Too Many Meetings? Here’s Where You Can Substitute Video.
Has Google Calendar’s Time Insights given you pause since its late summer debut? You’re not alone. Introduced a year and a half into the pandemic’s remote work acceleration, the feature emphasizes how much of your workday is spent in meetings. Coincidentally, that number has skyrocketed over 50% for the average worker since February 2020, up to 21.5 hours a week from a mere 14.2 hours
“People are longing for that kind of connection, and they’re longing for that kind of touchpoint with their coworkers,” Henry Shapiro, co-founder of smart calendar startup Reclaim.ai, told Protocol. The issue? While they may gain valuable human connection from the meetings, those same people don’t have any more time in their week to get work done. Ultimately, that leads to further drain and less productivity.
As we continue to iron out the kinks in long term hybrid and remote work, HR teams and team leaders must find the middle ground between fostering happiness through connections and ensuring their teams can actually get work done — rather than working longer hours and suffering from burnout.
Asynchronous video is a powerful solution, eliminating pointless meetings without removing the human touch that meetings can deliver. Figuring out which meetings could become videos, though? That’s a struggle, but these five meeting types can get you started.
According to Reclaim.ai’s research, 1:1s have increased by 500% since February 2020, attributed to meetings substituting for the casual run-ins and catch-up conversations that organically happened when people shared office space. Many 1:1s are necessary, including with direct reports, but weekly catch-ups to maintain contact can be distractions that fill up the calendar.
If you find yourself in multiple 1:1s with a similar purpose — for instance, weeklies with department heads to share updates on what each team is working on — make the swap to pre-recorded video updates. These FYI-type messages then can be delivered to each person you typically meet with, allowing you to share the same information to multiple people at once in a more impactful way, while freeing up blocks of your time.
Like many 1:1 meetings, team weeklies can start to feel like general catch-ups followed by the team lead running through a list of information that pertains to everyone — or, worse, that pertains to only some of the team. Embrace asynchronous video updates in place of the weeklies, so the entire team is fully informed and save the catch-ups for more times when you can all actually catch-up and enjoy yourselves, rather than simultaneously stressing about your to-do list.
Large all-company meetings typically feature monologues from team leaders providing updates on the company as a whole or on individual departments. Record these messages and distribute the final video to the team as a whole, instead of blocking everyone’s schedule off to listen to just a few.
Product & project updates
Like company updates, updates on major company projects, whether it’s a marketing campaign or a product update, typically rely on one person sharing status updates. Instead of one-sided conversations, these can be pre-recorded video messages that allow viewers to watch and absorb the crucial information in their own time so that each stakeholder is better informed and able to execute their portion of the project.
Feedback for product and project updates can also be provided as video messages, rather than meetings. Rather than asking stakeholders to review updates in a meeting and give helpful, insightful feedback in the moment, delivering a video of feedback allows more articulation and frees the lead from taking notes and potentially missing ideas.