The impact that pointless meetings could have on the UK economy
- 4 Min Read
With the average professional in the UK having five or more hours in meetings a week, research has suggested that this could have a negative impact on the economy.
A new report from the world’s leading scheduling platform, Doodle performed research based on productivity in meetings, through this research they found the professionals on average spend 2 hours a week in pointless meetings, which could eventually add up to over $541bn worth of resource in 2019. The average professional spends three hours a week in meetings – making two-thirds of all meetings unnecessary or a waste of time.
Out of all the participants that were involved in this study, 37% of professionals considered meetings to be one of the most significant reasons for their lack of organisation.
Looking globally, poorly organised meetings is most keenly felt in Switzerland, where 46% of professionals see this as the biggest cost to their organisation, compared to 40% in the UK, 38% in Germany and 34% in the USA.
Delving deeper into the specific personal impact, 26% stated that poorly organised meetings impacted their client relationships, while 43% felt that they create confusion in the workplace. Supporting this is the finding that 33% of professionals find themselves unable to contribute to most of the meetings they attend – suggesting over-invitation is a major waste of time at work.
Paul Axtell, author of Meetings Matter comments on the implications of poorly organised meetings, saying “The impacts of poor meetings also affect people’s own behaviour. When they feel a meeting isn’t working for them, they end up bringing other work and multi-tasking rather than owning the conversation. Employees are also the ones who pay the less-obvious costs associated with poor meetings by not being fully-up-to speed and organised, which can see them take work home, therefore not relaxing and regenerating. In the short term, individuals can push through these issues but long term they pay a high price through the additional stress.”
Although many professionals feel as if certain meetings are unimportant, 95% of the participants did agree that certain meetings were positive in terms of building relationships at work. As we are entering a technology-heavy age. There are many options to hold meetings through several technologies such as Google Hangouts or Skype. However, trough this research they found that 76% still prefer face-to-face interaction.
Steven Rogelberg, Chancellor’s Professor and Professor of Management at the University of North Carolina and author of ‘The Surprising Science of Meetings’ comments on this “Although technology has made it easier and easier to meet remotely, and that is a good thing, there is something particularly powerful associated with individuals coming together to meet face to face. Communication tends to be more rich and nuanced given that verbal and non-verbal cues readily abound. These additional layers not only can promote deeper understandings, but can help actually foster relationships as communication intent is easier to see and empathize with, and misunderstandings are a bit easier to avoid. Unlike a virtual meeting where it is easier to hide in the background and multi-task, face to face meetings tends to have more accountability and engagement.”
What makes a good meeting
In addition to preferences over what kind of meetings were the most popular. The participants were also asked what they thought made a good or bad meeting. Through this research, it was clear that the organisation was the clear message behind this, with Setting clear objectives or agenda and not having people in the room being the 3 most common responses.
Gabriele Ottino, CEO of Doodle, concluded this research by saying “If you aren’t looking to improve the efficiency of meetings at your organisation, you’re wasting an enormous amount of money and time. Setting a clear agenda, only inviting relevant people and proper planning can be easily implemented, and if we stick to these principals there’s a clear opportunity to make huge savings, cut wasted time and reduce irritation to employees – benefiting everyone.”
To read the Doodle meeting report in full visit – meeting-report.com