Meetings can be a real bummer — yet most of us deal with them on a regular basis in our professional lives. Why do meetings make us want to do anything but participate in them?

Well, for starters, many workplaces hold traditional meetings that are lacking in technology, innovation, or an engaging atmosphere, which makes employees quickly lose interest.

“Unnecessary meetings cost US businesses approximately $37 billion each year” (source)

Here are 10 reasons why meetings suck and how Stormboard can help make them more effective and efficient.

1. The facilitator is underprepared or has no objective

The meeting facilitator might not have a specific goal in mind, or an attendee might not know what’s going on at all — it seems like someone is always lost in a traditional meeting.

If the facilitator doesn’t know what needs to be accomplished and doesn’t have a solid plan to make it happen, it leaves the rest of the team feeling like their time is being wasted and that they aren’t being productive.

If attendees aren’t prepared, or aware of the meeting’s objective, they can easily forget why the meeting was called in the first place. This inevitably leads to scheduling more inefficient meetings to go over what is missed.

How Stormboard can help

Stormboard is the perfect application to use to prepare a meeting ahead of time and set an objective that can be shared with your team before the meeting even starts. Creating a Storm (what we call your digital workspace) can be done at any time, from any device, allowing the person planning the meeting to lay out initial ideas, add material to be reviewed beforehand, and set a meeting objective.

Using one of our business process templates will help keep everyone focused on the objective during the meeting, and if you run out of time before you can cover everything on the agenda, Stormboard can be accessed at any time so teams can continue adding ideas long after the physical meeting has ended.

2. A meeting runs long and cuts into productivity

“59% of U.S. workers surveyed said wasteful meetings are the biggest hindrance to productivity.” (source)

Time is valuable, and meetings that take too long are cutting into your bottom line and your productivity.
Why does this happen?

John may have been running late, there was no focused discussion (Cheryl from HR kept talking about her upcoming vacation), Sue and Carl were arguing about the new website design, everyone had a lot of ideas that took time to write on a whiteboard, and more topics were brought up than originally intended.

Whatever the reason, a meeting should not be taking more time than it was scheduled for — especially if it extends beyond regular work hours.

How Stormboard can help

Stormboard can help shorten meetings in a few different ways.

In the first point, we talked about prepping a meeting ahead of time and setting up an agenda that everyone can review before the meeting starts, which will cut about 10 minutes off of any meeting.

Using one of the hundreds of templates that Stormboard offers will help keep meetings focused and on-track by providing a structure that your team can add their ideas to.

Because everyone can access the Storm from their own device, they can add ideas, comment on them, or vote on them at any time during the meeting, which means that no one has to wait for their turn to speak in order to contribute, drastically cutting down the time spent in a boardroom.

3. Everyone is bored and not really paying attention

“60% of meeting attendees take notes to appear as if they are listening, 73% admit to working on other work during the meeting, and 9 out of 10 people admit to daydreaming during a meeting!” (source)

Even the most eager employee gets bored at a meeting from time to time, it’s just a reality of the traditional meeting set up.

This is how it usually goes: one or two people stand at the front of the room speaking in a dry monotone voice about the business at hand while pointing at a white board or sticky notes that no one in the back of the room can even see. It’s not interactive, and when the facilitator (finally) stops talking and asks for a contribution, you are either too zoned out to care or can’t be bothered to try and shout your ideas out over the extreme extroverts in the room.

How Stormboard can help

One of Stormboard’s main goals is to be an interactive collaboration tool that keeps everyone engaged as an active participant — the opposite of boring.

When a Storm is created and the entire team is interacting with one another digitally, there is a better chance they will stay engaged during the entire meeting because they are collaborating using a fun, easy-to-follow software.

4. Your ideas aren’t heard

If someone isn’t being heard in a meeting, it’s most likely because the team leader is taking over the conversation the entire time. While it’s great to have someone moderating and keeping the group focused, it can become an issue when they ignore team members and don’t allow for contribution from everyone. This seems to be more of a problem for larger groups, where team members get lost in the mix.

It’s important for everyone in a meeting to be heard — no matter how big or small their input. If the only way to express ideas in a meeting is by putting up your hand or talking over other people, chances are your idea isn’t getting fully acknowledged.

How Stormboard can help

If your team uses Stormboard, all ideas are given an equal chance to be seen and discussed.

You can simply post a new sticky note into your Storm whenever inspiration strikes, allowing everyone to see it and interact with it. Everyone who is a part of the Storm can post ideas whenever they want — no one needs to take turns!

The person leading the meeting can take everyone’s ideas into account and use those to direct the conversation.

5. There are too many (or not enough) people in the room

Meeting attendance can go one of two ways: either too many people are there (including employees who don’t really need to be involved), or people miss the meeting for a slew of reasons (on vacation, sick, away on business, etc.).

When people miss a meeting, they sometimes feel like they missed out on giving input and hearing much-needed information. Even if they get their hands-on meeting minutes or a co-worker’s notes, they are getting second-hand information that may have left something out.

