Meeting overload linked to low productivity

CEOs are spending more time in meetings according to a new study, and this is having a major affect on employee productivity.

The study, conducted by research firm Bain & Company and VoloMetrix, examined the time budgets of 17 large global companies and found thousands of hours are lost every year due to late meetings and a lack of employee engagement.

Executives are on average spending more than two days a week in meetings with employees. The research suggested that a meeting starting five minutes late will cost a company 8 per cent of that meeting.

Bain & Company also revealed that 15 per cent of an organisation's time is spent in meetings. This is a figure that has increased since 2008.

In one example, a weekly senior leadership meeting took up 7,000 hours per year for the attendees. Amazingly, more than 300,000 hours were used across that company with other employees preparing documents and in related meetings.

Businesses that don't manage employee time wisely will often see a decrease in productivity. Leader of Bain's Organisation Practice in the Americas Michael Mankins said senior executives must address time concerns if they want to see a change in engagement.

"Most time management advice focuses on individual actions – be choosy with meetings, rein in your email box," he said.

"But this advice sometimes goes against your company's culture: Ignore emails and meeting invitations and you risk alienating your colleagues – or your boss."

Mr Mankins said innovative businesses should treat time as a "scarce resource" and invest in making time an important piece of capital.

Businesses wanting to improve their productivity levels and make sure time is used properly should consider investing in workflow automation and efficiency software that can ensure the company has solid time management strategies.

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