Despite all the rhetoric around digital transformation, new research reveals most UK boards shun digital tools in meetings. 59 per cent of surveyed business leaders admit that minutes are still handwritten during meetings, and then circulated once typed out, just as it was in the 1990s.
According to the research conducted by TLF Research for technology firm eShare, most boards rely on email for sharing and amending meeting agendas, while seven per cent were still using paper to share meeting agendas.
“We are all aware how annoying, intrusive and unproductive email can be, and this is even more so when there are lots of unnecessary emails about meeting agendas flying about. There are many smarter options for meetings that are more collaborative and efficient and it is strange that many board meetings are still so old-fashioned,” eShare CEO, Alister Esam said.
“So many businesses talk about digital transformation, yet when it comes to meetings, a great number still rely on a technology that is at least 20 years old.”
Once documents had been shared for a meeting, 58 per cent of respondents said it was down to the attendee to arrive at the meeting with the correct information. Four percent admitted they brought printed materials for attendees to meetings, while five percent could access materials via SharePoint, Office 365 or a shared folder.
“Sharing information ahead of a board meeting should be simple, and should allow the attendee to easily bring the correct information on a tablet or mobile device of their own choosing,” continued Esam. “Many people use a tablet in business in 2016 and using them for this purpose makes it easier to annotate documents, share content and ensure that everyone has the right documents in front of them for the meeting.”
The research would suggest that board members are open to more innovative ways of approaching the meeting process. When asked about features they would like to help improve their participation and productivity around meetings, the top answers were:
• Something to reduce the email trail
• The ability to make online annotations to materials during the meeting
• Accessing all the relevant information when needed
• Easy information sharing