8 Nov 2020

How to survive your back-to-back meetings

Most of us know that sinking, draining feeling when we look at our work schedule for the day and see two or three back-to-back meetings. You wince, perhaps groan, and buckle down for a rough ride.

We all have coping mechanisms: habits or tricks that keep our spirits up until the workday is over. That’s not to say you hate your job or don’t like your coworkers—not at all. It simply means that sitting down in a traditional workspace drilling your teammates and yourself on project details for hours on end is enough to stress anyone out.

Productivity falters along with brainpower. Brainpower falters the more monotonous the day is. Therefore, switching the locations or styles of your meetings can be the most productive thing you do during back-to-back-meeting days.

Meet by a window

When booking a meeting, we have a strong impulse to make the meeting official by booking a meeting room. What if you restrained yourself from choosing an existing boardroom for your meeting and simply typed “by the window” in the location field?

The casual meeting will help get the attendees out of the mindset of long, back-to-back meetings and also give them some vitamin D, which they so rarely get in office life. 

Not to mention, meeting in a more open environment is much better for keeping everyone safe. Don’t squeeze into the smallest meeting room, be confident that there’s enough space between all the attendees. 

Take a walk

The 21st century corporation hype is about staying fit and healthy. In the 1990’s, most companies didn’t care how you handled your life, so long as you kept your work numbers up. These days, corporations are hiring personal trainers, in-office nutritionists, and even building employee-designated gyms.

Corporate sport teams are being funded, flex spending accounts are being allocated to get employees out and active… why? Because employees are more effective when they’re healthy.

Rather than taking your employees to the gym, a walk is another lovely way to change the scenery. Too often, employees are physically at work but their minds aren’t working. Getting them up and moving is not only a great way to wake them up, but also adds an element of physical movement to their day. The added benefit? There’s practically no risk of getting covid as long as there’s enough space between meeting attendees.  

Switch rooms

In case you’re working from home, make sure to switch places from time to time. Sit in the dining room or chill on your couch. Take Joan Home with you so you won’t get interrupted. 

But do make sure to blur your background if you haven’t had a chance to tidy the room or you simply don’t want to show off your apartment. 

Grab a virtual lunch

Eighty percent of meals are eaten in the company of others”, so why not turn a meal into a meeting? It used to be quite common to go grab something to eat while discussing internal processes or closing the deal. 

However, working remotely placed a whole other layer on going out to eat. In the majority of European countries, it’s currently impossible to even go to a restaurant. But that doesn’t mean that you should skip your meals. 

Revive yourself and teammates with a BYOL (Bring Your Own Lunch) meeting while chatting via video conference. As a bonus, your and your team will get energy and therefore more brainpower as they eat.

In most cultures, conversations happen at the dinner table. Use our cultural training to your advantage and host a mellow lunch-and-work meeting. In an environment as familiar as having a meal, teammates share more truths and opinions than they would have otherwise.

Hydrate & stretch

When working in the office, stretching and hydrating can get quite intuitive – for example, meeting in 4-5 different meeting rooms will make you take a walk around the building between each meeting. 

Even hydrating is much easier when there’s a social layer to it. Like meeting for a quick coffee break or just chatting for 5 minutes next to a vending machine. 

When working from home, it’s easy to forget these things. However, there are some hacks that’ll keep your health in check; set up an alarm clock for hydrating and short walks during the day. Another awesome tip is walking to the office, lunch, and home after your workday. Simply take a quick stroll around the block and get the full commuting experience. 

You can benefit from these suggestions just as much as your teammates can. When you book a meeting, consider what would invigorate you. Whatever the answer is, your teammates would probably feel the same. Get out, get moving, and change the scenery of your meetings.