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One Big Problem Many Businesses Have: Unnecessary Meetings

One Big Problem Many Businesses Have: Unnecessary Meetings

Oh, the afternoon meeting, the woe of many office workers around the world. Sometimes they are fine, but other times, it’s very clear that they are not always an effective use of your time. Despite this, there is still a heavy emphasis on meetings in the workplace, to the point where some employees feel that their time is being wasted and misused as a result—a premise that is supported by surveys and research.

Asana published their Anatomy of Work global index, a report that details the amount of time businesses spend on meetings and other activities deemed “work about work,” i.e. wasteful time. Meetings are often about work, and as such, actual work is not necessarily being done during them. This report highlights the feedback of 9,615 knowledge workers from the United States, the UK, Australia, France, Germany, and Japan, and you might be surprised by the results.

Or, maybe you aren’t, and you’re just looking for justification for your suspicions about how much work is really getting done in your meetings.

The workers surveyed indicate that, on average, 58% of their workdays are spent on “work about work,” with skilled work and strategic work sitting at a paltry 33% and 9%, respectively.

So, the question then becomes, what are you actually paying your employees to do: the work their job requires, or sitting in meetings getting nothing of value done?

You might not like to admit it—after all, there is good that can come from the conference room, if meetings are managed appropriately and used sparingly—but “work about work” will slowly kill productivity. Asana’s definition of “work about work” is any activity other than skilled work which you hire someone to do. For example, hiring a programmer to sit in endless meetings rather than develop something of value is sure to have them jonesing to get their hands on some code, and it’s also sure to hold your business back from leveraging resources to the best of your ability.

Here are some more specific numbers to consider:

  • Executives spend 3.6 hours per week on average in unnecessary meetings.
  • Knowledge workers spend 2.8 hours per week on average in unnecessary meetings.
  • Executives are 30% more likely to miss a deadline than the average worker due to phone or video meetings.
  • 32% of workers claim that video calls take up more time than they did one year ago.
  • 22% of workers claim that audio calls take up more time than they did one year ago.

Seems to us like that time could be put to better use. If you’re ready, why not give us a call?

Meetings are still a necessary evil in a lot of ways, and that reality is not going away, but you can make them more effective and more worthwhile for everyone involved by keeping them on-task and focused. The right collaboration tools can help you achieve this goal. To learn more, contact OnSite I.T. today at (403) 210-2927.

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