In working from anywhere world within the future of work, there are natural adjustments that come with this uncharted territory. Not only has the cadence of meetings changed, but new meeting substitutes mean it’s not always essential to have that meeting. In fact, “Organizations spend roughly 15% of their time on meetings, with surveys showing that 71% of those meetings are unproductive.” While meetings aren’t necessarily inherently ‘unproductive’, it’s important to consider how meetings are carried out and its frequency. So, how do you get your burning question answered or your agenda fulfilled? Here are some alternatives to a meeting:
Record, send, repeat. Using Loom is a great way to get your points across and its ability to screen record means you can clearly communicate what needs to be said. Don’t worry if you don’t perfect your recording the first time, as you can always edit your Loom.
The best part? Loom promotes asynchronous communication, which means your coworker can watch your Loom and respond on their own time. Not only can it be used as an alternative to a one-off meeting, but it can also be used to replace a weekly meeting.
Business- $8/month per creator (annually)
Ever need clarification on a topic that won’t take more than 10 minutes? A Huddle on Slack is the perfect in-between. Think of it as a mini meeting. You can also share your screen and draw on your shared screen which is ideal for giving specific feedback, or with roles where collaboration is required.
A Huddle is perfect for on-the-fly questions and tends to be more sporadic than a planned meeting.
Range is an “integrated communication tool for today’s teams.” With Range, employees have the ability to share status updates whether it’s a personal appointment they have, an ongoing work project they need help with, or tasks they’re working on that they’d like the team to know. It can be used as a meeting alternative by keeping the team up to speed on ongoing tasks while giving employees the space they need to reach out if they require help with a task.
You can also use Range to help facilitate more effective meetings by using their “Range” feature. The Range feature allows you to keep track of meeting agendas, and allocate a time and topic owner for each agenda.
Free- For 12 users
Premium- custom pricing, for 100+ members
- Google Doc
Speak it out or write it down? Having a Google Doc is a great way to stay organized and can replace a meeting. Simply put your notes of discussion onto the document and your coworker can comment at their earliest convenience. While this may not always replace a meeting, it’s also a great way to carve out an agenda before the meeting actually occurs.
- Send a message instead
While this may sound obvious, the pressure to have a meeting can be prevalent. If you find that your question can be clarified with a message, shoot your coworker a message instead of booking a meeting slot.
There’s always wiggle room, too. If you find there’s too much back-and-forth, opt for a meeting with an appropriate amount of time. It may be helpful to challenge yourself to achieve said agenda within 30 minutes, as opposed to booking for 1 hour. This ensures the meeting will be productive and will challenge you to be concise.
Want to record your screen but add more actionable tasks after? Click is a comprehensive platform that not only allows you to record your screen but also lets you create tasks and assign team members with each video.
You can also use its Whiteboard feature to collaborate with your steam or brainstorm new ideas. After collaborating, you can create actionable tasks based on your whiteboard. This can be a meeting alternative as it serves a roadmap for employees, without the extra meeting.
Unlimited- $5/member monthly (small teams)
Business-$12/member monthly (mid-sized teams)
Business Plus-$19/member monthly (for multiple teams)
- Leverage project management tools
A meeting isn’t always necessary if your project management platform is doing all of the heavylifting. A project management system like Monday can help you visualize everyone’s tasks and to-do items. From there, you can decide if sending a Loom, or adding notes via Google Doc can replace a meeting.
Don’t want to leave Slack? Geekbot is a way to conduct asynchronous meetings via Slack. It easily integrates with Slack and posts updates to Slack, so your employees can leave updates without ever leaving the app. Updates questions include, “How do you feel today?”, “What did you do since yesterday?”, and “What will you do today?”. However, you can adjust update questions and frequency as you see fit.
Conducting these updates within Slack ensures a seamless way to have standups. No major coordinating needed, as Geekbot considers each team member’s time zone in mind.
Outside of conducting standups, you can also use Geekbot to conduct surveys, run meeting standups, or ask for team feedback.
Startup- Free, up to 10 participants
Scale-up-$2.5/participant monthly (option to bill annually)
A work communication tool, Status Hero helps aims to replace long meetings with its async daily check-ins. The check-in begins with a customizable prompt sent to your team. Team members then respond with their blockers, any project updates, and an emoji that best represents their moods. Search for these check-ins quickly by using hashtags to categorize these check-ins.
You can also view activity across all linked applications, view participation rates, and team moods. Additionally, reports can be generated and be used for meetings or retros.
Basic-$3/user monthly, billed anually
Pro-$5/user monthly, billed annually
Corporate-$7/user monthly, billed annually
Enterprise-$9/user monthly, billed annually
Looking for another alternative to a stand-up meeting? ScrumGenius is yet another way to conduct stand-up meetings. Automate your check-ins via Microsoft Teams or Slack and enable goal tracking, so the whole team stays on track. Use the ScrumGenius dashboard to view everyone’s progress. ScrumGenius also compiles the day’s check-ins into one email, so there are less notifications and clutter in your inbox.
Starts at $2.50/month
Leveraging technology means using technology to improve and optimize work processes. While these platforms aren’t meant to obliterate meetings altogether, it’s important to reflect on the meetings you’re having, so you can ascertain which situations truly necessitate a meeting. After all, the future of work is about work-life balance.