Holding fewer meetings could save $25K per employee, per year: study

Excessive meetings are draining employees' brains and employers' bank accounts, according to a Sept. 26 report from Otter.ai and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. 

The report surveyed 632 employees — 9 percent of whom worked in health and human services — regarding their work practices and meeting norms. Researchers analyzed their responses to estimate the total cost of "meaningless" meetings. 

The average organization invests more than $80,000 in meetings per employee, per year; this number is higher for managerial roles, according to the report. Reducing unnecessary meetings could save organizations an estimated $25,000 per employee, per year. 

In an organization with 5,000 employees, an estimated $320 million is spent on meetings per year. When unnecessary meetings are accounted for, this wastes $101 million per year, researchers found. 

How managers and employees feel about meetings, according to the report: 

  • Eighty-four percent of workers said their productivity would improve if they could skip unnecessary meetings, and 66 percent said their engagement at work would improve. 
  • Employees report that 5.7 hours of the 13.7 hours they spend in meetings each week could be avoided, or about 4.4 meetings per week.
  • Managers said 7.5 hours of their 18 hours of meetings each week are unnecessary, or  about 5.3 meetings per week. 
  • Forty-six percent of employees said they have too many meetings on their calendar.
  • Employees spend 70 percent of their time in virtual meetings multitasking. 

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