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Efficient meetings: how to organise them?
6 August 2021 | All locations
”If you can’t feed your team with two large pizzas in a meeting, you’re in trouble.” – Jeff Bezos
Meetings, meetings, meetings: some people can’t get enough of them, others hate them. Regardless of which camp you belong to, meetings are an inevitable part of our working lives. That’s why it’s better to ensure that these moments are efficient and provide added value: after all, too often we come out of meetings feeling like a waste of time. And that’s bad for motivation!
In this article, we take a closer look at the concept of meetings: giving you the most important do’s and don’ts for a productive meeting and explain why we need ‘topless meetings‘ so much. We also give manners to help you run your meetings smoothly. We conclude with 10 reasons why should opt for a Greenhouse meeting room! Do you still have questions about us – or would you like to take a closer look at our meeting rooms? That’s possible: we are happy to give you a free tour in a hub of your choice. See you soon?
Meetings: three do’s and don’ts
One thing you can be sure of: in every organisation, there are frustrations when it comes to meetings. Which isn’t surprising: we all have a different way of working and communicating, which is exposed more strongly in a meeting: maybe you like to get to the point and have smooth meetings – while that colleague sees the meeting as a way to connect. Neither is wrong, but when they come together unspoken, it can lead to frustration and misunderstanding.
We give you three of the biggest do’s and don’ts to keep in mind. These tips are important to ensure that everyone enters the meeting with the same expectations – and hopefully leaves with the desired results. Here we go!
DO: Provide clarity about the meeting
Make sure you go into the meeting with concrete objectives and topics – and that everyone is aware of the (individual) expectations.
DON’T: automatically invite everyone in the team
How many times have you been in a meeting where you did not really need to be? That’s right: too often. When you invite your team to a meeting, it is best to look at the profiles you need and those you do not. It is better to have an ultra-productive meeting with three key figures than a sluggish meeting with the entire team.
DO: make sure you have a secretary and a report
A meeting is only productive when everyone leaves the (digital) room with a clear head and clear results or agreements. A secretary can help with that: he or she is responsible for summarising the meeting briefly and concisely at the end, so that everyone – even those who were not present – knows exactly what was said and what is expected of them in concrete terms.
DON’T: Organising a meeting to catch up
When meetings are the only moments you get to see your colleagues, they tend to evolve into a cosy moment of catching up. All fine and good for the team spirit, but there are other occasions for this. So be critical about the subject of the meeting and draw up concrete goals and agenda items accordingly. Do you notice difficulties in writing these down? Then the meeting is probably not necessary – and you might rather have a cosy coffee chat.
DO: draw up rules and expectations for each meeting
There is nothing more frustrating than a meeting of which half of the participants are not actively involved. That is why it is best to make it clear at the start of the meeting what you need. Provide a few rules (no mobile phone use, for example) that you expect to be followed and also individual expectations: this way, you avoid having colleagues wander off or being passive.
DON’T: don’t always give the leadership to the same person, but opt for rotating presidency
In every team, you will have someone who is naturally willing to take the lead. Chances are that this person automatically takes the lead in your meetings. It’s certainly convenient, but it ensures that other people will settle for a passive role. Therefore, work with a rotating system for chairpersons – and give everyone the chance to take on the leadership role. This will not only make your meetings more dynamic, it will also ensure a more balanced team.
How do we meet in 2021 and what do we need?
We have been doing it for almost one and a half years now: meeting via videocall from home. And for many people, this is starting to weigh. Not only has it been proven that our brains have to work harder to understand digital body language, but it is also simply tiring to spend entire days communicating via a screen. In addition, the compulsory home work also led to a serious increase in meetings to wrap things up, whereas in ‘normal’ circumstances this would quickly happen face to face.
“I survived another meeting that could’ve been an email”
So, a lot of frustration – and even more fatigue and reluctance when it comes to meetings. We need a breath of fresh air in the meeting landscape, so that we can step into a meeting room with enthusiasm again. Now that the infection rates seem to be going in the right direction – and we will soon be allowed back into the office to make those meetings happen for real – that fresh start seems to be nearby.
But how do you go from one and a half year of digital meetings back to ‘real life’ meetings? Well, we asked around and came to this – not so surprising – conclusion: people need ‘topless’ meetings now more than ever. In other words: stay as far away as possible from mobile phones and laptops when we don’t really need to, and focus on the three-dimensional, real people who are in the same room. Not pixilated or frozen, this time.
There has never been more need for ‘topless’ meetings
Topless conferencing, which means banning mobile phones, tablets and laptops from the meeting room, is not a new phenomenon. What is new, however, is the contemporary need for this. This is because for almost a year and a half, we have been living through our mobile phones, tablets or laptops – and that is something we want to get away from.
Besides, we all know it: a meeting with your mobile phone next to you is a meeting where you are more likely to be distracted. After all, it lights up many times an hour, and maybe someone needs you urgently?
In addition, it has also been proven that when you take notes using your laptop, you get less of the essence of the meeting. You blindly note down what you hear at record speed, without really listening.
