How should you use time left over in a meeting?

Meeting Insights
How should you use time left over in a meeting?

Let's set the scene... You’ve taken part in your last meeting on a Friday afternoon. The British weather is at its best and you can’t wait to kick off the weekend with a drink with some friends down the pub. Now, this meeting was debatably the most important meeting of the week discussing the big new project that your company is taking on. Everyone is in a good mood and is throwing out ideas left, right, and center. Before you know it, you have a list of ideas which have been discussed in length and you still have time to spare which brings us back to that big question, what do you do when you have time left over in a meeting?

Stop/finish early: 84%
Stay and discuss other things: 13%
Other: 3%

We carried out an online survey to answer this very question for you by asking 125 industry professionals their thoughts on the matter. We offered 3 options for our participants. “Stop/Finish early”, “Stay and discuss other things”, and “Other”. 84% of professionals said that they would opt to end their meeting early particularly when it’s online. They prefer to spend the rest of the time doing other things rather than spending the meeting duration discussing items that can be done in the next schedule. The majority of the professionals seemed to have a few deciding factors which included, group mood, group chemistry, current issues or objectives that surround the business at the time, and whether the meeting is online or face to face. I think that due to the lack of personal connection through your computer screen, people don’t feel as inclined to chat in a social manner with other meeting attendees whereas, in person, we are much more social and attempt to fill silences to save ‘awkwardness’ when we don’t know a colleague very well.

However, 13% of participants said that they would stay and discuss other things after their meeting whether that’s business-related or in more of a social context. Since they already allotted time for it, they prefer to spend the rest of the meeting duration talking about things that can improve their camaraderie.  

The remaining 3% of participants chose “Other” leaving comments like, “A bit of both, depends on the mood and chemistry.”, “Depends on the meeting, the agenda and the current issues/objectives within the business or ongoing projects at the time.”, “if virtual, stop and finish early. If face to face, often catch up with people about other things... but not necessarily the whole of the meeting group.”.  

It's clear to see that there is a varied opinion due to this being a very subjective matter so there is no rule on what you should be doing with that extra time at the end of your meeting however, hopefully this provides you with some insight into what other professionals do in this situation.


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