How meeting culture is sapping employee fitness

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Many of us treat our work calendar like a game of Tetris, neatly lining up meeting blocks against meeting blocks. Every minute counts, right? And being “busy” tends to feel very productive.

But while it’s hard enough to break out of the habit of thinking it should be this way, it’s even harder to break out of a corporate culture steeped in the fallacies of the meeting whirlpool. Let’s take a look at why it’s important to allow a company culture that gives your team’s brains time to digest after each meeting.

Why serial meetings are the straw that breaks a camel’s back

When you combine the fast-paced world of a startup, or the face-saving world of a corporate environment, with the one-click convenience of a calendar booking app, our lives can quickly become packed without employees having a say. It may get lost. So they gasp for air. Moreover, as more and more meetings take place online, time itself becomes synonymous with the tools we use to manage our meetings, leaving us “virtually” no time to do actual work.

Without resisting these forces, it seems almost inevitable that companies will face bloat, and it is often well-intentioned. Unfortunately, these same intentions negatively impact productivity. It’s time to challenge the status quo and give our brains the rest they need.

Just as every workout incorporates short breaks between sets to optimize performance, it takes a few minutes of recovery to transition from one meeting to the next. Neglecting to take necessary breaks can have a negative impact on our health. Just like our bodies, our brains need time to process and recharge. Rushing from one meeting to the next increases stress levels and affects your mental and physical health.

RELATED: Too Many Meetings? Here’s How to Reduce It

You don’t necessarily notice it at this point. On the contrary, having a third cup of coffee and riding a wave of stress to his fourth meeting might give you the rush of getting things done. Rather, this constant shift in attention and constant high attention demands strain the brain’s ability to adapt and function optimally.

reason? stress. Stress triggers the release of cortisol, the infamous stress hormone. Elevated cortisol levels interfere with your ability to think clearly, weaken your immune system, and make you more susceptible to illness. The over-stimulation caused by an unforgiving work schedule pushes us into danger zone, where our problem-solving abilities wane, fatigue sets in, and burnout becomes a haunting reality.

RELATED: Telework Burnout and Zoom Fatigue: Much More Complex Than It Seems

When meeting culture is on autopilot

It doesn’t just mean high vigilance and constant hustle and bustle. The content of the meeting itself is also important. Unproductive meetings cause a lot of stress and often leave employees feeling exhausted and overwhelmed. Lacking an agenda, a moderator, or a clear goal, these meetings resemble aimless voyages through muddy water. Lack of structure and purpose drains energy levels and negatively impacts productivity.

Without a clear agenda, meetings start to meander and participants become more interested in their phones than their colleagues. The result is wasted time, missed opportunities for clarity and direction, and employee morale spiraling downward. Unsurprisingly, employees tend to leave such meetings frustrated and unfulfilled. So how do you fix a presentation that’s too long with too much text? It’s easy. The bite-sized segments outlining your progress are endlessly fascinating.

Plus, without a designated moderator or facilitator, meetings can quickly become chaotic. Multiple team members with different opinions and agendas drive the meeting in different directions. Likewise, minutes of silence just waiting for the meeting to end can turn the meeting into a surveillance pot. And we all know they never boil. A skilled moderator can lead the discussion, keep participants on track, and make sure everyone’s point of view is heard.

Ambiguity and confusion arise when meetings do not have clear goals. Attendees will wonder why they were invited and what they are expected to contribute. This lack of purpose leads to low motivation, low creativity, and participants feeling like they’re just making progress rather than making meaningful progress. It also makes me feel like I have to make up for lost time. And this leads to even more meetings remaining on your calendar. It’s a vicious circle.

RELATED: Too Many Meetings Decrease Productivity and Morale

Leaders need to step out of their company comfort zone

If your work environment is like endless meetings, and too many meetings sound like people are just thinking out loud, then it’s time to assess the signs of an unproductive, overbooked workplace. Come. The false notion that being busy is being productive is deeply flawed. It’s time to shift perspective and understand that productivity comes from efficiency, motivation, and a well-rested mind.

Leaders play a key role in rebuilding the meeting culture within an organization. By prioritizing your own health and assessing the impact of an unforgiving schedule, you can set a new standard for a healthier work environment. Rather than flaunting a grueling schedule, leaders must have the courage to lead creatively beyond the “busy” strategy.

Finally, leaders need to show that they respect the importance of boundaries and everyone’s time, prioritizing time for focused, deep work. After all, every meeting can be distracting. Leading by example means allowing teams to schedule breaks between meetings, and allowing employees to politely decline meetings they don’t need. By cultivating a culture of quality over quantity, leaders can create an environment in which interests are prioritized over position and intentions over collusion.

RELATED: 5 Tips To Challenge Your Performance Outside Your Comfort Zone

Inject Breathing Chamber into Conference Room

Whether it’s a breather between meetings or a breath of fresh air in meeting culture, tweaking your existing approach to meetings can potentially boost your productivity. It’s easy to get sucked into a meeting culture that’s rife with on-the-fly schedules and dry agendas. You may feel busy. And you may feel safer avoiding trying new things. But that never amounts to treating time with the respect it deserves. That’s the real key to getting things done.

In fact, when you’re stuck in a work environment where being “productive” is too much like “busy” and “busy” is considered “efficient”, it’s time to make a change. is coming The default meeting time he sets is 25 minutes and he leaves a 5 minute buffer between calls. Block calendar time. Decline unnecessary invitations. Ask for an agenda in advance. Save meetings for afternoons when you don’t have a lot of energy. There are many things you can do without too much effort to protect yourself from the inertia of the downward spiral of your meeting.

However, to instill a productive and healthy meeting culture across the organization, leaders must take responsibility for assessing and prioritizing employee health. By challenging the status quo and taking steps to improve your meetings, such as setting clear agendas, appointing moderators, and defining goals and time limits, you can promote a healthier and more efficient work environment.

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