Meetings costing businesses’ productivity

Meetings are often seen as an essential part of the business, playing an important role in keeping on top of ongoing projects and making sure everyone is on the same page.

However, new research suggests that meetings are commonly too long and decreasing productivity across the organisation.

In a survey conducted by Robert Half Management Resources, more than 400 office employees were polled to gauge the impact of long and drawn out meetings. A respondents said 25 per cent of time is wasted during meetings and this was having an impact on their daily workflow.

When asked about what was making the meetings run too long or not achieve enough, the employees gave a range of responses. The most common answer was an unclear or incomplete agenda or not sticking to one (30 per cent), and this was followed by not ending at the scheduled end time (20 per cent).

Paul McDonald, senior executive director for Robert Half, explained that meetings should only be held when there is actual business to conduct, rather than just because it was scheduled.

"An unnecessary or poorly conducted meeting can bring everyone down because attendees feel like their time is not valued," he said.

"Leaders can avoid this situation by clearly establishing the purpose of the discussion, ensuring the right people attend and providing them an opportunity to contribute."

Other responses offered by the employees included not starting the meeting on time (15 per cent) and people attending who didn't need to be there (14 per cent).

Robert Half Management Resources recommends that business leaders analyse their meeting structures and see whether the time allocated can be reduced.

With more time out of meetings, one way to boost productivity in the business is to invest in workflow automation that streamlines basic HR processes creating an easy-to-use system for employees.

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