May 28th, 2021

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Before the pandemic, the average employee attended 62 meetings a month and considered 50% of those meetings to be a waste of their time. Every month, employees spent 31 hours — nearly four full workdays — in unproductive meetings. And for businesses in the U.S., the costs came out to $37 billion each year.

When COVID-19 forced business operations online last year, virtual meetings added brand new challenges to the fold. On a daily basis, meeting frequency increased 12.9%, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research. Since employees today have more meetings to attend than in previous times, the time and money caused by unproductive meetings can accumulate even faster and result in even bigger problems.

But meetings are crucial to doing business. And in-person meetings will always be an important piece of the workplace experience. So rather than complaining or trying to duck out of them, use these tools to make your daily hybrid and in-person meetings more productive and enjoyable.

8 tools for great hybrid and in-person meetings

1. Timer+

Thanks to its self-explanatory name, the function of this app is pretty obvious. Timer+ is a timer app that helps cut down on meetings than run over their scheduled time.

Use it on your iPhone, iPad, or Apple Watch. Timer+ runs in the background, so you're free to use your device and other apps however you need to during your meeting. Plus, you can create, label, and reuse timers with a simple tap to start, pause, and start your timer.

One reason people waste time in meetings is that they don't stick to the meeting's set timeframe. With Timer+, you can make sure your meeting wraps up on time so you're not late for your next one.

2. Evernote

Because there's a lot to coordinate — an agenda, notes, action items, etc. — managing hybrid and in-person meetings can get complicated. If you're searching for simplicity, Evernote helps improve productivity by bringing together all the various pieces so you can manage them in a simplified way. 

You can ensure all your different meeting notes stay neatly organized and save yourself a lot of time (and finger cramping) by recording your business meetings. Evernote allows you to be prepared for meetings, stay digitally organized, and share your notebooks so you and your colleagues stay up-to-date for greater business success. Because it's instantly available on every device, you’re always connected to what you need to be.

3. MindMeister

We live in a visual world. In fact, 65% of people are visual learners. Our brains process visuals faster than text, so they help improve comprehension and stick in our long-term memory.

MindMeister is a collaborative mind mapping platform that lets teams capture, create, and share ideas visually. It's an especially great tool for brainstorming and project planning meetings. This mind mapping tool supports all web browsers and both Android and iOS devices, so you can easily view, edit, and present your maps on the go.

4. Interactio

For international teams, sometimes language barriers can cause misunderstandings or confusion. That could delay the meeting, or slow down productivity.

Now that the workforce is more distributed, companies have been able to recruit and hire beyond traditional geographic boundaries. In this way, finding talent  isn't necessarily limited to a candidate pool of people who live near headquarters or the company's satellite offices. 

Fortunately, there's Interactio — a remote simultaneous interpretation (RSI) that helps multilingual business meetings stay on track, so you can connect your international team in a single place. That way, you can break any language barriers that get in the way of great collaboration.

5. Otter.ai

Otter.ai is an AI-powered transcription tool that helps meeting attendees record their meetings. Their new feature allows users to join virtual meetings from their calendar, transcribe the conversations in near real-time, and share the notes with other participants.

It's helpful for reviewing part of a conversation you missed, going back to refresh your memory of the discussion later, and you can even highlight key points covered in your team meeting. 

Another important consideration is the accessibility of your hybrid meetings. Transcription tools (and translation tools) are a great way to ensure your meetings are inclusive for everyone. Many virtual and remote video conferencing platforms have captioning features, also.

6. Pen to Print

Pen to Print is an app you can use to convert handwritten notes to digital text. That way, if employees want to be present in an in-person meeting and leave their laptops behind, they can simply jot down their thoughts as the meeting goes on, then scan an image of what's written to convert it into a digital note.

It's an easy way to digitize your thoughts and keep yourself focused — and once you turn your notes into text, you can easily search, save, and keep your digital notes. 

7. Poll Everywhere

Nothing gets the crowd excited about meetings like a poll. Poll Everywhere is one way to add some energy to your remote or in-person meetings. 

Use Poll Everywhere to break the ice, collect feedback, and even quiz your attendees. These interactive polls are a great way to get the conversation going and welcome your workforce back to meetings in a way that gets them excited about coming back. Responses can be submitted using mobile devices, which is great for supporting more touch-less experiences in the workplace.

As attendees respond, you can display the results of your poll on a shared view — which helps transform your dull, boring meetings into a great experience for in-person meeting attendees and those who join remotely.

8. Teem's conference room scheduling displays for in-person meetings

Hey, we've got to toot our own horn a little here. After all, our platform was built to solve meeting-related problems. Our conference room scheduling displays and other meeting scheduling tools make it easy to meet smarter, whether you have two conference rooms or 2,000. Teem's employee experience solutions can help you start in-person meetings on time, every time.

When it's time to bring people back into the office after COVID-19, your office space might be slightly different than how they remember it. For instance, if you've reconfigured your office for physical distancing or hired team members remotely during the pandemic,  the unfamiliar layout could cause people to back and forth just to find a free meeting room.

With the right technology, you can eliminate the unproductive process of wandering around the office looking for an available meeting room.

Whether it's these tools or others, given how much time you spend in both hybrid and in-person meetings, it just makes sense to invest in a digital meeting toolkit that enables greater employee and meeting productivity.

Cut down on huge drains to time and satisfaction. Find out how Teem can help.

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