Unproductive business meetings cost companies an estimated $541 billion in lost productivity and employee time

Doodle carried out the most comprehensive research project examining the state of meetings in today’s workplace: Doodle's State of Meetings Report 2019

Doodle examined data from 19 million meetings and commissioned interviews with over 6,500 working professionals, across the UK, Germany, Switzerland and the USA to take a modern in-depth look at when, where, why, and how we meet.

Forbes  reports that this figure does not include additional spending on things like travel expenses involved in sending employees to meetings. Such costs could be significant since the US Travel Association estimates that American companies spend $154 billion annually on business travel.

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The estimate was based in responses to a survey of US workers finding that two-thirds of meetings are deemed a “waste of time” by attendees.

In the US alone, wasteful meetings could be costing companies in excess of $102 billion annually, the report said.


Doodle reported that :

  • Professionals spend 2 hours a week in pointless meetings, which will add up to over $541bn, over half a trillion!, worth of resources in 2019
  • The average professional spends 3 hours a week in meetings – making two thirds of all meetings unnecessary or a waste of time
  • Cumulatively,  24bn hours will be lost to pointless meetings in the next year
  • More than a third (37%) of professionals consider unnecessary meetings to be the biggest cost to their organisation
  • 76% of professionals prefer face to face meetings to calls or video chats
  • Mornings are overwhelmingly the best time to hold a meeting – with 70% of professionals preferring meetings between 8am and 12pm

Employees cited a variety of reasons why they considered meetings wasteful, including gatherings that were deemed unnecessary, lack of an agenda, failure to stick to an agenda, poor reception on video or telephone conferences, late arrivals or early departures by attendees, and failure of attendees to pay attention, such as by texting during meetings.

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