The corporate world loves meetings. Getting a team together in one room is a great way to brainstorm, problem solve, and connect, especially at large and international corporations. However, it seems that in recent decades, businesses have gone meeting-mad. Thirty-seven billion dollars a year are spent on meetings in the U.S. alone, and recent research found that middle managers and executives can spend anywhere from 35 to 50 percent of their workday in meetings. When you consider the fact that two-thirds of executives feel their meetings aren’t actually productive, that makes for a lot of wasted time and money.

This waste is not inevitable, though! There are many ways managers can combat unproductive meetings in the office. Here are a few pointers on how to keep your meetings as efficient as possible:

Assemble with Purpose

First, make sure the meeting you want to hold is absolutely necessary before bringing your employees together. This flowchart by Atlassian serves as a great framework for how you can decide if you should call a meeting or not. The most common mistake managers make is holding meetings with the sole purpose of giving updates on other projects; this kind of information-sharing can easily be done over email. In addition, emails leave a paper trail that can serve as a reference point for information if any confusion occurs.

Once you’ve considered your needs and decided to follow through with the meeting, it’s important to create an agenda of everything you’d like to cover during it. An agenda is an itemized list of the business that will be addressed during the meeting, and it allows you to keep track of everything. After making your agenda, share it with your fellow meeting-goers so that they can give feedback or bring up any missed items.

Minimize Screen Time

As much as we’d like to think that we can multitask, the bottom line is that nearly everyone is pretty terrible at it. There is no way to give 100 percent of your focus to both your laptop and the meeting happening in front of you; one will ultimately suffer. To make sure that your attendees are fully tuned into the matters at hand, ban devices like laptops and tablets from meetings when they aren’t necessary.

Race Against the Clock

The best way to show your employees that you value them is by respecting their time, and you can demonstrate this by having a set, yet flexible, schedule for the meeting. Before the meeting begins, look at your agenda and estimate how much time it will take to complete each item. Share these estimates with your employees, and let them know that you’ll only be spending as much time on each matter as estimated before moving on to the next business.

If unrelated topics come up, utilize the parking lot technique; write down the item on a sheet of paper, or parking lot, and “park” it until there is adequate time to discuss it. This way, no important ideas are missed or forgotten.

Experiment with a New Space

A great way to keep your employees engaged is to host your gatherings in a meeting room rental in NYC. The change of scenery will allow your team to walk into the space with a completely different mindset than how they approach work in the office, which can result in new ideation and collaboration. Some offsite spaces are designed with corporate meetings in mind, so look for rentals with furniture and decor that is conducive to creativity.  If you’re looking to rent a quality corporate events venue in NYC,  look no further than SoHoSoleil!

For more than twenty years, our SoHo lofts have served as venues for countless corporate meetings, events, and photo-shoots for companies in NYC and around the world. Each of the three spaces, named CornerLight, SereneSite, and MeetingSite, are individually curated and uniquely designed to inspire innovation and teamwork. Though our spaces are far from conventional, we also offer traditional office amenities such as WiFi, a projector, and easels so that clients can work like they’re in their own office.

Have any questions? Go to our website for more information and to book your next meeting room rental in NYC.

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