Employees attend an average 40 “pointless internal meetings” every year, according to research undertaken by ACC Liverpool among 88 of its industry contacts.
Staff leave at least three meetings every month with no clear actions, no decisions made and no specific outcomes, with some respondents revealing they spend up to 10 hours per week in such meetings, according to the survey results.
Kerrin MacPhie, director of conference and exhibition sales at ACC Liverpool, said: “We hear a lot of debate and discussion about meetings – indeed, the foundation of the industry we are a part of is based on the importance of face to face interaction.
“However, we feel that there is a notable difference between those meetings and conferences we organise for our clients and internal company meetings.
“This inspired us to carry out our own research on how organisations prepare for internal meetings.”
The results, MacPhie said, suggested that many of us spend far too much time away from our desks tied up in internal meetings with no notable outcomes. “The cost of these ill-managed meetings to businesses is phenomenal,” she added.
More than 95% of those surveyed did agree that internal meetings provided a good opportunity to debate and share ideas, above all providing that important opportunity for discussion as well as helping to establish relationships, negotiate and speed up the decision-making process.
Jon Kelly, MD of live events agency Meet & Potato, said: “It’s our business to discuss meeting options with clients. Inevitably pre-production meetings are held at the clients’ offices, but we always advise on the importance of holding live events, including the rehearsals, away from the office. It provides an environment without distractions and provides the mental and physical space to harness creativity and discussion.
“It’s important that these off-site venues have the right space and facilities though so that we maximise the effectiveness of our time together.
“Things like the AV not working properly, or the refreshment trolley rattling in before lunchtime when the meeting is still going on, are distractions you don’t need. Time is precious.”
The headline findings are part of a longer report which also offers tips and ideas to improve meetings, from starting a meeting at 22 minutes past the hour to switching off Wi-Fi.
The full report can be downloaded here