Office Meeting

  • Post last modified:3 October 2021
  • Reading time:16 mins read

What is Office Meeting?

Office meetings are an intrinsic part of running a business. They allow for the business to have a common objective. They also allow every employee and department in the business to know what they should be doing. Essentially, they allow everyone to work towards a common goal. As important and critical as office meetings are to the successful running of a business, they are also the biggest drain on time and resources.

A meeting can be defined as a gathering of people; as for a business, social, or religious purpose.

We know how important the part of meetings play in our professional lives. But they also have a significant role in other parts of our life. Meetings can be of various types based on formality, purpose, use, legality, participation and more. However, the main principle of the meeting is remaining common: a gathering of people.


Purposes of Meetings

The purposes of holding meetings are listed here in a skeleton form:

  • To reach a common decision/agreement.
  • To solve a problem.
  • To understand a situation, exchange ideas and experiences.
  • To inform, explain, present ideas.
  • To give and get feedback on new ideas.
  • To give training.
  • To plan and prepare for action.
  • To resolve differences and misunderstandings.
  • To generate enthusiasm and seek cooperation.
  • To review past performance and evaluate it.
  • To create a feeling of continuity and solidarity in a body’s working.

Advantages of Meetings

  • Save time: Since one can meet a number of people at a time, a meeting can save time.

  • Addressing groups: One can divide the audiences according to their background and need, and address them group by group.

  • Cope with information explosion: New technology and new regulations are coming thick and fast. Meetings enable us to cope with this situation.

  • Social and emotional support: Members get personal support from each other when they meet and exchange ideas.

  • Feeling of being consulted: Members get the feeling that they have been consulted and this is useful in getting their intelligent and willing cooperation.

  • Democratic functioning: Democracy aims at achieving all people’s welfare by all people’s involvement. This is possible through meetings.

  • Idea development: Ideas are systematically cross-fertilized, analyzed and improved by a group.

  • Defusing troublemakers: By collective constructive forces, troublemakers can be isolated in a meeting and positive action gets going. The opponents of a plan get a forum to voice their opposition, which can be overcome before a group of supportive people.

  • Bolder decisions: Collectively we can take more adventurous decisions because of united strength.

  • Various interest groups represented: In a meeting many interest groups can be represented and minorities can also be given due attention.

  • Preventing mistakes: A meeting helps avoid mistakes by a collective and many-angled focus on issues.

Disadvantages of Meeting

  • Time-consuming: Meetings require a number of people to come together at the same time and place. This costs time because other work has to be set aside for the sake of the meeting.

  • Inability to arrive at a decision: Just as “two heads are better than one,” it is also true that “too many cooks spoil the soup.” Multiplicity of views and personal stubbornness of members may prevent a meeting from taking a decision which a chief executive may take alone.

  • Lack of seriousness: Many meetings suffer from the drawback that members come unprepared and feel that the others will do the thinking and talking. They feel they can take a free ride. “Everybody’s job is nobody’s job.”

  • Inexpert chairing: Just as an airplane is steered by a pilot, a meeting is piloted by the chairperson. His lack of skill and personal failings/biases may fail a meeting.

  • Expensive: Meetings are expensive to arrange – they require a place, paperwork, prior communication, and travelling by the attendees.

  • Open to disruption: A meeting is prone to being disrupted by an element that is opposed to its objective. There are times when one passenger’s refusal to adjust himself delays the entire flight. The same for meetings.

    The spirit of give-and-take may be missing in some participants. In this mechanical age, union is strength, and united work is done by means of meetings. It is estimated that worldwide, millions of meetings are conducted every day, and their number and usefulness is on the rise.

    That is why although many negative remarks are made about the use of meetings; on the whole we find that meeting is a useful device of collective decision-taking and action.

Types of Meetings

  • Informative: the purpose is to give information to the participants about a new scheme, product, etc.
  • Consultative: the members are consulted to solve a problem.
  • Executive: decisions are taken by those empowered to do so.

In practice, most of the meetings serve more purposes than one. Some additional classifications of meetings are – meeting for negotiation purposes, meeting for giving instructions, etc.


Classification of Office Meetings

Classification of Office Meetings can also be classified as follows:

Management Committee Meetings

Management Committee meetings are vital to the effective functioning of the committee and its ability to carry out its role. They are the means by which the Committee exercises its collective responsibility for leading the organisation.

Management Sub-Committee Meetings

Under management sub-committee meetings, some powers may be delegated to members, office bearers or to sub-committees. A sub-committee is a small group of people assigned to focus on a particular task or area, such as finance or personnel. A sub-committee generally makes recommendations to the Management Committee for decision.

