The State of Meetings 2019

Written by Andy



Meetings are in the DNA of almost every business on the planet. We meet to share information, brainstorm ideas, solve problems or simply mingle with the rest of our team or company to build rapport and trust.

But over the years, meetings have also become one of the most notorious money pits for business, as more and more reports became published showing that there is tremendous waste in time, money and human health.

The number of meetings

Perhaps you have seen these numbers somewhere. 11M meetings a day in the US – a number quoted since 1976, then extrapolated to the rest of the world reaching around 80M meetings daily.

In a critical fact-based study, Lucid Meeting tried to get the numbers right. And it’s fascinating, as they come up with even greater numbers:

numbers we quote

It looks, in 2014, there were between 36 and 56M meetings in the US alone. So the number trend is on the rise, no doubt about it. Using the same extrapolation as above, we would end at between 288M and 450M meetings worldwide on any given working day.

The quality of meetings

According to data from the creators of JIRA, Atlassian Software, most of us attend 62 meetings a month. According to Harvard Business Review who surveyed 182 managers in a range of industries, majority of them had this to say:

hbr quotes

TED brings us another nice set of statistics to consider.

ted quality

All in all it looks like we meet too much and at least 50% of meetings we do, do not meet productivity criteria people would expect from a meeting to have. No doubt, perceived productivity will differ across different organisations and industries, depending hugely on internal culture and management paradigm. On average though, it is apparent, the world of meetings needs a boost towards productivity and motivation.

banerek timeqube min

The waste

The number we got used to quoted since decades is around 280 bn dollars spent in meetings in US alone. On the Timeqube website we’re offering a quick estimation calculator, where you can calculate how much money in salaries you’re spending each year on meetings alone. By applying it to the numbers above, world businesses are spending literally trillions of dollars every year in meetings (too much to even give the full number, but the scale is enormous).

ted time waste
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ted waste
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Meetings need a hand

There is a lot we can do with business meetings to improve their productivity, limit waste and help participants be more engaged and goal-oriented.

At Timeqube we try this one meeting at a time, with our unique neuroscience backed timer for business meetings. Get yours today here