On the flip side, some people find that they are invited to meetings that are completely unnecessary for them to attend — wasting both their time and the company’s money.

How Stormboard can help

Using Stormboard to hold your meetings means that only the key people needed for that part of the project need to attend. Those that might be interested in the information, or are joining the project further down the road can have access to everything that happened during the meeting by looking at the Storm once the meeting has concluded. They can add their own ideas, vote on ideas, or ask questions without having to ever attend an in-person meeting!

And for those that miss meetings frequently due to scheduling conflicts or location issues, collaborating on Stormboard is ideal.

6. One person dominates the conversation

Whoever is leading a group meeting knows that they are the one in charge, which can cause them to dominate the conversation for the entire duration of the meeting.

Teams usually don’t appreciate being talked at rather than talking with one another. Team leaders that do this come across as bossy or domineering, and that isn’t great for their reputation in the workplace.

Meetings should be a time for positive interaction, feedback, and teamwork — not for delegating orders and zero collaboration!

How Stormboard can help

To solve this problem, team leaders can utilize Stormboard to get their teams interacting with them before, after, and during the meeting instead of blankly staring at them waiting for the meeting to end.

Anyone who has access to the Storm can type in their ideas or share images, videos, files, and links without having to wait their turn. Others in the meeting can comment or vote as much as they’d like during and after the meeting in order to keep the collaboration going and ensure that even the quietest person in the group has a chance to contribute.

7. Technology problems

Technology seems to be taking over workplaces, and while these advancements can make meetings and workflow more efficient, they can also easily fail.

The power can go out, devices can die, and documents can get accidentally lost or deleted. And we’ve almost all experienced the debacle of trying to get your computer hooked up to the projector properly, which rarely works on the first try.

How Stormboard can help

If something out of your control happens — like a laptop crashing or your coworker’s device dying — all is not lost! All the work that you and your team do in Stormboard is automatically saved securely to the cloud. And, because Stormboard can be accessed on any device with a web browser, you can log in to your Storm from a different computer, or a replacement device at any time!

8. The conversation gets too personal

Who likes hearing about their coworker’s personal drama? Most people don’t.

It’s common for meetings to swerve off-course and end up being more about people’s personal lives than the task at hand. This can lead to arguments between co-workers, too much information being shared, and leave most people in attendance uncomfortable. Plus, when you’re talking about anything but work, work isn’t getting done.

How Stormboard can help

There may not be a perfect way to avoid personal matters being brought up during meetings, but we believe that the best way to prevent this from happening is having a pre-set agenda for your meeting and making sure everyone is an active participant.

Stormboard allows all of your team members to participate in the same Storm (no matter where they are located in the world) so everyone involved in a meeting can be focused on the topic in front of them, with the ability to actively give their input.

Also, Stormboard is fun to use! If people are having a great time during their meeting, they are less likely to focus on irrelevant issues.

9. Meetings are expensive

Every meeting that is held is costing the company money.

At the least, you are paying for the time that your employees are spending in the meeting. But, don’t forget the time it takes to prepare for a meeting, walk to the boardroom, and then walk back to their office and refocus on their own work.

“67% of people spend up to four hours a week preparing for their next status meeting.” (source)

In many workplaces, snacks and beverages are provided, technology and boardrooms are often rented out, and overtime pay is occasionally needed for long meetings that are outside of work hours.

And then there is the cost of bringing remote employees in for meetings.

Click here to read our blog post about how much meetings are costing your company.

How Stormboard can help

Even though meeting-related costs can’t be completely avoided, Stormboard can help shorten meetings, and even eliminate the need to hold in-person meetings.

For example, holding your weekly status update meeting in a digital workspace eliminates the need to rent out meeting space, because team members are able to work from wherever they are located — their desk, their house, or even another country!

10. Meeting Minutes

Meeting minutes are rarely useful.

Nobody wants to do it, the person assigned to take minutes might not be able to keep up, and their writing may be hard to read or understand. No matter who takes meeting minutes, the main issue is that important information can be skipped over or forgotten.

This is a hassle, especially when it takes days to even receive the minutes, which usually end up getting lost in an email chain anyway. What a momentum killer!

How Stormboard can help

With Stormboard’s reporting feature, you can choose one of the multiple options to compile all of the information — in everyone’s unique voice — in your Storm into one concise document in seconds.

Run a Word report to use as in-depth meeting minutes, an Outline report for a quick overview of your meeting, an Excel report to easily compile any data, and a PowerPoint report to use as a presentation for stakeholders or your executive team.

The report can be saved to the Storm or sent to members of your team at any time.

Yes, there are plenty of reasons why meetings can suck — that’s where Stormboard comes in. Not only can Stormboard help remove meeting pain points, but we can also help your team be more efficient, make intentional decisions, and turn their best ideas into action!

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Traditional meetings don’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon, so why not make them more enjoyable with Stormboard? Sign up for a free trial today!