The life sciences may be seen as a stressful logic-based world rife with pressing deadlines and responsibilities. Surveys show that over 60% of life science workers are looking for a new job within the next year. This is a worrying statistic for an industry steered by specific skill sets. Another research reveals that only 56% of life science workers are satisfied with their workplace.
Although there are various possible factors resulting in a dissatisfied workforce, the same research also revealed the top three reasons for life science staff who’re seeking greener pastures. The reasons are: a lack of trust in leadership, lack of challenge in the job and excessive workload. There is one method of resolving all three issues, which is by improving overall workplace communication. Traditional meetings aren’t necessarily the best way to express thoughts and ideas, or promote teamwork within the life sciences.
Since jobs in the field mostly involve time-consuming research and practical applications, worker interactions should focus on those domains. The life science environment is essentially time-sensitive, which affects the quality of research and lab work. A greater emphasis placed on collaboration in lieu of scheduled meetings might improve worker satisfaction and longevity.
The Hidden Costs of Meetings
Meetings become problematic when they’re too long, happen too often, or fail to have actionable follow-ups. Ultimately, this could lead to huge losses for companies due to a lack of productivity (eating away at precious work hours). According to some insightful data from TED speakers David Grady and Jason Fried, meetings waste an estimated $37 billion per year in the US. Additionally, it is reported that 73% of attendees are actually doing something else while 25% of meetings are spent on discussing irrelevant issues.
Additionally, many meetings aren’t productive because few individuals are formerly trained in conducting meetings. According to Doodle’s study of meetings, poorly organized meetings cost roughly half a trillion dollars for the US and UK combined in 2019. Common reasons behind this worrying figure include vague actions/decision-making, loss of focus on a project due to poorly conducted processes, and the squandering of hours otherwise spent on actual work.
These are unnecessary hurdles that the life sciences can ill-afford. The life sciences is expanding at an exponential rate, having adopted some the latest technologies in A.I., machine learning and cloud storage that is revolutionizing the world of healthcare and research. Based on Deloitte’s 2020 Global Life Science outlook, leaders in the Life Sciences should focus on redesigning jobs around human-machine collaborations alongside flexible work models, which would lure the next generation of professionals with the potential to deliver more value to the workforce.
The shift in focus could lead to novel ways of decision-making and management that would raise productivity and worker satisfaction.
The Cloud – An Alternative Method of Brainstorming
Brainstorming is a key component in most meetings, where fellow workers share ideas to advance processes – by viewing a problem through a different lens. However, this practice is often negated by the prevalence of irrelevant discussions or disinterested participants.
Alternatively, life science companies could replace unproductive brainstorming sessions with the Cloud. The Cloud serves as a highly scalable and conveniently accessed platform.Dr.Larry Poneman, founder of the Poneman Institute, a data protection research company, suggested, “innovations such as file sharing apps that allow pharmaceutical companies and researchers to share files securely on a worldwide basis would lead to a data lake filled with possibilities – say, the ability to test a new drug.”
Instant Messaging – Pocket Meetings
It is impractical for an entire team to block their calendars over a trivial announcement. Alternatively, anybody can become a part of the conversation anywhere and anytime (without being sidelined from their tasks) with an instant messaging service. Slack and Chatwork are popular workplace choices due to their intuitive interface and easy group management. Additionally, IM platforms provide conversation logs, which serve as minutes to your pocket meetings.
Learning From Virtual Training Sessions
In one case study, BCD Meetings and Events, had trained over 1,600 speakers for a life science company in fulfilling the updates of an FDA directive. The training was achieved at a 100% success rate under a record time of two weeks, through combining three live sessions and on-demand training.
Modern meetings may be coordinated with the same effectiveness – via remote live sessions alongside recorded footage for future reference. This could lead to unprecedented levels of convenience and accessibility.
Meetings may remain an indispensable part of the management process, but through slight modifications, could very well invigorate the Life Science community.
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