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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The Cost of Useless Meetings

Cost of useless meetings

Economist John Kenneth Galbraith once said, "Meetings are indispensable when you don't want to do anything."

And he wasn’t wrong, as a survey carried out by 3M Meeting Network of Executives, revealed that 25% to 50% of the time people spend in meetings is wasted.

Another study made by Get a Kly, a consulting firm that provides corporate coaching and training, says that professionals lose 31 hours per month to unproductive meetings. That is almost 4 business days a month!

So why are companies dedicating so much time to something that is actually costing them more than bringing them value?

Few companies realize the real cost of each meeting and how extending them is increasing the costs even more. Some applications have developed to try and suggest a real cost on the meeting you are having, these Apps (try MeetingCalc or Meet or Die) ask you to type in the number of attendees and their titles, it will reply with an estimated figure of what you are tying up in your meeting instead of turning it into executives who would be working and being productive.

One of the effects these meetings are causing is to extend the working hours of the team.

This doesn’t mean meetings are useless. Of course they are necessary, but allowing them to prolong more than scheduled, to discuss topics that were not in the agenda or personal situations, ends up turning each meeting into a waste of time for the rest of the attendees.

Ken Segall, creative director of Apple once shared his experience in Fast Company Magazine about a meeting he attended with Steve Jobs, and wrote how Steve threw a lady out of a meeting because he thought she didn’t have anything to add. Nothing personal, but business does not admit space to lose focus or time. Here are some suggestions of how Steve Jobs carried out his business meetings.

1. Throw out the least necessary person at the table.

2. Walk out of the meeting if it lasts more than 30 minutes.

3. Do something productive today to make up for the time you spent here

Perhaps it may not work for every company, but we would love to hear your thoughts and suggestions on how to keep focused on the subject of your business meetings.

And if you're on the road and need a place to meet, give us a call at (866) 354-5478 or visit OfficeList and we'll help you arrange a meeting room rental in the US or Canada.

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