Meetings are an indispensable part of everyday working life. They represent a not inconsiderable and unavoidable part of the daily working day of many employees. Although meetings are undoubtedly relevant, they often lack effectiveness and sometimes even necessity. Unproductive or too many meetings lead to monetary deficits for companies. For employees, a large number of meetings means increased work and time pressure on other relevant tasks. But what do the statistics say in the context of meeting efficiency and necessity, and why do meetings often experience a negative reputation?
Business meetings show a tendency to miss their significance and, in some circumstances, severely limit the productivity of employees. Did you know that unproductive meetings cost companies $37 billion annually and take up 24 billion man-hours? Looking at the data, it’s clear that the number of hours per week spent in meetings is critical. More than one-third (36 percent) of the employees surveyed say they spend an average of four to seven hours a week in meetings. Another 32 percent of respondents say they spend an average of seven to ten hours in meetings. Another portion of respondents (11 percent) confirmed that they spend around ten to thirteen of their work hours in meetings each week.
Based on the current evidence base on attention span during a meeting, the results again provide room to re-evaluate the number of meetings. About one-third of respondents (32 percent) share that their attention span drops noticeably after 30-40 minutes. Nearly half (43 percent) of employees surveyed disclose that their attention span drops significantly as early as 20-30 minutes into a meeting and they are more easily distracted. Only 14 percent proclaim that they can focus well on the content of the meeting for up to 50 minutes.
The resulting question is: why is meeting productivity and effectiveness limited in many cases? According to employee reports, productivity in meetings drops significantly when they lack precise planning or structure. This leads to demotivation among employees and a lack of attention among participants. Another reason for a lack of effectiveness in meetings results from irrelevant and too many questions being asked. The focus of the actual meeting content is lost and productivity is lost. Unpunctuality also has an enormous impact on the productivity of a meeting and quickly leads to frustration among the participants.