Are meetings the death of productivity?

Team Dubber

Team Dubber

5 April 2022

Are meetings the death of productivity?

The way we communicate holds the key that allows us to function orderly and productively. Communication aims to inform and provide new information to others - to understand and gain knowledge.

So if communication is the source of power, and meetings are a forum for discussions, how come they represent the single biggest time-waster in the workplace?

It’s simple; the problem isn’t meetings. It’s how we run them. 


First, we need to address the symptoms of chronic meeting failure 

Granted, we weren't properly briefed on virtual meeting etiquette prior to the pandemic. But enough time has passed, and still, companies aren't teaching their employees how to run productive and efficient discussions online. 

Some of the inefficiencies workers feel towards meetings are:

  • Frustrated that they're spending more time talking about tasks than doing them.

  • Increased working hours as meetings chew up productive hours of the day.

  • Hindered by domineering speakers taking up valuable time.

  • The constant pressure to be "Camera-ready" is exhausting workers.

  • Information overkill, lack of plan and no clear actions.

  • Burned-out and lack of collaboration from concentrating on taking meeting notes.


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Reviving productivity in meetings

These symptoms of chronic meeting failure can be directly linked to the mismanagement and improper use of our innate ability to communicate and collaborate. However, there is a preventative approach as well as a cure! 

75% of conversations at work will be recorded and analysed by 2025 with solutions like Notes by Dubber. Notes is a network embedded solution that unlocks a multi-billion dollar productivity market. 

The consequences of inadequate meetings on worker productivity is detrimental to businesses and employers, however the Notes virtual assistant can alleviate the death of productivity and assist in alternatives to restore morale and burn-out. Here’s how:


Run shorter meetings with time-driven agendas

A short game is a good game.”. This is undeniably applicable to meetings. It’s important to understand the limits of endurance and attention span in this environment. Revive productivity and attention by creating the perfect agenda for your team before you meet.

Use Notes by Dubber agenda templates to outline:

  • The purpose of the meeting

  • What each individual needs to bring to the discussion

  • Timeframes allocated to each topic of discussion

  • Dedicated question time / Next-steps for API to capture


Omnipresent note takers

The traditional meeting scribe is ultimately busy writing notes with no time for input, to actively engage, or have the capacity to properly absorb the conversation’s information. 

Notes by Dubber records, transcribes, summarises and creates meaningful actions from meetings- ensuring that anyone and everyone can get the most out of the conference with the automatic AI note taker that allows attendees to focus on what’s important. 


Meetings don’t always need to be Camera On

Camera always on is exhausting and leading to increased cases of burnout. This is from the constant pressure to be presentable, ensure your background is professional, and always focused on the speaker. Cameras on reduces mobility and can lead to screen fatigue — specifically, women and new employees.A recent study by Havard Business found that having the camera consistently on during meetings is at the heart of the fatigue problem- not necessarily the meetings they attend. 

Notes is available globally for Android and iOS devices, plus on desktop via the Notes by Dubber web app. The app allows you to listen in on the meeting from your phone and follow the transcripts- so that camera ready isn’t always neccessary, but with increased in-meeting context. Notes by Dubber also gives optional attendees the opportunity to listen to the recorded meeting at a later date.



Coefficient of inefficiency 

The Economist author, Cyril Northcote Parkinson, proposes in his book ‘Parkinson's Law’: 'At what size of a meeting does it become completely inefficient?'. 

According to Parkinson, once the meeting reaches 20 people, it may as well go on to 100, since by then, most of those present are not contributing. Based on Parkinson's Law, consider who should be in the forum and why. This is important to consider as irrelevant attendees can potentially enforce another divergence, adding additional time to assemble a decision. 

To ensure a conversation details everyone's contributions, Notes by Dubber can outline the speakers' agenda, the topics covered, and the timeframe to adhere to. Employees who are not crucial attendees can receive highlights and actions, a transcript and a meeting summary post-event. 


Reiterate, clarify and identify clear actions

If a conversation is approaching the end fast, people may not have time to ask for closure or clarity regarding the actions required of them. Instead, they may wait until someone sends out a meeting summary of key highlights and next steps- but this could take a day or so. Putting a virtual assistant on that captures everything in real-time, you don’t need a recap.  

For example, suppose a name and action are spoken during the meeting. In that case, the AI conversational intelligence will trigger the software to create a follow-up task assigned to that individual, or other members. With API integrations, captured actions can be migrated into a project board, like Asana or Jira. Alternatively, they will be stored under 'Actions' in the Notes by Dubber platform for anyone to access later. 


“What did I miss from that meeting?” Ending hearsay

At times it can be frustrating waiting on someone to send through notes if you couldn’t attend. And, of course, having a team member sit in and represent you at a meeting is efficient- there might be jargon that goes over their head. 

It can be dangerous to receive inaccurate information. End hear-say and invite Notes by Dubber to take over the meeting minutes for true accuracy. Whether you’re present or not, you’ll receive a follow-up notification on the crucial key summaries, conversation highlights, items to be actioned by who, and next steps.



Meetings don't have to lead to fatigue and burn-out, especially considering they're not going away. We should reclaim our time during meetings, not make matters worse.

Instead of forcibly sitting at the screen, exhausted and frustrated by the lack of productivity and the sheer amount of meetings you need to attend, consider Notes by Dubber; an AI virtual assistant that offers more than a hassle-free digital note-taking solution. Find out more on how you can improve your meetings with Notes by Dubber.


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