‘Productivity-sapping vampires’: How to improve the hybrid-meetings culture

In theory, hybrid working is perfect, promising flexibility, convenience and empowerment. However, in practice, many organizations are finding, to their horror, it can be the worst of both in-person and remote working. Its logistical complexity has the potential to restrict collaboration and, ultimately, productivity. And that is largely down to the number and inefficiency of hybrid meetings.

“Employees are overwhelmed with meetings — back-to-back meetings, poorly run meetings and just flat-out too many meetings,” said J. P. Gownder, vp and principal analyst at Forrester Research, and co-author of a new report, “Master Hybrid Meetings With These Five Steps.” “Today’s hybrid meetings fail in-person participants, fail remote participants, still, fail to provide social cues, and fail the business.”

Gownder cited Harvard Business Review data from last year that found that 92% of employees considered meetings costly and unproductive, as 70% of meetings kept employees from productive task work. 

It wasn’t like this before the coronavirus crisis, though. “The frequency of meetings increased by 13% during the first year of the pandemic, and leaders tell us those meetings were sticky — they never fell off of calendars,” Gownder said. Without taking steps to remedy this problem, “meetings threaten to become productivity-sapping energy vampires,” he added.

So what should be done?

The full version of this article was first published on Digiday’s future-of-work platform, WorkLife, in March 2023 – to read the complete piece, please click HERE.

Published by

Oliver Pickup

Multi-award-winning writer, content editor, ghostwriter, and TV and radio commentator (and occasional illustrator), specialising in technology, blockchain, startups, business, sport and culture. Founder of Pickup Media Limited. Interviewer of death row prisoners, legendary athletes, influential leaders, tech trendsetters, and cultural pioneers. By-lined in every English newspaper. Contributor to dozens of multinational publications.

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