Time at work spent at meetings — are they necessary?
If you work at a business, you're sure to have your share of meetings. But are they always necessary? It doesn't seem so, according to a new Accountemps survey.
On average, workers spend 21 percent of their time in meetings and 25 percent of it is wasted.
Richard Deosingh, senior regional manager at Robert Half in New York, says on the flip side, financial leaders say 24 percent of their time is spent at meetings and 22 percent believe that time is unproductive.
"Meetings, when properly organized and run efficiently, they can be great for sharing information and generating new ideas. But, when not conducted well, these types of gatherings can be time wasters," says Deosingh.
The most common annoyance about a meeting is its length. Deosingh says if a meeting is longer than an hour, he recommends shortening the agenda and breaking the meeting up into separate discussions.
The survey also finds that not everyone invited needs to be at the meeting.
Deosingh says meeting-holders should not be afraid to ask colleagues for their thoughts on their meetings as they may have ideas on how to make them more useful and engaging.
According to the survey, 47 percent cite that attendees are unprepared for meetings. Deosingh says the agenda should be sent out in advance so participants can be prepared and contribute in the meeting.
Deosingh also recommends only spending time on the topic at hand in order to have an effective, concise meeting.
Face-to-face meetings are best. But he says remote meetings can also be practical. It depends on the topic being discussed.
Other common concerns with meetings:
— 63 percent feel a meeting is unnecessary and could've been handled over email
— 57 percent of attendees are distracted and are on their cell phones, checking email or doodling.
— 55 percent of attendees interrupt each other.
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