Let’s talk about meetings.

How often do you find yourself in a meeting, only to realize afterwards that you got no value out of it? This has happened to me countless times. It can be embarrassing to admit it when you leave totally clueless about the purpose of a meeting. It can make you feel incompetent and make you question the value you bring to the team.

While it is important to self-evaluate and identify personal, internal factors causing you to lose focus in meetings, it is plausible you are not the only one. Unproductive meetings are a common issue for many people in the workforce, and lack of meeting context and structure is often to blame. A 2017 Ovum study shows that 67% of employees get no value out of meetings. Here are some key reasons you might be experiencing issues receiving value out of your meetings:

  • You did not have access to the full context of the meeting going in.
  • Action items were not properly documented or followed up on.
  • You joined the meeting remotely and lacked modern collaboration features.

I have experienced all the factors above because corporate meeting standards didn’t exist and investment in modern meeting technology was lacking.

Fortunately, my experience with meetings at Apex Digital Solutions has been better, and as a result I am more engaged and productive.  We have a clearly defined approach to meetings combined with the use of Microsoft Teams and Microsoft Teams Room Systems.

Why use Microsoft Teams for Meetings?

Microsoft Teams is Microsoft’s hub for Teamwork. Teams is a complete meetings and calling solution, including chat, voice, and video. It is changing the way meetings are approached with its litany of features and the way it integrates teams fully with shared documents, apps, and threaded conversations. The communication and collaboration that Teams opens up allows Teams to receive the proper context needed to make decisions fast and bridge communication barriers.

Here are three best practices I follow for meetings since I started using Microsoft Teams:

1. Receive the necessary context before meetings

Since Microsoft Teams meetings are integrated with SharePoint and threaded conversations are attached to the hosting team, it is easy to access and collaborate on agendas and supporting documents prior to attending the meeting. This also gives attendees the chance to prepare for a productive meeting.

2. Use the technology available to increase collaboration with remote attendees

It is expected that 72.3% of the workforce will be mobile by 2020 according to IDC. Teams allows meeting attendees to join from anywhere including their mobile and personal devices. With the ability to share your screen and use in-meeting Teams chat, collaboration is very easy for remote attendees. The threaded chat even remains active and accessible after the meeting is over.

Additional features that improve collaboration with remote and in person attendees include:

  • The ability to co-author documents simultaneously.
  • Take notes that stay with the meeting even after it is over.
  • Collaborate on a digital whiteboard.

3. Keep a record of the meeting for future review

The ability to record meetings has allowed meetings to maintain their relevance well after the meeting has concluded. When a meeting is recorded it is saved automatically to Microsoft Stream so it is easy to access if you want to later share the recording with an absent attendant or have a record of the meeting for future reference. This is also a great way to create on-demand training demos to accelerate the onboarding process.

Microsoft Teams meetings changed the way that I think about meetings. It can do the same for you. With Skype for Business Online coming to an end in 2021, it is important to start thinking about the next step, and Microsoft Teams with its high-quality meetings, unified collaboration, and simplified communication is the clear option to bring your organization into the Modern Workplace.

Our assessment sessions and Ignite for Microsoft Teams services offering can accelerate your organization with the Teams platform, driving adoption and instilling Teams best practices within your organization, empowering you to achieve the outcomes you seek.