Meeting Etiquette: Me and My PC


Kari Bretschger

October 25, 2018

Let’s face it, we are all now attached to our technology. Who would think about leaving home without their phone? What calls would you miss? What if you suddenly need directions? Or the internet? Or Angry Birds?

But what about that other wonderful tool we touch nearly every hour of every working day—our PC. When we get called into a meeting do we bring it with us or leave it back at our desk? To PC or not PC?

As the CEO of a regional advertising agency, I am constantly looking for trends in creative, media, digital strategy, and of course, best business practices. So, this week I’ve been reading about agencies and other company types banning laptops in meetings. It strikes me that this is taking things too far. I suggest that anyone traveling into a meeting with a computer consider the following:

Meeting Efficiency: Does your laptop help you access information that can help to achieve the goal of the meeting? If so, bring it. I’ve seen strategic creative brainstorming meetings go extremely well and increase the group’s productivity by researching ideas or verifying facts quickly so that the group can move onto the next topic.

Meeting Quality: A quality meeting not only follows a well-thought-out agenda but also uses resources wisely. If using laptops in the meeting can put valuable content into the meeting attendees’ view without printing multiple copies of documents to support a successful outcome of the meeting then I say, let them in!

Multi-Tasking: On the other hand, if you are taking your laptop into the meeting to multitask on unrelated projects, I say leave it in your office. Not only are you being rude to the people you are meeting since you aren’t truly present, you are also stealing your mind and ideas from the team who brought you to the meeting to begin with. If you really can’t stay away from doing other work on your computer in the meeting then don’t go to the meeting.

They say that most of what you learn in life you learned by the time you are in kindergarten. Those who use their PC for multitasking in meetings will find themselves less valuable and hence invited to fewer meetings with perhaps a diminished role in their agency or workplace. Those who use them to champion great thoughts and leadership will succeed.

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