Most of us, at one time or another, have walked out of a meeting wondering what the point of it was. When in the actual meeting, many of us have found ourselves stifling yawns, battling heavy eyelids and drifting off into our own little worlds – then panicking when someone ask for our two-cents on the subject.

As well as being a waste of employee time and resources, poorly organised or unnecessary meetings are proving to be a monumental drain on companies’ revenues, reveals a Doodle study cited by Business Leader.

According to the online scheduling platform, a whopping 2.8 million years of productivity are lost every year due to pointless meetings, at a predicted cost of £45bn to the UK economy in 2019 alone.

Doodle assessed 19 million meetings arranged through its platform to compile its State of Meetings Report 2019, and quizzed over 6,500 global professionals.

The report found that professionals from the UK, US and Germany spend two hours each week on average in pointless meetings, equating to 13 days over the course of a year. The average professional was found to have three pointless meetings each week, lasting around an hour each. Proportionately, respondents felt that two thirds of the meetings they attend aren’t necessary.

In terms of countries, professionals from Switzerland were most likely to report pointless meetings as being the greatest cost to their company, cited by 46%. This compares to 40% of professionals from UK, 38% from Germany and 34% from the US.

When asked about the personal impact of pointless meetings, 26% said they affect client relationships. Over four in ten (43%) believe they create confusion in the workplace, while 44% said it impacted their ability to do their jobs.

A third of professionals polled felt they were unable to contribute to the majority of the meetings they are part of.

Gabriele Ottino, CEO of Doodle, said everyone knows the pain of dull, pointless meetings, which are a daily occurrence for many people.

“If you aren’t looking to improve the efficiency of meetings at your organisation, you’re wasting an enormous amount of time and money,” he said.

Of course, this study isn’t to suggest that companies should abandon meetings altogether. Rather, it’s encouraging employees to be absolutely certain meetings are necessary, that they’re well-planned and structured, and that they are attended by the people who absolutely need to be there.

When it comes holding meetings, rooms with glass partitions, lots of natural light and minimalist seating provide a more relaxed setting, inspiring creativity and a more informal approach. If you want to find out more about how we can design your meeting room to encourage maximum productivity, get in contact with us today.

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