Meetings – how to make them more effective
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Meetings – how to make them more effective

Pointless Meetings!

I have attended an immense number of meetings where I have sat there and wondered why? Why am I here? What is the purpose of me being here? What is the objective of this meeting? And what else could I be doing rather than being sat here? And I am definitely not the only one who has asked these questions.

The time wasted is frightening!

It is frightening how much time and therefore money UK business wastes in pointless meetings. According to the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebu), workers waste 2 hours and 39 minutes in meetings every week. This costs the UK economy over £26 billion a year! This statistic is even worse when we look at the public sector. According to a survey conducted in 2013 (Management Today, 2016)  the time spent in pointless meetings is even higher and that civil servants spend an epic 22 hours a week in meetings. It estimates that a third of that time is surplus to requirements. For middle managers, it is likely to be 35% of their time in meetings and for senior managers it can be upwards of 50% of their time (Themuse,2016).

How much does it cost?

This is not rocket science! If you take your own salary and divide that by 228 days (I have based this calculation on 5 weeks annual leave plus 8 bank holidays), then divide it further by 8 hours per day; this will give you your average hourly pay e.g.

Average Middle Manager Salary – £50,750 (Glassdoor,2016)

50,750/228 = £222.58 per day

222.58/8 = £27.82 per hour

Using the above statistic, this means that 79.8 days are spent in meetings which equates to a whopping 638.4 hours per year. This will cost the organisation £17,760 per year per middle manager! That doesn’t even take into account travel time, expenses or the cost of hosting the meeting and providing refreshments – OMG!

Now work out how many hours you have spent over the last month sat in meetings that were pointless – Frightening isn’t it?

Consider how much time is being wasted by our own government in meetings that seem to have no result especially in relation to Brexit – months on and there is still no plan, yet we as tax payers have had our hard-earned money wasted in paying for these meetings that haven’t achieved a thing:

What can you do?

If you were wasting your own money, you most certainly would do something about it, wouldn’t you? So what can we do to ensure that we are not the ones who are setting up these pointless meetings and wasting such vast amounts of money?

Here are some ideas for you:

Your next meeting

If you ensure that you follow the above guidelines then you can at least sleep at night knowing that you are not contributing to the millions of hours wasted in UK business sat in pointless meetings.  Next time you receive a meeting invite and can’t see why you need to be there, then challenge it. Ask the most important question relating to your attendance – What is my objective for attending this meeting? If you can’t answer this, then you should decline and focus your attention on more productive activity

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