When you take notes manually, it is much slower, which forces you to immediately filter the essence of the meeting. Digital devices during a meeting are therefore not always bad, but it is important to think carefully about their importance: are they really necessary? Can’t we just write things down on ‘oldschool’ paper? What is the purpose of this meeting and what do we really need for it?
Often, you will notice that no mobile phone, tablet or laptop is needed – and that during the meeting, pen, paper and the full presence and focus of your colleagues is sufficient.
That is one last advantage of topless meetings: when no devices are present, there is more focus. Everyone is now 100% involved in the meeting and will be able to spread their attention better. That’s not only positive for the results and the achievement of the set goals, but also helps to make that connection with your colleagues again.
A few tips to make sure your meeting runs smoothly
Do you have an important meeting coming up soon and do you want it to run as smoothly and productively as possible? Then it is smart to prepare it well. Not only will it show that you know what you are doing, it will also ensure more active participation and a generally more positive feeling about the moment – even among those who do not like meetings.
#1 Know what kind of meeting you are organising and communicate it
Is your meeting for brainstorming, sharing information, communicating instructions or making decisions? It is important to indicate what the participants in the meeting can expect. This way they can fully prepare – and step into the meeting room with the right mindset. Knowing where you stand is not only good for the smooth running of the meeting, but will also produce better results. After all, you have to prepare more for an active brainstorming session than for an informative meeting where you just have to listen.
#2 Ensure good structure and preparation
Draw up an extensive agenda for yourself with certain points and objectives. This will prevent you from straying too far or losing your concentration during the session. A structure is also very pleasant for the participating parties: they know what they can expect, so they will participate more actively.
#3 Timeboxes: strict but fair
To be able to stick to your structure, it is important to timebox. For each topic, indicate how long the participants have to think/talk about it and let them know when time is almost up. Timeboxing may sound annoying, but it will ensure that you achieve more in a short time. In addition, tight timeboxing also ensures that meetings are completed on time – and not overrun by hours.
#4 Address colleagues when they’re not actively participating
When you spend time preparing for your meeting – and you need concrete answers – you expect everyone in the meeting to actively participate. Have you noticed that a particular colleague is not participation as hoped? Then be sure to talk to him/her about it, if you don’t, you will only get frustrated, which will also negatively affect your own productivity.
#5 End the meeting with concrete next steps
Nothing is as annoying as ending a meeting vaguely. Therefore, make sure that every participant knows exactly what the next steps are: have the secretary write down the tasks per person somewhere centrally and set a deadline together for each person to finish those tasks.
10 advantages of organising a meeting at Greenhouse
By now you already have a pretty concrete idea of what a good and structured meeting looks like. There is just one more thing to take into account: location, location, location. It has been proven that a change of scenery can do wonders for productivity and concentration – and we at Greenhouse know that all too well.
That’s why we offer a broad range of meeting rooms, each with its own specific characteristics. Meeting in small groups or with the entire board? We have meeting rooms for both – and everything in between. No matter which meeting room you choose, you can always count on the following 10 benefits.
High-quality meeting rooms with all the comfort and (IT) equipment you need
The biggest frustration during a meeting? It’s the failure of the necessary infrastructure to function. How many precious minutes have you lost because of struggling with the connection between laptop and a large screen or looking for the right WiFi? That’s right: quite a few.
At Greenhouse, you don’t have to worry about this. Our infrastructure is of the highest quality to guarantee you the most comfortable meeting experience. And if something doesn’t work as it should, our Hospitality Assistants are there to support you.
“In terms of design and user-friendliness, we have nothing but positive things to say. Everything was taken care of down to the last detail, and the design and set-up was very pleasant and relaxing. In terms of available equipment and things like sockets, we had no complaints either: everything in Greenhouse has clearly been installed with the comfort of each guest in mind” – Telenet
Attention to sustainability and well-being
Tough meetings have a big impact on your mental capacity. Although we can’t help you with that, we can make sure that you feel physically well. We are able to do this by only providing sustainable and high quality office furniture. In this way, we ensure that you can sit comfortably without having to struggle with neck or back pain.
The well-being of our visitors always comes first: it is therefore our responsibility to ensure that every Greenhouse member feels completely at ease. We do this by offering sustainable and comfortable workplaces: think ergonomic chairs, smart air circulation, lots of green around, an abundance of daylight, and so on. Because the happier that body is, the better you can put that head to work!Find out why comfort at a meeting is important
“We like to make use of the booking option to rent a meeting room. I personally prefer to work at the various desks that are easily height-adjustable, so that you can alternate between sitting and standing whenever you like. Healthy for the body and good for the brain!” – Solventure
Greenhouse members meet for free 2 hours a day
Are you a member of Greenhouse? Then you can use our meeting rooms for free every day for two hours. All you have to do is book the meeting room of your choice on time – and then you can organise your meeting in all peace and comfort. That is just one of the many benefits you can enjoy as a Greenhouse member…
“Of course, location is not everything: we also appreciated the set-up of your co-working. Moreover, we also got the opportunity to use a meeting room on a daily basis – which was an extra asset for us. We did not think any longer than necessary – and signed up for co-working subscriptions at Greenhouse Antwerp.” – Pi Life Sciences Consultancy
Hospitality team available for all your questions and needs
Have you booked a meeting room at the Greenhouse, but looking for an extra touch to add? Or do you still have questions in advance? No problem: every Greenhouse hub has a Hospitality Assistant ready to assist you in your meeting. Feel free to ask them!A question? Get in touch!
