Meetings are the black hole of productivity. I’m not saying this just to be dramatic. There is plenty of evidence coming your way.
NB: This is an article from Words of Vikram
I have been attending corporate meetings since my early days in the industry, so we’re talking about two decades now. However, things have recently gotten worse. During the pandemic, the number we all had to attend sharply increased.
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A Microsoft Study highlighted a 250% increase in meetings compared with what employees had to deal with before the pandemic.
Those who know me know exactly how I feel about meetings. When I get stuck on a long call, I catch myself internally chanting “This Meeting Could Have Been an Email” over and over like a monk. Meetings waste valuable time that I could be using to do actual work, like reviewing analytics, rates, content and strategy. You know, the stuff I enjoy and am getting paid to do.
Meetings are endemic to corporate environments. However, a cure is possible. It involves having leadership say no to unnecessary meetings. I think the “Anti-Meeting” movement can gain ground if more owners and senior leaders understand the huge negative impact that meetings can have on their bottom line.
There is also the fact that meetings are making you stupid, which should not come as a surprise to anyone who has been in the corporate workforce. But for now, let’s focus on the dollars.
A Very Expensive Hobby
What if I told you that meetings are really, really expensive? I wish it was mandatory for all meeting hours to be accounted for in the company P&L as a “cost of business” line item. I think if these numbers were released, there would be a quick change in how we manage our collective time.
How can you calculate the real cost of a meeting? Well, there is this simple formula:
Total Cost of Meeting = # of People Attending x Their Hourly Rate x Meeting Duration*
*Trigger warning: The numbers you will arrive at are staggering.
Let’s run a scenario for a small group of company managers. If five people in your organization with annual salaries of $100,000 per person spend 15 hours per week in meetings (three hours a day)… those meetings are costing you $3,846 per week. Keep up this pace, and these meetings end up costing your organization $200,000 per year! Here is a 2 min 35s montage of Owen Wilson saying “wow” to help you cope with this shocking reality.
What about larger/branded hotels? Larger organizations take this bad habit to a whole new level. Just peek into any big brand’s “FDD” (Franchise Disclosure Agreement). Every major hotel brand uses it to define services they will offer to their franchisees. You can access these hotel FDDs on the internets. Guess what item is included as a “service” that hotels must pay the brand for? Answer: “Revenue Meetings.”