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How often should teams meet? It’s an interesting question with no easy answer. As with most complex question the answer is: “it depends”. But, I thought of sharing with you a framework to think about it and come up with the right answer for your team.
According to a survey by Collaborative Strategies an average worker is a part of three to five teams and more than 77% of them are working simultaneously on two to seven projects. These statistics clearly indicate the need to hold effective meetings so that the employees are up to date with information and are clear about their goals and deadline which calls for increased collaboration.
Despite this push for collaboration in the workplace, too many companies still allow inefficiencies of meetings to take up as much as 40% of a worker’s day.
In a scenario like this, collaborative meetings can help your team by ensuring that all the regularly scheduled meetings maintain work momentum and also by strengthening the relationship between team members. The frequency of such well collaborated meetings usually set your team’s work rhythm and getting it right should be made a priority since it can make a huge difference in how your team performs.
Always remember that the teams that don’t meet often drift out of alignment, lose information and can weaken the interpersonal bond that helps them to work together. But if you make the team meet too often, they will get worn out and frustrated. This again highlights the importance of getting the rhythm of your team’s work right.
Let’s look into all the factors that we must consider before scheduling the meeting to get the rhythm right.
Urgency and Importance
The frequency of the meetings also depends on the goals of your teams. If your team pursues urgent and important goals, they need to meet as often as possible.
The frequency of your meetings is also based on the roles and responsibilities of your team members.
If your team is working on the product, it becomes highly important to meet very often, probably once a week or so.
But if your team handles governance and is assigned with strategic planning, meeting once a month must suffice.
Location and Accessibility
Small teams that work in the same room don’t need to meet much but if you are working in a distributed team environment and if your employees are spread across different time zones, it’s extremely important to get your meeting rhythm right.
In a distributed environment, virtual meetings play an important role because they rule out two risk factors:
Out of sight, out of mind
Sometimes, we all get caught up in our own work and tend to forget to check with our team members.
If you are out of touch too often, people always tend to assume that everything is going fine since they haven’t heard anything from their team members.