The number of meetings people have to attend has been steadily increasing over the past two decades. Unfortunately, they have become the stuff of nightmares for many employees. Meetings are commonly described as time-wasting, unproductive, and downright boring. These meeting statistics will help you navigate the pitfalls of those dread-inducing events and make them great again.
Since the advent of this millennium, time spent in meetings has been increasing by 10% annually. The average meeting time ranges between 31 minutes and an hour. Following an agenda could decrease the meeting time by up to 80%, however, only 37% of meetings in the US use agendas.
The Monday blues is real. Almost half of the respondents (47%) in a survey have portrayed Mondays as the worst meeting days, closely followed by Fridays that received 40% of the votes in this unenviable competition.
The beginning and the end of the work week seem to be poor choices for meeting days. Conversely, Tuesdays and Wednesdays are the crowd’s favorite, according to meeting statistics. 29% of the votes for the favorite meeting day went to Tuesdays, while Wednesdays won second place with 25%.
More than 1,300 people were questioned about the state of meetings in their workplace and the results were fascinating. Just under half of the respondents (48%) had meetings several times a week, followed by 29% who said they had meetings several times a month. 21% revealed that they were in a meeting every day, while a mere 2% reported having less than one monthly meeting.
Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos got into the limelight once again thanks to the “two pizza rule” he follows. According to this rule, you should never hold a meeting where two pizzas couldn’t feed the entire room. Statistics on workplace meetings show that meetings with fewer people tend to be more productive.
Research on meetings indicates that an incompetent organization has consequences. 43% of respondents reported being more confused after poorly organized meetings. 44% said they were unable to complete the rest of their work due to ineffective meetings. Too many participants could also prove a detriment to productivity, with 31% reporting that irrelevant attendees significantly slowed progress.
No one likes wasting their time. Productive staff meetings need to be agenda-driven and everyone’s responsibilities should be clearly defined before the meeting starts.
A shocking 71% of professionals report having their time wasted, due to unnecessary or canceled meetings. Wasting time at work statistics show that 31 hours are spent on unproductive meetings each month. Regular employees annually lose 3 days and 2 hours waiting for the meetings to start, with this amount even higher for executives who waste a mind-boggling 5 days and 19 hours per annum.
Time waits for no one, and this certainly holds true in the business world. According to meeting room statistics, 40% of workers waste upwards of 30 minutes searching for a suitable meeting place.
Having a rough day? Need a nap? Attending a meeting might be your best bet. We’ve established so far that most meetings are a waste of time, however, this data might shock you—39% of meeting participants confessed to falling asleep during a meeting.
Enormous amounts of money are being spent on unproductive meetings every year. To be exact, the cost of bad meetings is more than $37 billion annually, while 15% of a company’s collective time is spent on meetings. This stat becomes particularly alarming given that most meetings are unproductive. Executives agree that an astounding 67% of meetings are a failure.
If you think that multitasking is great, think again. Today’s workers attend more meetings than ever, and multitasking can single-handedly nullify all the efforts you put into organizing a meeting. A stunning 92% of employees admitted to multitasking during a meeting, 69% confessed to checking email, and 49% said they were doing other unrelated things.
Over a third (77%) of participants join video meetings on their laptops or desktop computers. The second place is reserved for smartphones with 31% of attendees choosing them as their primary means of communication. Preferred by only 13% of participants, tablets seem to be the least popular choice.
Gone are the days of this outdated technology. Meeting statistics show that three out of four (75%) CEOs believe that video conference calls will completely replace audio-only calls. Remote participants just don’t feel engaged and find it difficult to contribute to a meeting. This is mainly due to the absence of body language that greatly (80%) contributes to our understanding of the messages we receive.
With the need for remote work exponentially increasing, the video conference industry has experienced a boom this year. The sector saw a 500% increase in buyer activity since the COVID-19 pandemic began, according to statistics on virtual meetings. This is also evident in the boost of corporate spending, with 67% of companies having increased their budget for video conferencing in 2020.
