Meeting face to face is vital, with professionals preferring this method over all other meeting types. Two thirds of professionals from the UK, Germany and USA all feel that face to face meetings make it easier to make important decisions. 100% of respondents also agreed that face to face meetings help them understand other peoples’ opinions and arguments better.
“Although technology has made it easier and easier to meet remotely, and that is a good thing, there is something particularly powerful associated with individuals coming together to meet face-to-face…”
Professor Steven Rogelberg
and Professor of Management
at the University of North Carolina
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The average meeting lasts around an hour, with 54% of professionals saying their average meeting takes between 30 minutes and 1 hour.
Meeting length shows a strong correlation to an individual’s level of seniority, with those earning over €51,000 per annum twice as likely to have hour long meetings as those earning less than €28,000 per annum.
Those earning higher salaries also tend to be more active participants in meetings, with just 8% of professionals earning more than €51,000 per annum saying they aren’t usually an active participant in work meetings, compared to 18% of those earning less than €28,000 per annum.
British professionals spend the most time in meetings every week, with nearly a third (30%) of respondents reporting they spend five or more hours in meetings per week. 23% of professionals in the USA spend this time in meetings, while the 23% of German professionals spend 2 and a half hours in meetings every week.
Busy professionals (those attending five or more meetings a week), are also far more likely to actively participate in the discussion — with 70% of busy professionals playing a key role compared to 49% of professionals attending less than five meetings a week.
Our Nielsen research also discovered that 25% of professionals in the USA have more than 15 meetings, catch-ups, calls and internal meetings every week, accounting for 20m working professionals.
Predictably, those spending time in lots of meetings feel improperly attended meetings are the biggest cost to their company, more so than those attending less than five meetings per week.
Interestingly, busy professionals are less fussy about their preferred meeting method. More respondents who attend five or more meetings per week believe that video conferences, conference calls and one on one phone calls can be effective methods of meeting. This likely reflects the fact that they place greater importance on the quality of a meeting’s attendants, rather than the format itself.
“The secret of a successful and time-efficient meeting is preparation. The agenda mustn’t be too long…”
Dr. Sankalp Chaturvedi
of Organisational Behaviour and Leadership,
Imperial College London Business School
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