General Meetings

A general meeting is a meeting of a company’s shareholders (unlike a board meeting, which is a meeting of the directors). Companies Act 2013 2006 provides the statutory framework for the calling and conduct of general meetings.

Annual General Meetings

AGM’s are held once a year to assess the trading of the organization over the year. All shareholders are invited to intend the GM but they must be given 21 days notice.

Board Meeting

Board meetings are held as often as individual organizations require. They are attended by all directors and chaired by the Chairman of the board.

Statuary Meeting

Statutory meetings are called so that the directors and shareholders can communicate and consider special reports companies are required by law to hold these statutory meetings.

Formal meetings

The rules of conduct of formal meetings are laid dozen in a company’s Articles of Association and/or Constitution or Standing Orders. With such meetings, a quorum must be present, i.e. the minimum number of people who should be present to validate the meeting. A formal record of these meetings must be kept, usually by the company secretary.

Informal meetings

Informal meetings are not restricted by the same rules and regulations as formal meetings. Such meetings may take the form of brainstorming or discussion sessions where strict agendas may not be necessary and minutes may not be kept.

However, it is usually considered good business practice for an agenda to be issued to all members before the meetings so that they can be prepared adequately to make a valuable contribution.

These meetings are attended by a group of managers who may need to discuss a specific matter, report of progress reports. For example, the marketing manager, sales manager, production manager, and research and development manager may meet to discuss the launch of a new product being launched soon.

Celebrations

A celebration is a special enjoyable event that people organize because something pleasant has happened or because it is someone’s birthday or anniversary

Rituals/Services

A ritual is a sequence of activities involving gestures, words, actions, or objects, performed in a sequestered place and according to set sequence.


Notice

A notice of meeting is a document informing the members or directors of a company about an upcoming meeting. This document specifies the date, time and place of the meeting and the general nature of the business to be transacted at the meeting. When a meeting is to be convened, a notice is required to be sent to all who are to attend it. It should satisfy the following conditions:

  • It should be under proper authority.
  • It should state the name of the organization.
  • It should state the day, date, time, and place. Also, sometimes, how to reach the place.
  • It should be well in advance. Some require seven days notice, some 48 hours.
  • It should state the purpose and, if possible, the agenda.
  • It should carry the date of circulation and convener’s/secretary’s signature.
  • It should go to all persons required at the meet.
  • It should mention the TA/DA etc. payable and the arrangements for this

In practice, it is necessary to ensure that the notice has reached in time. This may be done telephonically. Dispatch section and post are prone to delays.

We often find that between the date of a letter from a major public organisation and the postmark on the letter, there is a gap of 10-12 days. A notice that should reach seven days before a meet should not reach seven days after the meet.


Agenda

An agenda is a list of meeting activities in the order in which they are to be taken up, beginning with the call to order and ending with adjournment. It usually includes one or more specific items of business to be acted upon. It may, but is not required to, include specific times for one or more activities. An agenda may also be called a docket, schedule, or calendar.

It may also contain a listing of an order of business. Agendas most often include: Informational items – sharing out updates regarding a topic for the group. For example, a manager may provide an update on the year-end planning process. Action items – items that you expect the group will want to review during the meeting.

Types of Agenda

Types of agendas typically include:

  • Informal
  • Formal
  • Prioritized
  • Timed

Resolution

A resolution is the final form of a decision taken at a meeting by voting on a motion, with or without amendment. A Resolution must not be confused with a motion. A motion is con-sidered at a meeting, a resolution is the outcome of the discussion.

resolution is binding on the organisation. It becomes effective when it is passed but minutes make the evidence of such resolution. Sometimes there is a legal formality, as we find in the Companies Act, to file a copy of a resolution with some appropriate authority (e.g., the Registrar of Companies) to make it effective.


Minutes

Minutes, also known as minutes of meeting (abbreviation MoM), protocols or, informally, notes, are the instant written record of a meeting or hearing. They typically describe the events of the meeting and may include a list of attendees, a statement of the issues considered by the participants, and related responses or decisions for the issues.

The name “minutes” possibly derives from the Latin phrase minuta scriptura (literally “small writing”) meaning “rough notes”. Minutes may be created during the meeting by a typist or court reporter, which may use shorthand notation and then prepare the minutes and issue them to the participants afterwards.

Alternatively, the meeting can be audio recorded, video recorded, or a group appointed or informally assigned secretary may take notes, with minutes prepared later. Many government agencies use minutes recording software to record and prepare all minutes in real-time.

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