. Use collaboration tools for document sharing, virtual whiteboards, or polling to enhance engagement and make the meeting more interactive. It can also help capture meeting notes and action items efficiently.

Assess whether a meeting is the best format to achieve the desired outcomes. The availability of online collaboration tools such as project management platforms and document sharing has revolutionized how meetings are conducted. These tools enable real-time collaboration, file sharing, and easier brainstorming which enhances productivity and efficiency. 

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