Keith Fenner | VP, Sage Enterprise Africa & Middle East
Think back to the last time you attended a meeting with millennials. Did they seem disengaged? Distracted by their devices? More interested in what was happening on the other side of the window?
Could you not help but think back to when you were that age, when you diligently recorded appointments in paper diaries; when you paid attention to every word that was spoken during long internal meetings; when email and mobiles were only just entering the workplace and collaboration was a face-to-face exercise?
Young adults of today, right?
But let me tell you something about this younger generation of today. These digital natives make up 35% of the workforce. By 2020, that figure will rise to 46%. In ten years, they’ll represent 75% of the working population.
They are demanding change. They want to dictate their own hours, to work when they’re most productive, to use digital tools to collaborate, share information and get the job done – as quickly as possible.
The more things change, the more they stay the same
The winds of change are blowing through every enterprise but there’s one thing that hasn’t changed: meetings. If we’re honest, meetings are usually distracting, they often don’t achieve much and they hamper productivity.
And why are they always an hour long (or sometimes longer)?
If there’s one thing we can learn from this younger generation, it’s the value they place on their time. Why gather everyone in a room to discuss a project for an hour when it could just as easily be done in minutes over Slack or a quick chat at the coffee machine? Why pull everyone away from their work when a message on Skype for Business or WhatsApp is more effective?
Here are a few ways you can improve collaboration and productivity, while making the most of your meetings:
Meetings aren’t all bad. They can be good for team morale, collaboration and brainstorming. Cutting down on the quantity and focusing on the quality of meetings can make an enormous difference to productivity and employee satisfaction.,.;
Make the few meetings you have more meaningful, and you and your team will find them more productive.
Get the best of CNBC Africa sent straight to your inbox with breaking business news, insights and updates from experts across the continent. Sign up here.