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Do you spend 30% of your week in meetings? Survey says many people do

Dialpad analyzed meeting data and found that standups are the shortest meetings, as long as there are fewer than 20 people attending.

A survey of 2,800 people found that 83% of professionals spend between four and 12 hours per week in meetings.

Image: Dialpad

A majority of professionals spend up to a third of the work week in meetings, according to a new survey from Dialpad. A survey of 2,800 people found that 83% have between four and 12 hours of meetings on their calendars each week.

Here are the details about the cadence of meetings, based on the survey:

  • 45% spend less than four hours a week
  • 37% spend between four and 12 hours
  • 12% spend between 12 and 20 hours
  • 5% spend 20 hours or more a week in meetings

The data comes from two sources: a survey of 2,800 U.S. employees from businesses of all sizes and across industries and anonymized Dialpad Meetings data from January 2019 through June 2021.

The survey also found that: 

  • Mondays are the most popular day of week to schedule meetings
  • Wednesdays have the longest meetings on average.
  • Audio-related issues are the biggest pain point for video conferencing
  • 82.9% believe not all video meetings require video

Standups are the most efficient kind of meetings, according to the survey. These meetings last 12 – 13 minutes on average, as long as there are 20 people or fewer attending. The longest meetings are on Wednesdays at an average of 45 minutes. The more people in a meeting, the longer it lasts, according to the survey with gatherings of three to six people lasting less than 30 minutes while a meeting with 20 or more people going on for more than 70 minutes.

SEE: “This meeting could have been an email:” People sound off on video calls

Pete Lim, an agile coach at Dialpad partner Miro, said in the report that his team is thoughtful about managing meetings.  

“To alleviate video fatigue and calendar overload, we try to be very intentional about meetings, ensuring that video conferencing is only used for discussions that carry a heavy emotional or cognitive load, or require a lot of back-and-forth discussion from participants,” Lim said.

Marketing and advertising companies have the most video conferences with an average of 20.9 meetings per person per month.The travel industry is next with 11.1 meetings each month on average, while tech companies come in at 10.5 meetings per month.

Surprisingly, survey respondents did not list the length and frequency of meetings as the biggest problem with video meetings. Instead the top pain point was poor audio quality with 50% of respondents listing this trouble. Other problems included:

  • Difficult to read the room
  • Poor video quality
  • Too many meetings
  • Meetings are unorganized
  • No issues
  • Not enough features in the video platform

Finally, 75.6% of respondents said they prefer scheduling meetings on a certain day or time of day.

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