5 Reasons Your Meetings Are Unproductive (and how to fix them)

Meeting agendas can transform your company performance. We discuss this and other ways to fix unproductive meetings.

Did you know that executives spend an average of almost 23 hours per week in meetings? This represents a 10-hour increase over the past 50 years, and it does not account for the impromptu gatherings that don’t make it onto the schedule. 

To make matters worse, 71 per cent of senior managers have said that their meetings are inefficient and unproductive. 

This problem is only getting worse. With remote work taking off, people are jumping into meetings with no clear agenda and quickly hitting zoom fatigue. 


Ultimately, a lot of time is wasted, which brings down the productivity and efficiency of your business.

With that in mind, we will take a look at five reasons why meetings are unproductive and what you can do to fix them! 

1. Your meeting could have been a simple note or email

One of the reasons why a lot of businesses are holding unproductive meetings is because a lot of their meetings are unnecessary to begin with.

When holding a meeting, the purpose must be defined. What are the goals and desired outcome? You need to be able to pinpoint an outcome to justify a meeting.

For instance, a meeting is necessary if the goal is to reach a particular decision. However, if you cannot specify the purpose and want to discuss an issue without any goal or agenda, you probably do not need a meeting. 

Instead, you should think about a different and more effective way of discussing the issue.

Setting up a meeting qualification process can help you to avoid holding unnecessary meetings in the future.

Another way to prevent this is by using the RemoteWorkly feature that enables teams to add their daily stand-ups and track progress. This will ensure you don’t need to hold catch-up meetings to check on everyone’s progress.

2. You have no agenda before the meeting 

Another reason why meetings are unproductive is that you don’t have an agenda before the meeting. We recommend looking at an agenda of meeting example to get an idea of the sort of thing you should put in place before each meeting.

A meeting without any clearly outlined objectives can quickly turn into an aimless waste of time. The organiser of the meeting should prepare an agenda and circulate it to attendees in advance.

If you look at an example of an agenda for a meeting, you will see that they tend to include a list of items that need to be discussed. A good meeting agenda example will also state the purpose of the meeting too. 

If you’re struggling, you can simply download a meeting agenda sample and fill it in with your information.

At RemoteWorkly, team members have the option to add talking points, which will ensure that everyone is happy with the meeting agenda, and no essential points are overlooked.

3. There is no meeting context

Another reason why meetings are unproductive is that they lack context, and this often happens as a consequence of failing to define a meeting purpose and objective.

If a similar meeting happened last week, would your team be able to remember what was discussed?

“Similar meetings” can be combined automatically using RemoteWorkly, helping to give your meetings context, and enabling employees to carry out detailed searching on meetings that have taken place.

Context around meeting notes

4. There's no effective action point process after the meeting happens 

Those who run effective meetings will tell you that they are only as successful as the action points produced. 

Action points are critical for moving things forward between each meeting. They provide a focus for both the closing of one meeting and the opening of the next. 

After all, what is the point in having a meeting if it does not result in any action afterward? Action points will contain all of the information to ensure that all the right people take the correct action. 

Even if everything seems clear during the meeting, there could be a misunderstanding. This is why a well-written action item and process are needed.

You can create smart actions with RemoteWorkly by using our other favourite tools, including Asana and Trello. 

5. There's no easy follow-up process on the action points

Finally, you need to have a simple follow-up process for the action points that have been created above. 

The follow-up process should start straight after the meeting. Your action items should include a description and a deadline. You then need to have a process in place so that employees can give status updates. RemoteWorkly has an auto-reminder process to assist with this.

Vaibhav Namburi

I'm the Founder of RemoteWorkly. I've helped build multiple multi-million dollar companies and I love approaching Start Ups through product-lead growth

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