Is Your Team Wasting Time in Ineffective Meetings?

Wednesday, November 15, 2023 - Prophit Co.

Wrap your ahead around this – according to a Zippia study, 71% of all meetings held turned out to be unproductive. That’s just over 7 in 10 total meetings. You probably had a meeting yesterday, you probably have one today, and you’ll probably have one tomorrow. Maybe you’re in a meeting right now while you’re reading this article! Point is – meetings take up a ton of our time, and they aren’t going away anytime soon. If the Zippia study holds true, most of that time is being wasted – you’re likely in one of those ineffective meetings more often than not. Given how important meetings are and how much time they tend to take up, it’s vital to ensure that they are being set up, conducted, and managed in a way that is effective for all those involved.

When managed effectively, meetings are irreplaceable. They’re great way to brainstorm ideas, coordinate action steps, make decisions, and propel teams and organizations to reach their goals. However, when managed ineffectively, meetings become a costly time sink that actually achieve the opposite of their intended effect. They can hold individual employees back from achieving their goals, prevent teams from meeting and exceeding their output expectations, and introduce a major internal roadblock for an organization as a whole.

But how does this happen? What does it look like? Nobody goes into the office with the intention of derailing a meeting. Nobody wants to have a bad meeting. And it’s hard to find somebody who wants to spend excessive amounts of time in a meeting. But things get messy anyways. Let’s first put things into perspective with some statistics shared in an article by Mark Wolmark posted on Golden Steps ABA.

  • The average employee attends 62 meetings per month, which take up 15% of an organization’s total time
  • People spend 50% of meeting time on irrelevant topics
  • Only 37% of companies actively track the productivity/effectiveness of their meetings

Zippia also recorded that 65% of employees said that they are prevented from completing their tasks because of how often they get caught up in meetings. This is no surprise when you consider the 62 per month (or just under 16 per week) average, accounting for 31 hours per month spent in unproductive meetings.

All things considered, ineffective meetings cost organizations an incredible total of $37 billion dollars every year. Considering the individual and collective cost of bad meetings, every organization must take a close look at its meeting procedures to ensure effective handling and avoid wasting time, money, and resources.

In the next article this month, we will dive a little deeper into what makes meetings unproductive and discuss action steps that you can take to ensure that you are conducting your meetings the right way.

“Meeting statistics you should know (2023)” [Webpage]. Pumble. https://pumble.com/learn/communication/meeting-statistics/ [Accessed October 11, 2023]

“Unproductive Meetings: How Much They Cost” [Article]. 18 August, 2022. Timeular. https://timeular.com/blog/unproductive-meetings/ [Accessed October 11, 2023] Wolmark, Mark. “Time Wasted In Meetings: 30 Meeting Statistics” [Article]. 5 October, 2023. Golden Steps ABA. https://www.goldenstepsaba.com/resources/time-wasted-in-meetings

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