There are more than 60,000,000 knowledge workers in the United States and they spend more than 8.5 hours per week in meetings. This translates into more than 440 meeting hours per year — a total of 11 weeks.
According to a recent survey by Barco, a leader in wireless collaborative technology, most workers felt their effectiveness was affected by the sheer number of meetings in a day. The study found that while meetings are an essential part of a workplace routine, the implications for the presenter and the effect on the participants of an unsuccessful or unproductive meeting can lead to stress.
That may be one reason the American Institute of Stress said one of the most significant sources of stress in America today is the workplace. In the course of a year, the Institute reported, Americans work almost a month more than the Japanese and three months more than the Germans. This stressor of work is associated with increased rates of heart attacks, hypertension and other disorders. However, the true culprit is lack of control in an environment with many demands. Fortunately, that doesn’t have to be. Understanding the stress triggers is the first step in addressing the problem of a “killer” workplace environment.
The next time you need to conduct a meeting, taking a few simple steps can help:
1. Ensure that the technology is working. Get there early and make sure everything works right.
2. Create the right room setup. Make sure everyone can see you and the main screen. If the room is big enough, try walking around to interact with people at the back. Big views or vistas create distractions. Equidistance between presenter and all participants is important for inclusion.
3. Jazz things up with multimedia. Create a dynamic, engaging presentation. Keep your slides minimal. With the right technology, you can increase engagement by making the meeting interactive so more people can share ideas.
4. Start on time, at the right time. It’s best to hold meetings early in the day, before people get tired.
5. Keep interruptions to a minimum. Ask people to mute their phones — or to not bring them to the meeting at all. Make sure everyone knows when the meeting starts to reduce late arrival.
6. Be careful with food. Offering food can help ensure a good turnout and keep people happy, but get it out of the way early or avoid holding meetings over lunch when people are hungry.
7. It’s about you, too. If you’re not engaged, your guests won’t be either. Practice and inject plenty of personality.
For further facts and tips and to see the technology in action, go to www.barco.com/en/clickshare.