Overlong and overabundant meetings have slowly crept into modern business. Many companies hold around 62 meetings each month. This has led many to wonder if meeting time is being fully-utilized. According to employees, only half of the meetings they attend are useful. This has led business experts to speculate that larger companies may be losing up to $75 million every year.
The sad truth is many employees do anything but pay attention to what’s going on in a meeting. 91% daydream, 73% do other work, and 39% sleep. The picture of modern meetings is one of disinterest and wasted time. In fact, high level managers say 50% of their time at work is spent in meetings.
Businesses don’t want their highest paid employees to become naptime supervisors, so in response, enterprising managers are revamping their approach to meetings.
Some have chosen to limit the number of meetings that can be called. Team leaders are establishing a precedent that meetings are time- and money-intensive events. They recognize that an hour meeting is more than just an hour meeting. If the meeting is attended by eight people, it’s an eight-hour meeting in paid work.
Limiting meetings is also good for keeping employee’s creative juices flowing. Studies indicate that people need up to 25 minutes to rebuild focus on a task after being distracted. The more time employees are interrupted during the day, the more creative downtime they experience.
Business experts recommend making a few simple changes to maximize meeting dividends, such as setting clear objectives, allocating time for each item, understanding the expected outcomes, and sending out an agenda prior to the meeting. Each of these items help make meetings less time-consuming and more effective.
A study done by the Harvard Business Review suggests that employees should leave a meeting feeling more connected, valued, and fulfilled. By staying on topic and involving every person present in the discussion, businesses can expect to see significant productivity increases – a sure step in the right direction for bored meeting-goers everywhere.