RemoteWorks

Meetings: When to record, when to miss, when to replace

A 3-step framework to a better meeting culture

Angela Guedes

As a company building an asynchronous collaboration solution, you might think that we hate meetings. This couldn’t be more wrong. Meetings are still one of the most powerful tools at work to build relationships and explore solutions for a complex problem. But a meeting overload makes us forget that. Especially when we’re trapped in long, tedious meetings, when only five minutes were relevant to us. A recent study by Microsoft show how much stress we inflict in ourselves when we’re in back-to-back meetings without breaks.

So how can you create a better meeting culture and reduce unnecessary meetings? We propose a 3-step framework to a better meeting culture.

Decide what should be a meeting

The very first step is creating internal communication guidelines. This is key when building an async-first organization. Create a matrix where you map communication channels with communication goals. This alone will help you reduce the number of meetings so you can focus on the ones you love. We recommend starting by defining a clear hierarchy of communication channels. This is what ours looks like:

Level 1: written communication

We host discussions in Notion or in the different team tools (Linear, Figma, Github, ...) rather than Slack for non-immediate communications, to (i) avoid interrupting Claapers' work if not necessary & (ii) provide more context.

Level 2: async video collaboration

There’s a quick way to understand if recording a Claap is better than a written message:

  • If the context is hard to grasp otherwise (sign: you’re starting to write a super long message)
  • If feedback is hard to get (sign: you start being stuck in endless messaging threads)

Level 3: live meetings

In some situations, a meeting is still the most powerful tool. Some examples include doing a discovery call with customers and prospects, conducting user research, or bringing everyone together in an all-hands meeting. But don’t forget that... great power comes with great responsibility 🕸️. So before you schedule your next one, understand if a meeting is the best option.

We dedicated an entire blog post about this →

Record important meetings

One of the main problems behind meetings, is treating them as the default channel to share information. When this is the case, we want to be in as many meetings as possible. Because we're afraid that if we're not there, we might miss something important. Even if that means spending 45-min to realize at the end we should have skipped it.

The solution? Once you replace unnecessary meetings with asynchronous tools, the next step is recording the meetings that need to happen. This ensures you only invite those that need to participate and lets you share the recording with everyone else. Another benefit is avoiding repetitive meetings. How many times did you give the same presentation two or three times just to accommodate different timezones or because someone could not attend? Recording a meeting is the solution. When recording meetings becomes the norm, you build transparency, foster knowledge sharing, and save thousands of hours each day in unproductive work.

There are a few cases when recording a meeting increases its value:

  • User research: Many teams speak regularly with customers, from Sales, Customer Success, Product, and UX Designers. By recording these meetings, you keep your user research in one place and can easily share key insights with your team. More on this here.
  • Training: onboard new team members at scale and foster a culture of sharing. Remote the need to have the same live meeting on repeat and let teammates jump in the discussion and ask questions on their own time.
  • Product demo: Make your live product demos available to everyone and keep your team up to date on latest releases. Boost enablement with everything in one place. We go into more detail in this article.
  • All-hands: keep your team aligned by centralizing your all-hands, so everyone is clear on what’s top of mind.

Turn meetings into actions

The final step is turning meetings into next steps. There’s no point in recording a one-hour meeting if no-one is going to watch it. The way to ensure they do is making it digestible. There are a few ways you can do this with Claap:

  • use comments to create sections like you would in a presentation
  • take notes and highlight key moments while recording
  • call out the attention of others that need to take action with @mention

When you record and share your meetings with everyone, you increase transparency and alignment. You also make it easy to follow-up on discussions and next steps async, without having to plan another debriefing meeting. And the beauty of it? Your team can catch-up on meetings in minutes, since they can watch videos at 2x speed or just jump to the key moments.