Tuesday 16th October 2018

Meetings are a huge part of our daily working lives, so why haven’t the majority of us got it right yet? We’ve all been there: the unproductive meeting, the meeting which doesn’t stick to the agenda or gets hijacked by a colleague. It sometimes feels like meetings are an inevitable waste of time, but there are effective ways to run productive meetings and statistic show that Singapore are global leaders in creating great quality meetings.

So, what does it take to make a great meeting? Condeco’s latest research, as highlighted in the Modern Workplace Trends Report 2018, shows businesses in Singapore have three top priorities that help create a successful meeting:

Purpose and/or Agenda

This may sound obvious, but without an outlined purpose or agenda, your meeting can become pointless and run completely off point – you will never achieve your desired outcome. Always ensure you have at least a loose agenda to cover, and make certain that all meeting attendees are aware of it, too.

Presentation Technology

Reliable, fast and easy-to-use technology is a must for any successful meeting, particularly when it comes to presentations. Per the Modern Workplace Report 2018, 63% of Singaporean business leaders surveyed are proud to bring visitors to their offices, and no doubt strong presentation technology is a part of that. Nobody wants to experience those tech fails when presenting – for better quality meetings, check your tech well before all attendees in the room, and look for ways you can improve the presentation process.

Booking and Scheduling Ease

A major issue for many businesses is the lack of meeting room availability, or a long and arduous booking process (or, in many cases, both!). Making it easy for employees to book suitable rooms is an important step in improving your meeting process overall. Booking systems should be integrated with existing office solutions, rather than being a separate process, that will often be forgotten about.

It might be easy to overlook the idea of improving your meetings strategy – after all, if your business is still functioning well, then what’s the problem? However, Peter Otto, product strategy and design director, Condeco (Originally published in City AM) points out just how important meetings can be:

Elon Musk has a lot of good ideas and walking out of bad meetings is one of them. But while it’s easy to walk away, that’s the easy option – not necessarily the best option. Musk is right when it comes to long, boring meetings, full of jargon-filled PowerPoint presentations, but that’s not how meetings have to be. Ideas are what make a good company into a great one, and getting together with your team is how these ideas are born, take shape, get processed and finally, executed.

The answer isn’t to walk out of a bad meeting; it is to make sure it’s a good meeting. Choose the right room, the right time of day, the right people, the right format – and create the right mood.

As well as these top three priorities, employees are also empowered to decline meetings if they are not essential. 46% of businesses have introduced guidelines and minimum requirements for meetings, and 31% of businesses have trained their workforce in best practices for hosting and attending meetings.

Video Meetings

It isn’t just face-to-face meetings that Singapore is excelling at. Condeco’s Modern Workplace Report 2018 found that 49% of employees use collaborative technology to reduce the need for face-to-face meetings. Video conferencing is increasing in popularity globally, but Singapore seems to have found a formula that works:

54% of Singaporean business leaders surveyed said their usage of video meetings is increasing. 63% of Singaporeans are satisfied with the quality of video conferencing facilities in their meeting rooms – one of the highest rates globally.

They also reported placing importance on adapting to the needs of a mobile workforce within the next few years, with a particular focus on higher rates of use for VR, and upgrading IT facilities.

It seems Singapore recognises the need to improve meetings, rather than dismiss them altogether. Whether it’s face-to-face or via video technology, we can all learn something from their example – communicate agendas, ensure technology is in good condition (and upgraded, where possible), make it easy for employees to manage meetings, and promote a sense of trust, so that your workforce can walk away from unnecessary meetings (the bane of many of our working lives!).

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