Meetings have been dubbed the “Productivity killer of the workplace,” with workers spending 31 hours in unproductive meetings a month. (Executives and managers spend between 40-50% of their time stuck in one.) How do employees still manage to get things done? Blame the expanding 60-70 hour workweek.
With so much time spent in meetings and at work in general, it’s no wonder why productivity plummets in the hours during and surrounding a meeting.
While meetings are still necessary to keep employees in the loop, educate them on upcoming projects, and improve their skills through training, not all meetings are created equal.
In fact, the U.S. spends $37 billion on salaries for hours spent in unnecessary meetings. How do you get the most out of meetings? Our favorite way is to schedule them over lunch.
Why scheduling meetings over lunch can lead to success
- Planning a meeting during lunch automatically sets a time limit. When meetings have a limited amount of time, you’re more likely to be succinct and hit the important points (saving everyone time and frustration).
- When there’s free lunch involved, employees are automatically entering the meeting in good spirits. This incentive keeps them engaged (and a nutritious meal will keep them productive throughout the afternoon.)
- If employees are eating lunch, they’re less likely to zone out on their laptops or cell phone. That means they’re more likely to understand and retain the information presented in a lunch meeting. Need more proof? 65% of employees conduct other work while on a conference call.
- If you leave room during the beginning and end of your lunch meeting, it allows employees to mingle. This not only strengthens your team, it allows for interactions between departments, encouraging the development of new ideas.
- Lunch and Learns are growing in popularity, and are excellent ways to improve your employees’ skills, whether in a new software your company is introducing, social media marketing skills, or even stress management. Learning these skills over lunch provides a more relaxed environment and less test anxiety-type fears associated with a classroom.
While we’re partial to lunch, we definitely believe in the value of using it as a way to plan a successful meeting.
Meg is a dreamer, entrepreneur, and homesteader based in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. She loves her cats, feasting, and road trips in her green VW Bug.