Nearly half of meetings could disappear without any impact: survey

Nearly half of meetings could disappear without any impact: survey

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Nearly half of meetings could disappear without any impact: survey

The share of face-to-face virtual meetings increased from 17% in 2020 to 42% last year

Tired of attending useless meetings? Turns out your boss is probably fed up too.

Leaders spend an average of 25 hours a week in meetings, but nearly half of those Zoom calls and project updates could disappear without any negative impact, according to a survey of more than 10,000 office workers by Future Forum , a research consortium backed by Salesforce Inc., owned by Slack Technologies.

The number one reason business leaders walk into unproductive meetings is because they thought it would be a good use of time, but it turned out not to be. They also attend because they are afraid of missing out on something important and showing their own manager that they are working, according to the survey. For those at the bottom of the corporate ladder, the most common reason to show up is obvious: they have no choice.

The findings come as many organizations try to assess which meetings really matter and which could be abandoned in an increasingly hybrid workplace where staff members are typically not all in one place. Shopify Inc., the Canadian e-commerce site, said it was on track to eliminate 320,000 meeting hours this year by ending all recurring meetings with more than two people, banning meetings on Wednesdays and limiting large gatherings, while encouraging staff to decline some invitations.

Reluctantly going to uncritical meetings wastes about $100 million a year in large organizations, according to a separate survey, which also found that workers only turn down 14% of invitations, even if they would rather opt out. 31% of them.

The share of face-to-face virtual meetings rose from 17% in 2020 to 42% last year, according to a study of 48 million meetings from collaboration analytics firm Vyopta, a sign that companies are trying to less to slow down the participants, if not global meetings. And workplace scheduling apps like Calendly report that some of its customers are getting smarter to schedule more meetings that really matter.

Non-executives spend an average of 10.6 hours a week in meetings, the Future Forum survey found, and said 43% of them could be cut. Common tactics to reduce meeting overload include reducing the guest list, sending out agendas ahead of time, and ensuring that the meeting itself addresses a set of tricky questions, not just a list of topics.

“There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to eliminating unnecessary meetings,” said Brian Elliott, a Slack executive who oversees Future Forum research. “So be comfortable with experimentation and iteration.”

(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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