Meetings are the tax we pay for failing to read others’ minds.

Whether you’re an office prankster or a person attempting to make meetings not the most soul-crushingly bland time wasters on the planet, this list will prove useful for you, and ensure you understand how much you actually need a better document system than any lousing meeting could provide.

10. Invite Way Too Many People

Nobody is blameless here. We’ve all sent out meeting invites in Outlook to people who probably didn’t need to attend the meeting.

What we forget is that although our intentions are to not make anybody feel left out, the usual end result is people coming to the meeting even though they don’t need to be there, just so they can get in a free break.

The problem here is that there’s an alternative. With an effective document system to preclude the problem, information can be exchanged without all the tussle of face-to-face meetings.

9. Have a Meeting of Any Kind

That’s right. Having a meeting of any kind is a good way to ruin it, because unless Andrea Bocelli saunters in to the boardroom to sing ‘Con te Partiro’ for everyone, it’ll likely be of no use. That’s why there’s technology to eliminate meetings

8. Taking the Smart Phone Out (Unless If It’s to Use a Document System for the Meeting)

Yep, don’t even say you’re using it to take notes. Everyone knows that you’re not.

If you are in a room with other people and you take your phone out in the middle of what the organizer thought would be a meaningful conversation among teammates, you’ve degraded the entire process and crushed that person’s dream.

Psychology Today calls it Nomophobia—the fear of being without your smart phone. At least those who pull their phones out in meetings will already be in an environment to engage in the 12-step addiction process.

If workers and their managers eliminate meetings, however, they will be able to get more done with their phones as vessels of productivity, not distraction. The mass proliferation of document management technology for mobile applications could make this possible.

7. Interrupt Others

It’s a wonder why we still hold on to meetings as necessary in the workplace. Particularly when the face-to-face conversation and political posturing lead to an all-out verbal brawl for attention.

These situations can become especially intense when there are two workers vying for a promotion to the same role.

What’s more, the competitive environment meetings are left open to can detract from team unity under the wrong circumstances.

Add this to the fact that as a nation, the US is more self-interested than ever. There have been rising levels of narcissism and decreased levels of empathy, which only climb during economic booms, notes Psychologist William Chopik in Medical Daily.

6. Have a Meeting When an Email Thread Would’ve Worked Just Fine

Sometimes people call meetings when a simple email thread could’ve resolved the issue. Although email is not an effective document system for most professionals, it is great for simple, instruction providing procedures.

More frequently than ever before, meetings are bad parameters for delegation, as people will forget what they’ve heard in most of them.

That said, nobody is thrilled to be invited to a meeting where only two people need to exchange information, and they aren’t either of these parties.

The result is you’ll look selfish and attention-seeking—something that never bodes well in the professional world, unless you’re auditioning for a role in a Martin Scorsese film.

However, be leery of sending the wrong information over email, such as sensitive internal information and especially client or customer sensitive information. Email is susceptible to breach, and therefore will not always serve as an effective document system.

And, if information is breached in an email, a meeting will inevitably occur, and it’ll probably be between the authorities and the responsible party. After all, do we want to use encrypted file sharing systems, or pay compliance fines?

5. Hand Out Agendas

Everyone has their own agenda in a meeting, so handing out one before it starts is too inorganic of a process; that said, this doesn’t even skim the surface of all the problems that could arise from this situation. Agendas aren’t just soul-crushingly boring, they can literally ruin meetings.

Anything that can be handed out is bad news for productivity, as it is likely a paper-based medium, which means any of the following things:

  • It’ll eventually be lost
  • People will forget about it
  • People will doodle on it in the meeting.

Instead, just rely on a paperless document system, and spare everyone the trouble of the paper-littered chaos.

4. Doodling in the Middle of the Meeting

When was the last time you saw anybody doodling on a digital document?

That’s right, it only happens on the paper-based ones.

The thing that’s so dangerous about any paper-based document system is the fact that it can lead to extreme bouts of meeting-length doodling sessions, which, to onlookers, may look like vigorous notetaking.

3. Engage in Territory Battles

Most businesses are small and usually have anywhere from 5 to 50 employees. This means that although employee headcount is usually low, battles over meeting territory could ensue should two groups compete for the most popular meeting space.

If a company has a digital document system in place, the demand for meetings doesn’t just go down, it enables digital communication that knocks down knowledge silos, and serves to improve the outcomes of digital experience.

2. Using Buzzwords with No Objective

Business buzzwords are transforming the English language, and sometimes that isn’t a good thing. Coming up with a “strategy” involves a lot more effort than most people bring to the table in strategy-based meetings. We even feel the word strategy should be removed from the business lexicon, as we have plenty of technology to streamline strategic processes.

1. Being the Person Who Won’t Offer a Solution to the Problem

Meetings are held to solve problems. Being the person who doesn’t contribute to solving these problems usually results in the person becoming an additional problem. We all know someone who does this. If we don’t, chances are we already hold that rank in all the meetings we attend…yikes.

A surefire way to resolve an issue is to stop it before it has an opportunity to proliferate. Sometimes this requires a human being’s intervention, other times it requires use of the right document system technology, like eFileCabinet: the solution to common office problems.