Returning to the office means returning to in-person collaboration, brainstorming, and innovation. The best gathering place for those thoughts? Meetings! Meetings are essential to driving work forward and allowing teammates to problem-solve together. But productive meetings can quickly turn unproductive if they’re poorly planned, lack an agenda, or if there isn’t space to actually get together. According to a report by reclaim.ai, employees spent around 21 hours in meetings per week in 2021, and 8% of those meetings were recurring 1:1s. Since recurring meetings make up a huge chunk of an employee’s work week, it’s essential that they are planned and executed well. Whether you’re a manager, teammate, or project lead, knowing the basics of how to set up and run a successful recurring meeting will help you be more productive. Plus, you won’t make enemies out of your coworkers if you host a good meeting. Before we dive into meeting best practices, let’s define what a recurring meeting is.
What is a recurring meeting?
A recurring meeting is a meeting that repeats on a regular basis. The meeting cadence can range from daily, weekly, monthly, every two months, or longer. Whether it’s a 1:1 with a manager, team meeting, or a standing check-in on a project, these kinds of meetings are important for creating consistency and accountability. When executed well, recurring meetings can help projects stay on track and foster teambuilding coworkers. However these kinds of meetings have a tendency to turn into a timesuck if poorly planned. According to the same report as above, the average employee rescheduled 118 one-on-ones last year and canceled 82 of them. How can you ensure your recurring meetings don’t go from productive to disruptive? Check out a list of five best practices that you can share with your team on how to plan a successful recurring meeting.
Tip #1: Pick a day your team is on-site
When setting up a recurring meeting, prioritize a day in which your team or your meeting attendees are going to be on-site. According to a report by Deputy, 56% of employees prefer in-person meetings. They allow for easier communication and better collaboration. If your company has a hybrid in-office policy, hybrid scheduling tool will allow you to see what days your teammates are coming in. This can help you plan which days to set your recurring meetings with those folks. That being said, hybrid work is built around flexible schedules and you may have meeting attendees calling in remotely. If it’s a large team meeting, make sure you practice inclusive meeting behaviors like pausing for remote employees to chime in and making sure audio equipment is working.
Tip #2: Book a meeting room
In order to conduct a meeting, you need a physical and virtual space to gather everyone together. First, you’ll want to choose a meeting room in your office that can accommodate the size of the meeting. Next, you’ll want to use a room scheduling tool that integrates with your calendar. This allows you to link a meeting room to your calendar invite. For example, if you set a meeting to occur on every Tuesday at 10:00 AM, you’ll have to select a book a meeting room for it. Then, when you set that calendar invite to repeat, your meeting room will be booked for all upcoming meetings and linked to that invite. Next, you’ll want to make sure that you always have a virtual meeting link included in your invites. You should always prepare for having some attendees be remote. Sometimes, you might be the one who’s calling in remote. You want to make sure you’ve planned ahead and have both booked a meeting room and provided a virtual meeting link to all participants.
Tip #3: Create an agenda
A wise philosopher once said, a meeting is only as strong as its agenda. Just kidding. However, many employees do feel that meetings without a proper agenda contribute to feelings of wasted time and disorganization. Be sure you create an agenda and statement of purpose for your recurring meeting. Since it’s recurring, you’ll likely have a few consistent talking points. You’ll also want to leave time in the meeting for stakeholders to add any concerns or questions they may want to bring to the meeting. A Google Doc or another type of shared document is the easiest place to store this agenda because it allows for participants to edit and add notes and talking points. Remember, to also provide a small meeting description with a link to the agenda in the calendar invite as well.
Tip #4: Mark guests as optional
There’s nothing worse than being in a meeting that isn’t relevant to you. You walk away from that meeting feeling like you’ve just wasted a ton of time and didn’t get much value from it. There will be times when you don’t need every meeting guest to be in the meeting, but still want to provide them the option. For example, maybe you’re running a weekly project check-in for an upcoming marketing campaign, but you don’t want the sales team to join until you’re closer to the launch date. This is where optional meeting guests can help streamline efficiency and ensure productive conversations.Google Calendar allows you to create a meeting, invite guests, and set specific individuals as optional. This helps your meeting guests plan ahead too. For example, if they know they need to attend this meeting and want to come into the office, they can register and plan to be on-site.
Tip #5: Decide how many meetings you need
Depending on the goal, your meeting may have an expiration date. For example, if you’re running weekly check-ins related to a new client launch then you may only need to set a recurring for a few weeks. Team meetings, all-hands meetings, and 1:1s on the other hand will likely not have a definite stopping point. Once you’ve decided which meeting is going to be the last, you can set your recurring meeting to stop recurring on that day. If your room booking tool and calendar are synced, then you’ll automatically free up that meeting room for another employee. That way you can avoid creating a no-show meeting room and help your organization manage their workplace resources workplace accurately.—Meetings do take a lot of time out of the workday, but that time can be productive, collaborative, and crucial to driving projects forward and building workplace relationships. These tips and tricks will help you create meetings that are efficient and helpful for your team. Best practices are important, but first you need the right technology in place to help folks book rooms for their recurring meetings. Set up a free trial of our room scheduling software.