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Careers Advice
5 min read

Do You Attend Too Many Meetings?

Meetings can and do take up so much time and have you noticed that some either join a meeting late or leave early because of another meeting? It can be so frustrating to have so many meetings which waste valuable time when you could be utilising that time productively.
Written by
Joanna Clare
Content Manager
Published on
June 17, 2024

Do you sometimes find that much of your workday has been taken up with various scheduled meetings, many of which are recapping or discussing previous meetings? It can sometimes feel as though you are going over the same topics and not actually arriving at any conclusions. So what’s the answer… another meeting? Unfortunately, meetings can sometimes achieve nothing.

Meetings can and do take up so much time and have you noticed that some either join a meeting late or leave early because of another meeting? It can be so frustrating to have so many meetings which waste valuable time when you could be utilising that time productively.

There is some astonishing research that concludes that around the world that billions of hours are spent in meetings that are not deemed as productive. Additionally, some managerial roles are spending up to seven years of their working lives in meetings!! That could easily be translated by some as billions of wasted hours that could be spent actually working towards whatever it is the meetings are about. Basically, there’s far too much talking and not enough implementation. Of course, many meetings are very important, needed and necessary for this article, the focus is on unproductive meetings.

The amount of meetings that people are expected to attend is on the increase.This is especially so since remote working is also on the increase as with employees often in different areas and locations and perhaps working different hours, virtual meetings are a collaborative and essential  way in which to bring a team together.

Meetings can often have the potential to be condensed. If everyone attends at the same time, it can save five or ten minutes that will be wasted by waiting for other members of the team to arrive. A thirty minute meeting can be made into a twenty minute meeting, especially if everyone is fully focused and the meeting is hosted in a clear, concise and productive manner. A main topic or objective with a specific agenda must be set out before the meeting starts so everyone is aware of what their role will be and what is expected of them. This way it is far more likely that goals will be achieved and outcomes identified.

Only extend an invite to those essential participants who have direct involvement as outside parties will often need clarification and extensive background information which if they do not have a direct link or specific role in the project being discussed, will hinder everyone else.

Identify if any of the information can be sent as an email or well written memo instead of setting up meetings and utilise appropriate project management software which can help to minimise the time spent in meetings.

Stay fully focused upon the discussion set out as the main topic of the meeting, as by allowing general chit chat or certain individuals introducing new subjects, time will inevitably be wasted and you’ve guessed it - yet another meeting will have to be scheduled!

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