Misunderstanding the Concept of Productivity: Can Back-to-back Meetings Boost your Productivity?

Updated: Nov 18, 2021

Some people believe that back-to-back meetings can boost their productivity because they should work constantly and they can finish more tasks. If you are one of them, please read this article to have the right answer.

Microsoft has published new research on the effectiveness of back-to-back meetings. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, video call fatigue has become a reality for knowledge workers. Microsoft's Human Factors Lab tried to put in the science behind that sentiment. Researchers in the lab investigating how humans interact with technology have asked 14 people to wear an electroencephalogram (EEG) device - a hat that monitors electrical activity in the brain, to attend video conferencing.

14 volunteers who participate in two different meetings. On a particular day, they joined four-time back-to-back meetings with each call for different tasks. On another day, four half-hour meetings in this meditation participants were separated by 10 minutes. The sessions took place on two consecutive Mondays; some participants started with back-to-backs, while others broke between meetings and next week, converted them. Supplements also accepted meetings to rebuild a clear experience.

The study results provide three main keys:

1. Breaks between meetings allow the brain to "reset", thus reducing the build-up of stress during meetings.

As other studies have shown, researchers have found that two consecutive hours of meetings lead to cumulative stress. When participants were allowed to meditate, the brain was given enough time to reset, preventing a build-up of stress.

2. Back-to-back meetings can interfere with your ability to concentrate and interact.

When participants took a break from meditation, brain wave patterns showed positive levels of frontal alpha asymmetry, correlated with higher engagement. If there is no interval, the levels are negative, indicating lower participant engagement.

3. Switching between meetings can be a source of high stress.

Going from meeting to meeting increases participants' stress levels. Those who took a break from meditation let their beta waves drop and then started again at the start of a new meeting. What's fascinating about the study is that meetings are mocked. This means that participants do not feel as personally invested in the meeting as they would in a real work situation. This means that in the real world, these results will likely be even more extreme.

What are solutions?

To help you, your colleagues, your workplaces have managed the back-to-back meetings, we created a how-to guide for you on how to do it:

1. Find a balance between meetings and previous response operations.

Sometimes when you have back-to-back meetings at work, you don't end up accomplishing any of the real day-to-day work tasks that you need to get done. Thus, these back-to-back meetings are the reason why you are less productive and less proactive at work.

To resolve this problem, you should create a conference-to-work proactivity ratio rule. For example, for every one-hour meeting you have, you must have one hour of time to complete proactive work tasks.

2. Limit how long the meeting can be.

Instead of a typical one-hour meeting at work, compact your meeting into forty-five minutes. You will be surprised to record how long you can do if you create a rule that you will not participate in more than some time meeting.

Use this new free time to report on the meeting you just left, get ready for the next meeting, complete or relax. The restriction of the meeting time will help you get to your next meeting on time.

3. Prioritize meetings.

Use a meeting room planner to rank your meetings from most important to least important for better meeting management. This allows you to choose which meetings to devote more time to and other appointments to cut short or postpone to a later time or date.

4. Make meeting agendas.

If you absolutely must keep a full meeting agenda for work, at the least keep track of when and where your meetings are. Use meeting management tools like Google Calendar or Teams to help you keep organized.

Also, attempt to hold as many meetings as possible in your workplace. You won't waste time traveling to other locations this way.

5. Have walking meetings.

Walking meetings are a wonderful method to learn how to manage a meeting. Walking meetings are when you and a coworker take a short walk around the office and discuss anything work-related that has to be discussed.

Walking meetings are a good way to mix things up and stay awake. Walking meetings are also a fantastic technique to keep your sessions under one hour long.


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