This Day On The Street
Continue to site
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

15 Minutes of Every Hour Meeting Are a Waste of Time

NEW YORK (TheStreet) ? You always suspected it, and now there's official backup: 15 minutes of every hourlong office meeting is a waste of time, according to Menlo Park, Calif.-based Robert Half Management Resources.

It's usually because meeting leaders don't stick to the agenda and don't express a clear purpose on the goals of a meeting.

That's not to say that meetings are a complete waste of time. It just means there is plenty of room for improvement, says Paul McDonald, senior executive director ay Robert Half.

"Certainly, meetings can provide value by offering a forum to highlight important updates, brainstorm new ideas and help employees build rapport among one another," he says.

Too often, however, meetings serve as a fallback option, or a communications crutch, McDonald says. "In addition to sometimes being unnecessary, the discussions can easily go off track," he says. "It's just human nature, but people feel comfortable discussing their own agendas and engaging in small talk, and too few meeting leaders are effective at reining in the conversation. Meetings also commonly start late waiting for attendees to arrive, which means the gatherings end late, further eating into the day and showing a lack of respect for others' time."

Also see: Fix a Problem, Enlist Your Clients and Other Tips to Starting a Business

That's just for starters, McDonald says.

"The time spent in meetings, listening to irrelevant conversations and waiting for people to arrive and get focused all drain time and keep people away from their primary responsibilities," he says. "Meetings also interrupt the workday, making it hard for people to get into a good flow. While meetings serve a purpose, they should be called judiciously."

So how do you run a meeting right?

Limit meeting participants. Robert Half advises keeping a lid on your invite list. "Indicating 'required' versus "optional" attendance lets employees know when their participation and input is necessary and can help them prioritize their time," says the company.

Also see: 4 Myths Getting In Your Way on the Corporate Ladder

Keep focused. The best meetings are the ones in which meeting leaders stay on track. Stick to the agenda and make sure supporting materials are accessible and publicized in advance and that the discussion remains focused, Half says. "Be prepared to cut off or table an unrelated conversation until a later time."

Track the time. Brevity and clarity are key to a good meeting. Keep tabs on regular meetings and jot down the time. "If a standing meeting is booked for an hour each week, but it usually lasts just 30 minutes, consider rethinking the time allotted," Half advises. "If there's not much to discuss, consider using email or a memo as an alternative to a meeting."

Above all, make sure everyone eaves the meeting with a sense of accomplishment and with duties properly understood. Leave five minutes for questions, and use the time to ensure staffers know any deadlines and next steps.

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Options Profits

Our options trading pros provide over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • Actionable options commentary and news
  • Real-time trading community
SYM TRADE IT LAST %CHG
AAPL $126.44 0.00%
FB $87.28 0.00%
GOOG $523.40 0.00%
TSLA $280.02 0.00%
YHOO $39.38 0.00%

Markets

DOW 17,730.11 -27.80 -0.16%
S&P 500 2,076.78 -0.64 -0.03%
NASDAQ 5,009.2140 -3.9090 -0.08%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs