How To Reduce Work Meetings: Tips For Fewer Meetings


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Work meetings represent between 7% and 15% of the weekly working day. They are a meeting point where team members get to know each other, interact and reach points of common agreement to achieve objectives (1).

They are an expense for the organization, as they require time from those convened, which can be used in the development of daily tasks. In addition, they require preparation, follow-up and control of the results. In this article, we present an overview of the subject and tips on how to use them for the productivity of your team.

Key Facts

  • We suggest 8 tips to make work meetings a productivity tool.
  • Use technology to your advantage, learn with us tools for the management of meetings and work teams.
  • You will know how to prepare, develop and call effective meetings.

Tips to reduce the number of business meetings

Time management, the number of meetings per day and the substitution of these by massive and alternative communication mechanisms are some options to maintain an optimal performance in the teams. On the other hand, these are useful for goal setting and problem solving (1).

1. Allocate time for the most important tasks

Time is a valuable resource; its proper management increases personal and team productivity. Nowadays there are multiple resources that give us the possibility to manage time, in the following table you will find some free tools that will help you to manage it optimally.

Time management toolsEmployability / UseLink
Tomato TimersAllows the use of the Pomodoro technique to achieve greater time efficiency. The technique consists of dividing the work time into 25-minute intervals, with 5-minute breaks at the end of the time.
TrelloThis tool allows the creation of boards. The model is similar to kanban, with the added value of being able to assign a list of tasks, a time limit for their completion, among other functions that allow optimal time management.
AsanaIt is a good alternative to prioritize tasks. It is also used to follow the workflow in projects.
EvernoteThrough the assignment of tags to the notes created, it is possible to establish the importance of the tasks. Thus, determining which tasks are of priority.
Remember The MilkThis application classifies daily tasks by week. In addition, it allows you to create personal and work lists.

Among the methods for good time management is the Eisenhower matrix. This tool allows the prioritization of tasks, to focus attention on the most important ones.

The matrix distributes tasks into four quadrants. Those activities that fall into the category of urgent and important are those that should be executed first, as they are a priority. On the other hand, there are online resources that allow you to customize the Eisenhower matrix templates.

This tool allows the prioritization of tasks, to focus attention on the most important ones (Source: Camila Barrera/ Gitnux)

The organization of activities, according to their importance, allows to focus the attention of work meetings on what is really important. At the same time, it is an indicator of the number of necessary meetings, where the attendance of the whole work team is required.

2. Using e-mail and applications for team work

Work meetings are a useful communication tool when feedback is required. Otherwise, there are other means, faster and more efficient, to communicate information to the collaborators.

Business meetings are a useful communication tool when feedback is required (Source: Camila Barrera/ Gitnux)

Identifying the types of communications that would replace business meetings is necessary to reduce the number of face-to-face meetings. In addition, there are tools that allow direct contact with employees and are immediately responsive.

Among the online tools that encourage team efficiency by allowing remote synchronization between people, there are cloud services such as Nudge, Joyous, Visibly, Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive. On the other hand, there are desktop applications with direct communication options such as Slack and Teams.

3. Say no to meetings when necessary

Give the team the freedom to decline work meetings when they interfere with the performance of their daily tasks. In addition to maintaining flexibility in attendance, it stimulates productivity. On the other hand, it is necessary to provide communication channels to coordinate the teams (1).

It is necessary to determine the importance of meetings in order to stipulate those that require mandatory attendance. At the same time, it is necessary to take into account that sporadic meetings, whose matters to be dealt with are urgent, must be scheduled in advance (1).

4. Suggest having a day free of meetings

Setting aside one day free of meetings per week allows for a continuous work flow. This day is necessary so that employees have enough time to fulfill their job duties. In addition, it is suggested to omit virtual meetings, so that the team can focus its attention and effort on the day’s business.

To establish the day off from meetings, it is advisable to have the team’s opinion. To know their position, to agree among all that common time, where they have the opportunity to comply with GTD (Getting Things Done). That is to say, to finish all the tasks.

If you want to read more about that, click here: No-Meeting Day

5. Create an agenda for each meeting

It is suggested that meetings focus on concrete objectives. As these are the basis of the plan that will develop the body of the meeting. At the same time, it is important to be precise in the information provided and to agree on precise points on the agenda, where the collaborators can express their points of view.

Creating an outline of the meeting is useful to be certain of the topics to be discussed. The planning allows the optimal use of time and to more quickly specify the points for which the meeting was convened.

Read more about our guide about meeting agendas here.

