To help address the challenge of unproductive meetings, the Future of Work team at SAP and SAP AppHaus created the “Meeting Workout” board game. It brings a playful approach to making meetings more efficient. Interested teams can choose between a virtual template or a downloadable, do-it-yourself version.

For the majority of employees, work comprises enjoyable projects and duties but also routines and tasks that can be tiring or difficult. To make the work experience as positive and efficient as possible, experts and companies around the globe seek to continuously improve the realities of their workforce. This is also true for SAP.

Meetings, All Kinds of Meetings

An important facet of today’s work reality is meetings. They are where all sorts of work decisions are prepared and made, where briefings take place, where teams build up their team identity, exchange thoughts, solve challenges, share updates, align across geographical time zones, and much more. In many cases and for many roles, meetings consume a considerable part of overall working hours. So it comes as no surprise that, in their most recent project, the Future of Work team at SAP and SAP AppHaus colleagues joined forces to develop an easy approach for teams to improve their meeting routines.

“As featured by Forbes in May 2023, an average employee spends 31 hours per month in unproductive meetings. This is a challenge we want to address with the Meeting Workout game,” says Andreas Hauser, SVP and head of SAP AppHaus Network. “By innovatively blending play with productivity, we can transform these hours into opportunities for meaningful engagement and collaborative innovation, paving the way for a future where every meeting is a step towards building stronger, more dynamic teams.”

People playing the Meeting Workout game
Photo courtesy of Hyun Lee.

The Imperative for Efficient Meetings

According to a recent Microsoft report, inefficient meetings have been identified as the top disruptor to productivity, with an excessive number of meetings following close behind. As SAP Chief Future of Work Officer Christian Schmeichel states: “The way we are working is changing rapidly, and both the rise of hybrid work and new technologies have increased the number of meetings for many of us. Hence, it’s an imperative to foster meetings that best utilize our time, spark energy, and drive outcomes. The Meeting Workout game can help with an engaging workshop format that can not only improve meeting effectiveness but can enable teams to set new standards for workplace collaboration on their journey into the future of work.”

Playing for a Better Meeting Experience

From the initial idea to create a game for teams to improve their meeting routines, it took the New Work Practices team and SAP AppHaus a few weeks to design, test, and produce the Meeting Workout game. However, what might look like a fun project was very similar to any other design and innovation project.

“In our planning meetings and test sessions we really tried to put ourselves in the shoes of all kinds of teams in different organizations and setups,” recall project members Beate Riefer, UX designer at SAP AppHaus, and Filip Weidenbach, HR project expert in New Work Practices. “Through a very generic phrasing of the cards and in simple steps, the game should be applicable in the most diverse, if not all, environments. It’s not as easy as it might seem – and it’s the reason why we established breaks in our meetings to keep the energy and concentration levels up. Here’s an important recommendation for all teams playing the Meeting Workout game: have plenty of sticky notes and a variety of snacks available!”

50 Meeting Workout Games Available

The Meeting Workout game can be a perfect opportunity to help actively inspire and support teams in restructuring their current meeting formats. Users can choose between the virtual version available on Mural, a do-it-yourself, paper-based version for a physical workshop, and a tangible board game version.

The Future of Work team at SAP is gifting 50 board game versions on a first-come, first-serve basis. People or teams that would like to test and use the board game can contact SAPFutureOfWork@sap.com, thereby acknowledging that their postal address and contact information will be used only for the delivery of the game shipment, in accordance with the SAP Privacy Statement.

Waltraud Grimm is communications lead for SAP Future of Work.
Imke Vierjahn is communications lead for SAP AppHaus.

Top photo courtesy of Hyun Lee

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