The Trouble With Meetings

Aug 23, 2017 | 0 comments

The trouble with meetings is that they are a monumental waste of time. Come on, be honest with yourself. Deep down you know it, I know it, we all know that meetings are an unproductive use of everyone’s time. The only reason we continue with this great charade is because none of us wants to admit the obvious: we’re all wasting our precious lives sitting in pointless meetings. The vaudeville comedian, Milton Berle, summed it up perfectly: ‘A committee is a group that keeps minutes and loses hours.’ Think I’m exaggerating? Well, let’s examine the evidence.

Meetings Take Up Too Much Time

Research suggests that there are some 3 billion meetings held per year. Every day in the US there are 11 million formal meetings and most employees attend an incredible 62 meetings per month. It’s estimated that executives spend up to 50 percent of their working hours attending meetings every day.

And guess what? Fifty-two percent of people find meetings a waste of time. Come on, do the math. How many hours of unproductivity does that amount to every day? I can tell you the answer. Too many.

Meetings Are Just Talking Shops

How many times have you been to a meeting where you spend a large chunk of time talking about what was said and discussed at the last meeting, only to move on to spend another large chunk of time talking about what you’re going to discuss in this meeting? By that stage, the majority of the participants will have drifted off and no doubt will be considering what they’re going to have for dinner. And by the time you actually get round to talking about anything meaningful, your allotted time will be up and the next group of pointless meeting participants will be queuing up to use the meeting room. I wonder what will be on their agenda. Perhaps it’s a meeting to talk about the number of company meetings!

Meetings Aren’t Real Work

You’re kidding yourself if you think that attending a meeting amounts to work. Just because you’re in the office doesn’t mean that you’re being productive. And while you may be sitting in a meeting talking about work, you’re not actually doing any work, are you? In fact, the work in the shape of unanswered emails and phone calls is likely to be piling up, which means that whilst you’ve been in the meeting, instead of achieving anything, you’ve actually fallen behind in getting things done.

Most Business Meetings Are Poorly Prepared

If in doubt, call a meeting, seems to the maxim of many an organization. Whether it’s to share information, as a means of communication or to brainstorm ideas, whatever the task is a meeting must surely be the best way to go, right? Well, not when the research says that 63 percent of meetings have no planned agenda.

How can you possibly hope to achieve anything without a clear idea of the purpose behind the meeting? No wonder then that 25 percent of meetings are spent discussing irrelevant issues without approproate actions and next steps being recorded and tracked post meeting.

Meetings Full Of Staff Who Don’t Want To Be There

Let’s be honest, how many of us actually look forward to that weekly team meeting? The data says that nine out ten of us are guilty of daydreaming while in a meeting. And how many of us have surreptitiously checked our emails or texted when we should have been paying full attention to the discussion at hand? And go on, be honest, how many times have you checked out Facebook whilst in a meeting? You see, most of us deep down know that meetings are a waste of time and this is reflected in our behavior and body language. Next time you’re in a meeting just look at everyone’s body language. I can guarantee that yawns, fidgeting and gazing out the window will be the order of the day!

Meetings Are An Unnecessary Interruption

Perhaps the worst crime that meetings are guilty of is unnecessarily interrupting those of us that are trying to work. You know the score. You’ve just got stuck into a complex task, requiring focus and your full attention. It took you a while to get going, but now it’s full steam ahead and the creative juices are really flowing. You’re really pleased with yourself and reckon you’ll have the whole task completed with another 30 minutes of concerted effort.

However, you’ve been so absorbed that it comes as a complete surprise when your colleague taps you on the shoulder to remind you about the sales meeting. An hour later when you return to your desk, the creative juices that were flowing so freely have completely dried up. You’ve lost your mojo big time and it takes you a good couple of hours to get back into the right headspace.

Does that sound familiar? Yep, reckon we’ve all suffered from the scourge of meetings interrupting our thought processes and affecting our productivity. And with so many meetings taking place in offices throughout the country every day, it’s not difficult to see what a negative impact it’s having on our overall productivity. Scary, isn’t it?

Meetings Are Bad For Business. Period

In our technologically advanced, highly digital and modern mechanized workplaces, it amazes me that we still rely on the meeting as a fundamental component of doing business. Especially when it is so clearly bad for productivity and bad for business.

Do you think that meetings are just a waste of time? Maybe we should get together to discuss it further. Monday at 11 am is perfect.

Are you looking for ways to reduce the number of meetings in your organization? Then get in touch with the expert team at MyHub and discover how an intranet could make the difference.

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