How to improve the oft-dreaded workplace meeting

How to make workplace meetings more effective

An estimated 55 million meetings happen at workplaces across the U.S. every day but according to one study, nine out of 10 employees admit to daydreaming during meetings.

But it's no wonder, because as professor Steven Rogelberg pointed out to "CBS This Morning," less than 20 percent of managers receive any training on how to run an effective meeting.

"There is decades of research on meetings and teams. And this work can be leveraged to fix this problem," said Rogelberg, who is the author of "The Surprising Science of Meetings: How You Can Lead Your Team to Peak Performance." 

"When a leader fully embraces the idea that they're a steward of others' time, they're going to start making deliberate choices. They're going to think carefully about who needs to be at the meeting. They're going to think carefully about whether a meeting's even needed. And most importantly, they're going to facilitate the meeting. They're not just going to feature themselves during the conversation. Instead, they're going to try to bring out the best in everyone. To have a real meaningful discourse," Rogelberg said. 

Here are some tips to make your next meeting more effective:

Set a clear agenda

Rogelberg recommends not just having an agenda but putting some real thought into it.

"Our research shows that having an agenda does nothing in meeting effectiveness. It all comes down to what's on that agenda. Did the leader make any effort to solicit input from others?"

The smaller the better 

A rule of thumb used by some at Amazon, is that if two pizzas can't feed everyone in the meeting, it's probably too big. Rogelberg agrees. 

"As meetings expand in size, dysfunction also expands. There's lots of reasons. When you have lots of people, you have communication issues. But you also have something called social loafing which is the idea that the more people that are there, they start to just kind of blend into the crowd, and that's where the multitasking really comes in."  

Mix it up

In his book, Rogelberg proposes standing meetings or walking meetings as opposed to always sitting around a table. 

"There are these just habitual practices with meetings," he said. "I just want people to realize that there's a lot of different ways of having meetings."  

Keep it short

"There are these just habitual practices with meetings. People dial it in, right. They meet out of habit, they often default to an hour meeting because that's the setting, the default setting on a Google calendar or Outlook. There's just not thought being given to this topic."