- In a survey by Klaxoon, a France-based software firm, 22% of 2,000 American adults said they think meetings are a waste of time. Klaxoon conducted the study with market research firm Propeller Insights between June and July.
- The survey examined what engages meeting participants, what they do during meetings and how meetings are perceived differently by different groups (women and men; Democrats and Republicans; millennials and other generations; and introverts and extroverts).
- The majority of employees polled (38%) daydream during meetings, according to the survey. They also work on other projects (30%), surf the web (24%), check social media (21%) and think about vacation (18%).
Bellyaches over meetings are nothing new. Nearly half (49%) of those in the Klaxoon survey said they're asked to attend more meetings than in previous years, and 28% said meetings have grown longer. Meetings have little value to distracted participants; managers should decide whether a meeting is necessary and whose attendance is vital.
The workplace has become more remote and mobile, which has led to even more virtual meetings. Participants might find it easier to work on other projects or briefly leave the room during a teleconference call. Since disengagement can be a bigger problem for participants during virtual meetings, deciding whether a conference call or webinar is necessary and who should attend avoids needlessly tying up remote workers' time.
Employees are more likely to be engaged in meetings with a stated purpose in which they have a stake. Every meeting should have a written agenda with clearly outlined goals and a list of tasks each participant can take on.
And meetings might not always be the best way to communicate ideas and plan projects. As the lead trainer in an organization, HR can help managers find more engaging ways to share information and assign tasks, such as instant messaging, smart phone apps, screen-data sharing and other communication tools.