Meeting participants are far less likely to multitask during video calls. Only 4% of employees admitted to doing multiple things during a video conference, compared to 57% of workers confessing to multitasking during a phone call.
According to video conferencing stats, 41% of users report that companies utilizing video calls have better team member engagement. 35% note that video conferences made them feel more included in company culture.
Stats on virtual meetings have shown that an overwhelming majority (89%) of respondents believe that video conferences speed up project completion times.
With the outbreak of COVID-19 and the need for remote work skyrocketing, many companies decided to put their trust in Zoom. At the beginning of 2020, the number of daily meeting participants rose to 200 million from a “mere” 10 million recorded in 2019.
To put things into perspective, a shocking 37% of meetings start late. Let’s face it, not being punctual is just rude. It wastes other people’s time and evokes negative emotions in those who have to wait for the latecomer. Productivity statistics in the workplace show that people feel frustrated, upset, and disrespected, all of which negatively impacted meeting effectiveness.
A study conducted by Rogelberg and his team with 665 participants found lateness to be a loose and elusive concept. Meeting statistics on lateness show us that only a fifth of participants defined tardiness as arriving after the scheduled start time. Another 20% allowed for a certain “grace” period before they considered someone as late. Interestingly, a mere 3% viewed unpunctuality as a lack of preparedness for the actual meeting.
There are just too many meetings. This seems to be the growing sentiment among the modern workforce. 11 million meetings are held in the US every day, 37% of them start late, and we’ve already established that tardiness leads to decreased productivity. The cost of ineffective meetings is exorbitant ($37 billion) and meeting lateness is one of the culprits.
Believe it or not, meeting stats show that the majority of meetings are unproductive. Multiple factors lead to this lack of effectiveness and executives agree that 37% of meetings fail to bring any value to the company.
There doesn’t seem to be a clear consensus on the optimum percentage of time spent in meetings. Going by the rule of thumb, you shouldn’t spend more than 20% of your time spent at work in meetings, regardless of your rank in the hierarchy.
Time spent in meetings research suggests that an average business meeting lasts between 31 minutes and an hour.
Incredible as it might seem, 11 million meetings are held each day in the US alone, according to time spent in meetings statistics.
Unfortunately, that seems to be the case. The more meetings you attend, the less time you’ll have to complete your work. Taking part in too many meetings will undoubtedly decrease your performance and productivity.
Everything should be done in moderation and this certainly applies to meetings. Forcing employees to attend too many of them will surely lead to decreased focus, less time for “deep thinking”, and a drop-off in productivity.
Meeting statistics show that Tuesdays and Wednesdays are the best meeting days. 29% of employees preferred the second day of the week, while the adjacent day got 25% of the votes.
Research indicates that engagement drops off significantly after the 30-minute mark, so you should keep most of your meetings short and to the point. Meeting about matters requiring in-depth discussion should never overshoot the hour limit.
A myriad of factors could lead to an unsuccessful meeting, however, the prime suspects are the lack of agenda and poor time management. The absence of a defined goal with a lack of effective planning added to the mix is a surefire recipe for disaster.
Scheduling a meeting can be a tricky affair. Meeting statistics show that it shouldn’t be too early in the morning, nor too late in the afternoon. Science suggests that 2:30 PM on Tuesday is the best time to schedule a meeting.
Meetings should be scheduled two days in advance. This leaves adequate time for effective and thorough preparation. It also demonstrates that you respect other people’s time.
Invest in collaboration or project management software as this is the single best way to reduce the number of status update meetings. A relatively novel concept you could introduce in a meeting-free day, which is rather self-explanatory.
Meetings are a necessary evil and we are hoping that these meeting statistics will help you make the most of them. You are now equipped with all the knowledge necessary to turn the tide of this proverbial battle in your favor. Make meetings shorter, less frequent, and more engaging. Shine a beacon of change and illuminate a brighter future for all the meetings to come.
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