Written by : Vijayakumar Tangarasan, Country Manager, Regus Malaysia


Organisations thrive on meetings, but getting them wrong can be toxic. Unproductive meetings waste time and cost businesses millions. In fact, wasted time in meetings cost the UK economy £26 billion in 2011. So how do you make sure every meeting – whether it’s with your biggest client or most junior team member – is it as effective as it can be? Here are five things that will guarantee a terrible meeting.


  1. Don’t do any prep work – at all

Come unprepared, with no set agenda, and you will guarantee that nobody knows what you need to discuss. Always set your meeting one to two weeks in advance so that others will have sufficient time to prepare for the meeting. Make sure you outline your agenda and not give a vague topic about what is being discussed and assume everyone understands what is going through your mind.


  1. Don’t stress about punctuality

Turning up late and having no end point in sight is a great way to ensure a long, badly organised meeting. Nobody likes meetings that stretches for more than half an hour. If the meeting is more than an hour, there is an inherent problem with the agenda and you should revisit the topics and come back better prepared.


  1. Invite as many people as possible

Fill the meeting with as many people as possible to guarantee too many opinions and lots of wasted time. Filling up the meeting room does not guarantee authority – it shows your colleagues that you do not know who this matter concerns with.


  1. Host your meeting in a terrible venue

Holding your meeting in a noisy, overcrowded coffee shop will guarantee a terrible meeting, where nobody can hear what is being said. The best place are quiet and cordoned off from the rest of the office. The acoustics of the meeting room has to allow you and your colleagues to be heard properly. A Regus meeting room will allow you to host a meeting free from distractions.


  1. Not allowing opinions

Go on about your ideas and plans for the coming months and not asking for an opinion will guarantee your colleagues’ fury. If you do not need an opinion, do not host a meeting to seek one. You can send an e-mail to everyone to announce it.