A meme that recently made the rounds on social media features a fictional children’s play set made up of a plastic table with chairs and…a conference phone. Around it, children re-enact a workplace meeting to hilarious effect. The product is called “The Soul Crushing Meeting.” Its tagline: “Now your kids can suffer just like you!”
There’s too much truth to the joke. In the U.S., American companies hold 11 million meetings a day, with unproductive ones costing the country $37 billion a year. Tips and tricks for holding productive meetings abound, from crafting concise agendas to Jeff Bezos’s meeting-size limit of two pizzas’ worth of people.
Now, advanced technologies seem poised to relieve some of that pain.
Striving to be supernaturally productive
Alex Thayer, Chief Experience Architect for HP’s Immersive Experiences Lab, believes that artificial intelligence, virtual reality, language processing and machine learning will dramatically improve meeting productivity — as long as their developers observe and apply how people actually learn, work and collaborate best.