Five lessons we’ve learned about current meeting culture

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Meetings are important. Companies can't function without the productive exchange of ideas, and collaboration remains integral to business success. Yet many people see meetings as distractions and endurance tests, instead of the productive sessions they should be. Why? We surveyed nearly 3,000 white-collar employees across Europe, the Pacific, the US, China and India in an effort to find out. 

People don’t like wasting time

It’s obvious. Yet how many meeting invitations are, in fact, time-wasting requests? Our research revealed that 51% of people were frequently asked to attend meetings that turned out to be irrelevant to them. A further 48% (rising to 61% of C-suite staff) said they were often unsure what they were in a meeting to achieve. 

What’s more, when objectives were known, only 30% of time was spent working towards them. People want the time that they spend in meeting to be productive, but the workforce currently believes that’s not the case. No wonder meetings are sometimes viewed with suspicion.

People want fewer, shorter meetings

57% of people in fact, according to our research. Ok, this should be easy to fix. Yet, with a one-hour time slot being the norm in diary booking systems, it’s harder than expected. 

We found that the average meeting is 48 minutes long. Is time being wasted by letting meetings roll on, just because the space has been booked for an hour? Could employees be making better use of this time to work on business-critical tasks? And how long should the perfect meeting really be? Read our white paper to find out.

1 person attends 10 meetings / week (average)
Each meeting lasts 48 minutes (average)
= one full working day in meetings every week.


People are ‘self-enabling’

Because people are under pressure to get things done (due to time lost in unproductive meetings, perhaps?) 57% regularly bring their own devices to work. According to our research, speed and ease-of-use are the main drivers – never more so than when it comes to collaborating in meetings, where 12% of time is spent trying to connect. 

Is this trend towards ‘bring your own device’ technology a security risk? Consumer tech is constantly evolving, so it’s hard for IT buyers and facility managers to keep up with trends. As a result, our research shows that BYOD has become the norm. 


People like to work together

We’ve all heard about the rise of flexible and mobile working. Certainly, thanks to collaboration technology, it’s more popular and convenient than it’s ever been. Yet we found that people actually like having a place to work alongside others, called ‘work’.

78% of millennials wanted a fixed location to touch base with colleagues, with non-millennials not far behind at 75%. 

Our research shows that, far from being a place that employers can afford to de-prioritize, the ‘office’ is a place that businesses should keep investing in. Plus, by incorporating less-formal collaboration spaces, the need for more-formal meetings can be scaled back.


People like informal meeting spaces

Which takes us to our final finding. Huddle is here. Our research shows that people like to collaborate beyond the constraints of the traditional meeting room, with spontaneous collaboration being key to many creative challenges. 

82% of the people we surveyed said that every office should have a huddle space, and that having one makes collaboration more efficient. 



Ready to turn wasted meeting time into a productivity opportunity? For more about what today’s workforce feel businesses need to do, download our white paper: ‘Five steps to the perfect meeting’

 


 

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