Unnecessary Meetings Cost UK Businesses Billions

Meetings Cost UK Businesses Blog 13.04.18

New research reveals that businesses are losing billions of pounds as office workers in the UK are spending too much time each week on unnecessary business meetings.

According to an information governance study by eShare, the average UK office worker spends an average of 10 hours and 42 minutes every week on planning and attending business meetings. Out of an average of 4.4 meetings a week, only 1.8 of these are deemed ‘worthwhile’ while the other 2.6 is considered unnecessary.

The Figures

With an average meeting considered to have 6.8 participants, the annual cost for unnecessary meetings costs each business £35,395.36. With over 5.4 million businesses in the UK, this foretells that the total staff cost per year on needless business meetings is more than £191bn.

Additionally, the study also discovered that over 70% of office workers agreed that they spend too much time planning and attending meetings. The participants argued that a lot of the time, quick emails are just as effective at delivering the same results. Around 81% of office workers also agreed that meetings are out of date and need revising, with 83% claiming that meetings had not changed since they first entered the workplace.

The Resolution for Business Meetings

79% of respondents agreed that eliminating unnecessary meetings would allow them to use their time more effectively to complete more work in the long run. Almost half of office workers (45%) argue that business meetings actually prevent them from being able to get on with their job.

However, time is not only wasted in business meetings, but resources too. In a business meeting setting, 52% of respondents claimed that they still receive printed agendas and materials. At the end of the meeting, 59% admitted that they throw away and waste the printed material that was used in the meeting. These figures indicate that UK businesses could benefit more from using technology and paperless resources to assist meetings in becoming more convenient, time effective, and economical.

The CEO of eShare, Alister Esam, supports this by suggesting that wasted time and a lack of modernisation could be solved with a more digital approach: “Whether it’s board meetings in a major corporation, SME all-company meetings or departmental catch-ups, meetings are an essential element of business. Yet most of us would agree that many meetings are inefficient and ineffective, and can be managed far better than they are currently….”

“Even as an approximate figure, £191bn is an astonishing amount to be wasted in staff costs, time and resource that could clearly be much better spent elsewhere… The template for smarter meetings must start at the top – board level meetings must be efficient, essential and better managed, so that meetings elsewhere can follow that lead.”

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Sam Rose

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