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Proper Thoughts

How to Cut Back On Business Meetings for More Productivity

Would you like to have more free time to work? How about your staff – do they spend so much time in meetings that they don’t get anything done? Are deadlines open-ended because your staff is in meetings all the time?

If you’ve ever asked yourself any of these questions, then this article is for you.

What’s more, nobody really likes going to meetings anyway, except maybe your employees who don’t really want to work and are looking for a way to avoid assigned tasks.

Bottom line, meetings take away from the end product, and they keep your staff from getting the job done. 

While you may not be able to ditch all of your company’s meetings, and we admit, you do need to have some, we’ll talk about ways to make them more productive and shorter.

Here’s how to cut back on business meetings for more productivity:

Hold Standing Meetings

University of Missouri researchers say that sit-down meetings, are, on average, 34% longer than ones were the attendees stand throughout the meeting. 

They go on to say that longer sit-down meetings aren’t necessarily more productive. 

Stand-up meetings are often more effective because distractions are eliminated. It’s hard to take notes and peek at your tablet or phone while standing. Additionally, when you stand, you command attention. You’re often more confident.

Lastly, if you stand during a meeting, you’ll probably want to get the task done swiftly so you can get back to sitting.

Create a Short, Specific Agenda

Don’t try to tackle too much during your meeting. Keep your meetings to one theme or topic, and you’ll be done sooner.

Cut the List of Attendees

This is a novel idea at many companies. According to one study, the optimum number of people to attend a meeting is five. Anything below that is too few and above that is too many.

Pay attention to the odd number, five. Odd numbers of people are more productive because the odds of a tie are drastically reduced. You’ll find that your chances of making a good, well-thought out decision improve when you have an odd number of people in attendance. 

Set a Timeframe

You’ve already created an agenda. Now, set a time frame. We recommend scheduling meetings for no longer than an hour. Any longer than that, and employees become distracted.

If you’re having a standing meeting, about 30 minutes is max.

Collaborate Online

With the advent of the Cloud comes the addition of many platforms for collaboration. You can often get rid of extraneous meetings if you’re actively sharing information and working on projects together online. 

Consider applications such as Evernote that allows you to collaborate in real time, and Campfire that also provides team collaboration with real time chatting options.


If you are a 21st century business with staff working outside the office, instead of bringing them in for a meeting, you can have your meeting online. Consider the time wasted by travel to and from the office and the meeting itself. You’ll cut the time in half if you conduct an online meeting.

Equip your staff with iPads, and register with an app like Go To Meeting, and you’ll increase your staff’s productivity. Just be sure to stick to the above tips just as you would an in-person meeting. 

The Takeaway

If you and your staff are consistently in all-day meetings, output suffers. You can cut back on business meetings for more productivity. 

It’s time to be pro-active when it comes to your meetings. Get on top of this now, and watch as your staff becomes more productive using new tools and skills to get through meetings quickly and efficiently.

If your staff is using an iPad to conference in to your meeting, you’ll want to make sure your investment is protected. Give them the perfect iPad case. Strong and protective, our cases are compatible with all of our accessories including stands and wall mount disks.

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