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Productivity Ponderings: When A Meeting Should Be An Email

Mission in a light bulb

Image credit someecards

Of course, meetings play a crucial role in fostering collaboration and alignment within teams, but I think it's safe to say we’ve all been in meetings wondering why valuable productivity bandwidth is being consumed to cover what could have been accomplished in an email. Here are some scenarios where opting for the efficiency of an email over a group gathering can help streamline workflows, minimize disruptions, and maximize productivity:

  1. Routine Updates or Status Reports: Instead of a meeting, opt for a concise email summarizing the necessary information. This allows team members to review the content at their convenience without interrupting their workflow.

  2. Simple Decisions: Not every decision requires a lengthy discussion. If the matter at hand is straightforward and doesn't involve significant input from multiple stakeholders, sending an email with the proposal and requesting feedback can often yield quicker results than scheduling a meeting.

  3. Information Dissemination: When the primary purpose of a meeting is to disseminate information rather than facilitate discussion, an email can be more efficient. Whether it's sharing project updates, company announcements, or policy changes, an email ensures everyone receives the necessary information simultaneously, without the need for scheduling conflicts or time-consuming group discussions.

  4. One-on-One Communication: Meetings involving only two parties may not always warrant a formal gathering. For discussions that are more suited to a brief exchange or require privacy, scheduling a one-on-one meeting can be more effective than involving a larger group. However, if the conversation doesn't necessitate immediate feedback, opting for an email exchange can save time for all.

  5. Geographically Dispersed Teams: These days, many teams span multiple locations and time zones. Scheduling a meeting that accommodates everyone's availability can be challenging and may result in unnecessary delays. Utilizing email allows team members to contribute to the dis_cussion regardless of their location or time zone, leading to more inclusivity and efficiency.



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