Most service techs stop by the company headquarters once or twice a day (if that), so scheduling an effective meeting with harried technicians can be a challenge.One great thing about technology is that folks in the field can tune in to a meeting from virtually anywhere, but just because they can attend, doesn’t mean they should.

According to research from Verizon Business, nearly 37 percent of employee time is spent in meetings and 91 percent of attendees admit to daydreaming during a meeting at some point. To get the most out of your meetings — whether mobile or in-person — follow these tips from Michael Mankins, partner at management consulting firm Bain & Company:

  1. Justify Every Meeting: There are plenty of good reasons to schedule a meeting. Make sure you have one before asking your colleagues to commit their time. If the goal can be accomplished without a meeting, spare everyone the time.
  2. Involve the Correct People: Don’t stress about leaving people out. (If somebody doesn’t need to be involved, they’ll likely daydream anyway.) Taking a tech away from a job to join an unnecessary calll is a productivity killer. Mankins says to remember the rule of seven — more than seven people in attendance reduces the likelihood of effective decision making by 10 percent.
  3. There’s no 30-Minute Minimum: When scheduling a meeting, most digital calendars default to 30-minute windows. Don’t be tricked. If you only need 10 minutes, let colleagues know and adjourn early.
  4. Use Time Wisely: Make sure the meeting has a purpose and that the purpose is effectively communicated ahead of time. This will cut down the initial intros and get the business portion of the meeting underway much faster. Make sure each member knows his or her role in the meeting, too.

Meetings are necessary, but they don’t have to be a necessary evil if thought through beforehand. Communication and purpose are key to making meetings work for a busy, on-the-go fleet.

h/t: Harvard Business Review

ABOUT Maeghan Ouimet

Maeghan joined Original9 with over 5 years of media experience — reporting and writing on business, culture and technology trends for Rolling Stone Australia, Boston Magazine, and Inc. Magazine. She is a self-admitted start-up geek and semi-avid Bikram yoga practitioner.