6. Have small daily meetings

Time is a factor to consider at the moment of the development of the work meetings. Being forceful with the information and focusing on the important topics, increases the attention of the collaborators to what is relevant.

The retention of information and direction of activities, tasks, solutions and action plans, when precise, allow the control exercise to be effective. The more time spent in meetings, the more prone to rambling and imprecision.

7. Seek feedback from the work team

The use of language and word play is an instrument for successful feedback. Especially when it is necessary to clarify ideas, value interactions and contributions, resolve concerns or generate questions and make suggestions (3).

It is advisable to set schedules according to the time available to the participants, to be specific with the topics to be discussed and to make the agreements known to the whole team.

At the moment of specifying different points of view and ideas, it is normal that there is friction among the collaborators. In addition, creating an atmosphere of respect and free expression in the work environment, specifically in meetings, is easier when creating phrases that allow the objective of clarification and definition of the message.

Feedback must be aligned to the parameters of the organizational culture, within the values of the same. Some questions that can be used for this purpose are (3):

  • have you considered….?
  • i wonder if what you mean is ….?
  • maybe you already thought about this, but ….?
Feedback must be aligned to the parameters of the organizational culture, within the values of the organization (Source: Camila Barrera/ Gitnux)

8. Planning and use of the right work tools

Work meetings can be inefficient without prior planning. On the other hand, it is advisable to set the schedules according to the time available to the participants, to be specific with the topics to be discussed and to make the agreements known to the whole team.

For each stage of the work meetings, there are tools that facilitate the workflow and effectiveness of the same. Google calendar, Google Keep, Trello and Evernote are interactive, publicly accessible tools that help us to meet these objectives.

What are the main reasons for ineffective meetings?

Convening large work groups, using more than the required time, not having an established agenda, nor follow-up and control of the results. These are the main causes of ineffectiveness in business meetings.

What are the factors for an effective meeting?

The number of attendees is an aspect that determines its scope. In addition, it is recommended that the number of participants be limited; small groups allow active participation. If it is required that the entire work team knows about a specific topic, it is preferable to use a more economical and massive means of communication (4).

To identify the purpose of the meeting, is the first step for the planning, within the diverse types are (4):

  • Informative meetings.
  • Meetings for decision-making.
  • Meetings to present an issue.
  • Meetings for problem-solving.

Read more about different meeting types here.

Within the participants of a work meeting, there are (1):

The moderator, leader, supervisor and director.This is the person in charge of preparing and directing the meeting, as well as convening it.Preparing the documentation, summoning the attendees, energizing the meeting, in particular, summarizing the main points of the meeting, as well as the agreements that have been reached.
The attendeesthe members attending the meeting, their choice is fundamentalActively participate in the meeting, express their opinions, contributions and knowledge

Other aspects, to be considered for the effectiveness of the meetings, are the preparation, that is to say, to establish the agenda and those summoned to the meeting. In addition, the development has to be controlled, together with the follow-up of the results.

How many meetings per day are convenient?

Business meetings represent a cost for companies. It is time taken from the employees, which can be used for the development of their work. In addition, they generate an extra mental load to the daily tasks.

The average duration of meetings is within the range of 30 minutes to 1 hour. In case more daily meetings are required, it is suggested that they be no more than three and in intervals of 10 to 15 minutes, to maintain the attention of the attendees.


Work meetings are a useful tool for feedback and knowledge of the people who are part of the work teams. According to their purposes, they can be classified into different types.

There are informative meetings, meetings to make decisions, develop team plans and solve problems (4). In order to achieve the objectives, it is necessary the participation and exchange of ideas among the participants(1). In turn, effectiveness depends on factors such as time and number of participants.

This article is part of our meeting playbook series.


1. Pérez Gregorio MG. Business meetings [Internet]. Core; 2016 [cited 2023]. Available from:

2. Belanger J. More effective business meetings [Internet]. Google Books. Editorial Reverte; 1975 [cited 2022].

3. Wilson D. Feedback through the Pyramid [Internet]. . fundacies; 2019 [cited 2022]. Available from:

4. TORRES RIVADEMAR LUIS. WORKING MEETINGS, HOW TO MAKE THEM PRODUCTIVE [Internet]. dyna; 2002 [cited 2023]. Available from:

5. Bélanger J. More Effective Work Meetings [Internet]. Proquest; 2012 [cited 2023]. Available from:

6. Ander-Egg E. Teamwork [Internet]. Google Books. Progress; 2001 [cited 2023].

7. Izquierdo C. Social-emotional behavior in teacher work meetings [Internet]. Journal Aula de Innovacion Educativa; 1998 [cited 2023]. Available from:


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