New research today analysing the anatomy of the modern hour-long meeting reveals that Brits are wasting time by waiting for all attendees to arrive at or dial-in to meetings (55 per cent). Engaging in small talk with colleagues and tackling technology followed closely behind.
The findings from digital print and design company MOO, who conducted the study, found that we’re a nation of poor time keepers when it comes to business meetings, with almost half (49 per cent) spending up to ten minutes trying to find a meeting room, and the same amount spending between up to 15 minutes waiting for other attendees to arrive or dial-in.
The top five reasons for time wasting during a meeting include:
- Waiting for people to arrive
- Small talk
- Setting up technology
- Locating the meeting room
Choosing where to sit also posed problems for some professionals with 38 per cent claiming to spend at least five minutes of their one-hour meeting considering the best position. A third (34 per cent) also said they can spend up to ten minutes discussing and adjusting the temperature of a meeting room before they are ready to start.
The number of distractions in meetings has also increased with nine per cent admitting to spending between 10 and 20 minutes checking their phone for personal messages, and the same amount not being able to switch off from their work emails during an hour-long meeting.
The number of meetings we’re expected to attend on a daily basis also presents challenges to productivity, with 63 per cent of Brits attending at least one meeting a day and a third (36 per cent) attending between two and four.
And while ten per cent admit to spending between nine and 14 hours per week in meetings, this varies wildly across professions. Those working in human resources spend an average of six hours of their working week in meetings, while retail, catering and leisure workers spend almost half this amount (3.6 hours) during an average week.
The self-employed suffer the most when it comes to time lost to meetings, spending an average of more than five hours per week on them in comparison to smaller companies* who only spend 2.3 hours of their typical working week in meetings.
“We love meetings, but only when they’re run brilliantly,” said a MOO spokesperson. “We hope these findings will encourage everyone to work smarter when it comes to getting the most out of meetings.”