Optimizing Meetings for Scoro’s 4-Day Work Week
As Scoro makes the transition to a 4-day work week, we’re homing in on seven key focus areas in order to optimize our existing processes (Meetings, Wellbeing, Focus, Communication, Automation, Time Management, and Operations). In this post, we kick off with Meetings. As the foundation of an organization’s means of communication, meetings have a significant impact, for better or for worse, on productivity. With this in mind, we’ve overhauled the process for internal meetings to maximize efficiency ahead of our 4-day work week launch.
Optimizing meetings for efficiency
Organizations spend roughly 15% of their time in meetings, but studies show that 71% are considered unproductive. For companies with a traditional five-day work model, these statistics loom large. But for an organization looking to shorten its workweek, the risk of lagging productivity and inefficiency poses even more of a threat. After analyzing our own meetings, we have uncovered some important truths about the way we spend our time.
Some of our meetings tend to be repetitive, without providing enough value to the team (instead serving as something to ‘check-off’ our to-do list). We want to move away from this unstructured approach and give meetings a solid purpose and agenda.
By optimizing meeting times and directing our energy into tasks that bring value, we’re confident Scoro will be able to meet its objective of ‘getting as much – if not more – done in less time’ with a 4-day work week.
Outlining our objectives
In order to maximize efficiency in meetings going forward, we’ve drawn up a clear set of objectives. These will help us narrow down our focus and create a solid ‘next-steps’ strategy. Of course, all of these decisions are made in consultation with employees. Shifting to a 4-day work week is a change that will affect the entire team, so getting everyone involved in the decision-making process is key to a successful roll-out.
When asked about individual experiences in meetings, the response was clear: meetings are not as efficient as they can be. Based on this feedback, our objectives are to:
- Reduce the amount of time spent in meetings
- Integrate more asynchronous communications
- Increase productivity and focus
By the end of Q3, we aim to:
- Reduce meeting times by 20%
- Reduce the number of people in meetings by 20%
- Increase internal meeting productivity by 50%
- Improve focus time and efficiency by 10%
- Increase the number of asynchronous meetings by 20%
- Achieve an NPS meeting score of 7 or higher
Roadmap to success
To help us achieve our new meeting objectives, we have set out a roadmap to success. This includes:
- Setting clear meeting agendas: Drafting pre-meeting agendas that outline core activities and discussion points. The goal is to minimize distraction and keep everyone focused on what’s most important.
- Quiet hours: Carving out ‘quiet time’ (no meetings and limited async communications) so the entire team can focus on time-sensitive tasks and activities that add value.
- Meeting-free days: Setting up dedicated meeting-free days. For us, it will be Wednesday.
- Leveraging Work Management Software (WMS) tools: Using our own WMS tools (shared calendars, timesheets, and built-in trackers) to ensure we’re working toward our objective of reduced meeting times.
In order to truly understand the impact of our new policies and initiatives on meetings, we need to take stock of our performance and regularly measure outputs. This will enable us to scope out the effectiveness of the changes we’re making and areas that can be improved.
Meeting metrics will include:
- Timeliness: Tracking how long meetings take and whether they stick to the schedule. We will be using Scoro’s built-in time-tracker to measure this and maximize efficiency.
- Agenda: Tracking how well the agenda is being followed. This will help determine whether there are any topics being discussed that aren’t related to the core discussion points and enable us to steer future meetings in the right direction.
- Action items: Tracking the number of action items created at the start of a meeting and comparing it to the number of items closed at the end. An action item could be anything from a deadline to a project – if the team has come to a decision, made a plan, or allocated tasks then the ‘action item’ has, in effect, been closed. Measuring and comparing the number of action items will help us gauge the level of productivity and value that our meetings deliver.
- Feedback: Gathering regular feedback from the team on meeting performance to gauge opinion and determine areas of potential improvement.
Preparing for challenges
Since we’re introducing several concurrent new frameworks and ways of working, we need to be prepared for any teething issues. For example, the documentation and tracking of meeting metrics might take some time to get used to and there may be some concerns about meeting culture. To foster connection and a sense of team spirit, we’ll need to strike a careful balance between streamlined meetings that are cut to the bone while still giving employees a chance to catch up on necessary action points.
By ensuring that every Scoro employee is heard, and updated on any changes, we’re confident we’ll be able to tackle any challenges head-on and integrate our new Meetings framework smoothly.
We will continue to share updates on the progress of our Meetings squad as we transition into a 4-day work week.