“Everything at Greenhouse has been arranged with our comfort in mind. The excellent service, for example: the Hospitality Assistants are always helpful and friendly, but also the extremely clean surroundings.” – Four Eyes
Free coffee, tea and water
Some things should be a basic right. Besides water, we think that coffee (and tea too) definitely belong to that list. Especially in a professional environment, a good cup of coffee simply cannot be missing. When you choose Greenhouse as your operating base for your meeting, you can be sure of that: we offer free coffee, tea and water to all our visitors.
“We don’t need much – and what we do need is there: a laptop, internet, electricity and coffee. By the way, the coffee at the Greenhouse is very well-liked!” – DWS
Catering packages tailored to your needs
Some meetings require just that little bit more. Maybe your meeting lasts a whole day – or maybe you are hosting important people who you want to pamper. Whatever the reason, a good meal makes everyone happy. And we know that like no other! That’s why Greenhouse Antwerp is the right place for all your catering needs. From different drinks to an assortment of sandwiches to a complete and elaborate meal: we take care of it from A-Z.Discover our catering options
“Besides the fine design and comfort of the Boardroom, there are a number of extras that Greenhouse offers. The aim of Greenhouse here always seems to be: to ensure that our meetings, however long or short they may be, run as smoothly as possible. Sandwiches, snacks, drinks, a full lunch, … you name it: when we asked for it, it was provided for us with a smile.” – Atlas Copco
Excellent accessibility and parking
Nothing is as annoying as standing in a traffic jam for an hour on the way to your meeting – and then having to spend another hour frantically looking for parking. That’s bad for your mood – which will undoubtedly show during your meeting itself.
To limit these frustrations as much as possible, we have placed our three hubs on highly accessible traffic routes. In addition, all our hubs have sufficient parking space nearby so that you don’t waste valuable time driving around fruitlessly.
“But the biggest advantage of Greenhouse Antwerp? For me personally, that is the location. You are immediately on the motorway, but in the vicinity you will also find great coffee bars or restaurants – all within walking distance. Tip: Coffee shop Basiel is my personal go-to for a special coffee or delicious salad!” – Solventure
Use of co-working space before or after the meeting
Your time is extremely valuable – and we know that all too well. That’s why we are happy to help you with the necessary time management when organising a meeting at Greenhouse. With a day pass you can work the rest of the day in our co-working space – so you don’t have to leave immediately after your meeting.Coworking at Greenhouse: what should you know?
“So far, I can only say positive things. The fact that the hubs are open 24 hours a day is a huge plus for me: I can have meetings in the afternoon and continue to work in the coworking space in the evening, at my leisure and undisturbed – until I say that I’ve had enough.” – Narcisse
You rent much more than just a meeting room
When you rent a meeting room at Greenhouse, our impressive infrastructure is only the beginning… When you book a meeting room in our buildings, you can always count on that professional vibe we are so proud of.
Our hubs are in tip-top shape, equipped with all the necessary facilities and all come with their own unique atmosphere. In other words, when you receive your clients in one of our beautiful buildings, you are guaranteed to make a professional impression. This way, we make sure that you not only rent those square metres, but also a professional environment and a relaxing atmosphere at the same time. That’s a promise.
“Greenhouse was already a well-known partner at Telenet: they have been in our system for a long time and we have already booked meeting rooms in their hubs in the past. We also plan to continue doing so in the future, because Greenhouse has a lot of great and interesting assets: the pleasant environment, friendly reception, good communication and various parking facilities are the biggest examples of this.” – Telenet
Flexibility is key: rent what you need
Every meeting is different and therefore needs a different time slot. Some meetings take a full day, while for others an hour is enough. As mentioned before, every Greenhouse member can use one of our meeting rooms for free for two hours a day, but that’s not all. You can also opt for a time slot of a day, half a day – or simply book per hour.
This way, you choose where, when and for how long you want to meet, without any hassle. That also applies to the capacity of our meeting rooms: you tell us how many people you are bringing and we will help you choose the perfect meeting room for your company. Is there unexpectedly more or less people than expected? We will do everything we can to move you to a more comfortable meeting room. Flexibility is key, remember?Choose from 31 meeting rooms and 3 locations
“The meeting rooms that were allocated to us for our training days lacked nothing in terms of comfort. Originally, we had booked the small room, but it turned out to be just a bit too small according to the current distance rules. Therefore, Greenhouse very flexibly suggested to change the chosen meeting room to the larger ‘Novigo’ room.” – Telenet
Would you like to know more about meetings at Greenhouse?
Do not hesitate to contact us. We would be happy to take you on a pleasant tour along all our different meeting rooms, so you can experience first hand how a meeting is done at our location. See you soon?