Meeting fatigue is the feeling of physical and emotional exhaustion during long work meetings. Meeting fatigue affects many workers that must attend a great deal of remote or in-person meetings.  

The effects of meeting fatigue can be long-lasting and damaging to employees if it is left unchecked. Some causes of meeting fatigue include too many hours in a meeting, lack of engagement, unclear meeting objectives, and poor preparation.  

Here are five tips to overcome meeting fatigue:  

Do not invite everyone to the meeting 

Unless the meeting is a company meeting, then do not just invite all employees to attend. Only invite employees who are relevant to the topics being discussed.  

When employees are constantly required to attend meetings that they do not feel are relevant to them in any way, it causes meeting fatigue. When planning meetings, be sure to only invite those who are necessary for the discussion.  

Discuss rather than lecture  

It can be hard for employees to feel engaged in a meeting when someone is just talking to them the entire time. So, rather than making the meeting more of a lecture, make sure it is a discussion between leaders and employees. Ensure that everyone has the opportunity to speak their thoughts.  

Keep meetings short  

If possible, strive to keep meetings under 30 meetings. Most employees struggle to pay attention during meetings, so for your sake and theirs, try to keep them short. Employees will be more motivated to attend a meeting when they know it will be short and will not greatly impact their work hours.  

If you are unable to conduct a meeting under 30 minutes, then allow breaks. This gives employees the opportunity to use the restroom, grab a snack or drink, and walk around for a few minutes before resuming. Breaks can help employees stay focused and engaged. 

Limit the number of meetings per week  

Most employees attend between 11 to 15 meetings per week, which is a lot considering that many employees do not enjoy meetings. 65% of employees say meetings interfere with them completing their own work and 71% say meetings are unproductive and inefficient.  

To help employees find meetings productive, leaders should only conduct a few meetings a week. By reducing the number of meetings employees are required to participate in, they are more likely to perceive each session as valuable and insightful, as it won’t simply be one among numerous meetings filling their schedule for the week. 

Provide lunch  

One way to get employees excited about meetings is to provide them with a free lunch. Eating during a meeting will help keep employees energized and focused. Some employees may find it difficult to find time to eat when they have a busy schedule of meetings, so providing them with a lunch will help maintain their satisfaction and increase their engagement during a meeting.  

Meetings can be tricky to navigate for both leaders and employees. Many leaders and employees suffer from meeting fatigue, and it can increase turnover and dissatisfaction if it is left untreated. Leaders should consider using these tips to help overcome meeting fatigue.