Meetings. They provide a chance for us to get away from our desk, interact with a few co-workers and collaborate to get projects done efficiently, but they don’t always run perfectly. Sometimes it can feel as though a meeting is never ending or that nothing important has been accomplished. In fact, the typical professional attends over 60 meetings per month and approximately 50 percent of meeting time is wasted.

Whether you are organizing meetings or simply attending them, you owe it to yourself and your team to make the most of every minute. Just imagine how much more could be done if your meetings become just one percent or even five percent more effective. Here are 5 ways to improve your meetings.

1. Set an Agenda

Create a list of topics to be discussed and make sure that necessary materials are provided to attendees at least one day before the meeting. Upload the agenda to the respective workspace on Mitel Teamwork, a cloud collaboration tool, so that it is easily accessible by all attendees, even if they are attending remotely. For frequently held meetings, such as a weekly project check in, you can save time by creating a meeting template. Once you have that in place, preparing an agenda is as simple as filling in the blanks.

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2. Check progress of tasks already in place

Already have tasks doled out in Teamwork? Check their progress easily within each workspace. Completed and not, you can easily swipe through to know what items may need to be addressed or covered in your next team meeting. Tasks allow you to stay updated on any project and ensure everyone on the team knows what has been accomplished and what still needs work.

3. Start on time and end on time

You don’t want attendees counting down the meeting minutes, but you should be watching the clock. Take charge of managing time. When people attend a meeting, they cannot do anything else. Make that time count! Starting the meeting on time and ending on time (or even a few minutes early!) will quickly enhance your reputation as an organized person. If you are running a complex meeting or a meeting with a large attendee list, consider asking a colleague to serve as timekeeper. Arrive early if possible and avoid back to back commitments on your calendar whenever you can.

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4. Take notes and send out a recap

Taking notes in meetings is an essential skill that not enough people take seriously. The key reason to take notes in a meeting is to record any questions or assignments that have been directed to you or that you have assigned. Taking notes on paper can be more effective than using a computer, tablet or other device. Even if you have a fantastic ability to focus on the meeting, other people may assume that you’re catching up on email instead of paying attention. Bring a copy of the agenda and use it to guide your note taking. Focus on the decisions made in the meeting and items that require further work. Marking down who has been assigned what can also be a way to keep attendees accountable. Sending out meeting minutes within 24 hours of the initial meeting, even a few paragraphs or bullet points, is a best practice. Minutes can be uploaded to the cloud collaboration space in Teamwork to ensure everyone has access.

5. Assign tasks

After a meeting, run through your notes and find what tasks need to be updated or created to ensure all projects are up to date. Easily delegate project with Teamwork in the appropriate workspace and assign tasks quickly. Additional information necessary? Send a file out in the workspace, or in a 1:1 chat, to allow easy access at any time.

Equipping employees with virtual workspaces, Teamwork is a spot where employees can come together to work closely and communicate effectively, all in a secure environment. Accessible by PC as well as the mobile app, team members can be updated from anywhere, at any time. Whether you need to share documents, create and assign milestone tasks, or even host a meeting, Teamwork is the application for you.

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