It’s safe to say that you have been participating in more virtual meetings since the start of 2020. You may have also noticed that they consume a lot of your time.

They don’t have to.

Even before 2020, 27 million hours of work time were wasted each year, which cost businesses $399 billion annually. This is not just for in-person meetings: 15% of an average hour-long meeting was lost to time wastage.

You don’t want to waste time or money on bad meetings. Instead, streamline the process.

Here are seven ways you can do it.

1. Keep it short and sweet

According to statistics, the ideal time for a virtual meeting should be between 30-60 minutes. People can lose focus and become bored if the meeting lasts longer than this. This can lead to a decrease in productivity and the possibility of people wasting their time.

Keep it brief and punchy. Consider taking breaks if it takes more than an hour.

2. Make an agenda

A solid agenda is a great way to keep meetings brief and sweet.

A structured agenda can reduce meeting time up to 80%.

Each meeting will be different so make sure you have a clear overview and a time limit for each topic.

3. Set Meeting Goals

It’s important to know what you want from your meeting.

It is important to set a clear goal for your meeting. This will keep everyone on task without allowing for distractions.

Did you know that a survey revealed that 399 billion dollars in lost time could be attributed to poor organization of meetings?

The survey also revealed that 43% of respondents felt that this time was wasted due to unclear actions leading to confusion in meetings.

Define the outcome you want. Throughout the meeting, remind people about it. When things get out of control, keep the meeting focused.

4. Stay tight-knit

Musk once famously stated, “Walk out of meetings or drop off calls as soon as you can’t add value.” It’s not rude to leave but it is rude for someone to stay and waste their time.

He was right. inadvertent attendees can also slow down the progress of meetings. This has been proven to be a significant time waste.

That’s probably why the most efficient meetings typically have 8 attendees.

Invite only the people you need. This will keep your meeting productive, and it will save you time by not inviting people who aren’t necessary.

5. Implement a “Cameras-On” Policy

It’s not just for the sake of being able to see faces in virtual meetings.

It has been proven that communication is more effective when nonverbal cues are used.

Improved communication leads to better meetings. This means that there is less time needed to complete them, and less chaos caused by people trying to figure out when the other person has finished speaking, so they can continue.

6. Small Talks Save Time

People naturally want to chat in virtual meetings. To keep the meeting focused, you can allocate some time at either the beginning or ending of your meeting for casual conversation and catch-up.

This will help you ensure that people don’t wander off-topic during your meeting.

7. Keep it short whenever possible

Do not feel obliged to use it all the time. Don’t waste 30 minutes on your virtual meeting and only have 20 minutes to cover all the basics. Give everyone the gift of your time and cut it short.

As remote work increases worldwide, virtual meetings are rapidly becoming the norm. While virtual meetings can be an easy way to keep in touch with clients and colleagues, they can also prove time-consuming if not done correctly.

Make sure that you take the proper steps before your next meeting to make sure it runs smoothly.

Get in touch today to find out how Signature Workspace can make virtual meetings even more enjoyable by providing top-tier meeting rooms that you can use. We are here to help with any questions.

This post was written by Tara Kintz. Tara is a director at Signature Workspace. Signature Workspace, owned and operated by Cantor Fund Management, offers services and amenities such as private offices, flex space, co-working space, virtual offices, meeting/conference rooms, and more. Click here for more information.