We’ve all sat through a meeting that felt like a waste of time, whether it was a last-minute virtual invitation, or an in-person conference room gathering. There’s really no such thing as wasting time when you are creatively collaborating with your team, but if you feel your time could be better spent elsewhere, chances are excessive unnecessary meetings may be the culprit.
Having the right tools available to your team can help reduce the number of meetings your team is hosting. As some companies make the decision to return to work in-person, there will be a shift in how teams communicate once again. Face-to-face meetings will return, but virtual meetings will continue with a large number of employees still working remotely. While there is value in having face-to-face meetings, having an excessive amount of them and including more employees than necessary can be taxing on your team.
Some of our favorite tools that help reduce uneeded in-person communication are project management software, shared workspaces, and digital applications. Though every agency is structured differently, adopting some of these tools can be extremely beneficial to your team. If you’re concerned that fewer meetings will lead to decreased engagement, consider that fewer meetings leaves room for your employees to form more meaningful connections with those on their team. Unless the meetings that you’re planning on the fly are filled with relationship building and team bonding, it is very likely that your team members are not gaining much outside of the topic at hand. Effective communication involves being concise and consistent wherever possible, and the following tools will help you become a better communicator and leader in your workplace.
The right project management software plays a crucial role in minimizing the amount of time your team spends in meetings. CROOW has two key features that allow your team to collaborate digitally and keep all of your project information in the same place. Features that allow you to stay organized and efficient reduce the need for unplanned meetings that are not productive. In CROOW, these features are To-do’s and Requests.
To-do’s allow managers to assign project tasks and set priority based on due dates, update statuses, leave comments, and specify time tracking estimates for each assignment. This is a way for anyone from your agency to sort tasks for the upcoming week and determine what progress has been made. Sorting through which tasks need to be checked up on and which are completed can reduce the need for excessive update meetings. Leaving comments and tagging people gives clarity on the amount of time remaining until a project’s completion, and provides a space for your team to include any other relevant information. This is a great way to check the status of a project without asking your team members to formally meet.
Requests allow clients or internal colleagues to assign team members tasks based on specific projects, specify due dates, and add assets if necessary. CROOW’s Requests come with pre-existing templates you can use to quickly offer a way for clients to submit project requests, but they also allow you to create your own custom templates. This ensures that each time a client submits a request, your team gets exactly the information they need without back-and-forth or meetings for additional details. For example, if you know that your design team always needs specs for the images they’re creating, you can add that detail into your Request form and your client will provide it up front, saving everyone time and increasing efficiency.
OneDrive and Google Drive
Document and file sharing libraries such as OneDrive and Google Drive allow your team to keep all of their files in one place. While you can use project management software to keep track of current projects, these libraries are the best way to organize all of your files for the long term. Choosing which one to use really depends on the type of projects your team is working on, and some may even have a preference based on the operating system they use. Sticking to one of these helps your team stay organized. When it’s crunch time, you don’t want to be scrambling to find all of the files you need to send to a client, so using a centralized document library can help you prevent that from happening.
If you’re familiar with Slack, you know that it is popular among workplace teams for a reason. It is a great way to quickly communicate with your team members without the hassle of typing out a formal email. Slack is preferable over email because chances are your email inbox is flooded daily, and you most likely use it to deal with a lot of external communication. Slack allows teams to create groups or message teammates individually and include files. Additionally, using an application like Slack creates the needed separation between work and personal communication that does not exist when texting via personal communication devices.
By adopting technology, you can help your team collaborate and communicate more efficiently and effectively, and save everyone time by avoiding unnecessary meetings.