How to make recurring meetings more productive

The dreaded recurring meeting, 30-45 minutes of your day that are blocked out in your diary.

While useful if managed well they can also be a huge time sink and productivity loss.

Often people

  • Turn up late
  • Don’t turn up at all
  • Give apologies at the last minute
  • Don’t come prepared or present an update that could be an email or chat

With the rise of virtual remote meetings, there is an opportunity to look at recuring meetings differently and use the collaboration features in Microsoft Teams.

Usually, recurring meetings are owned by one person and scheduled from their calander.

This means

  • Recordings are saved to the meeting owners OneDrive and can only be edited by them
  • Adding people needs to be done by the owner
  • Any chat during the meeting takes place as a chat not channel conversation
  • People may get chat alerts when the meeting is on even if they have not joined it

An alternative is to schedule a meeting in a Teams channel. This means the meeting takes place in a shared location that all attendees have access to.

It also introduces a collaborative space for conversations before and after the meeting, along with an easy way to introduce other collaborative Teams features like Planner, and Whiteboard

Key differences when scheduling in a channel are:

  • Recording always go back into the Teams channel ie the SharePoint folder so everyone has access
  • Conversations don’t pop up while the meeting is on when you are not in the meeting (unless you are @ mentioned)
  • Anyone who has access to the channel can view the recording and the conversations, even people that have joined the Team after the meeting took place. Great way for people to get up to speed.

Key benefits of this approach are

  • Makes it easier for people to comment before the meeting, i.e. I can’t make it today but here is my update.
  • The conversation can continue after the meeting in the Teams channel
  • Any supporting documents are in the channel file folder.

Some tips about this approach

  • Guests i.e., people outside your organisation can be invited but they don’t see the chat or files unless they are a member of the team.
  • You need to schedule a channel meeting from Teams, you can’t do this in Outlook
  • The meeting invite is sent from the Team, so has the Team name and email address
  • If you want to have the invite in the participants calander you need to include them in the invite list as individuals not a distribution list.
  • Anyone who is a member of the Team can join the meeting, even if they were not specifically invited.

Try it today!

For your next team meeting try scheduling it in a channel and give it a go to experience the difference!

To learn more about Teams meetings check out the Ripped Orange Mastering Meetings course