Unnecessary meetings costing UK business more than £191bn a year

UK office workers are spending almost an entire working day every week attending and preparing for unnecessary meetings, according to a new survey from meeting technology firm eShare. The average office worker spends 10 hours 42 minutes every week, preparing for and attending 4.4 meetings, with 2.6 of those deemed unnecessary. With the average meeting revealed to have 6.8 attendees, this equates to annual staff costs for unnecessary meetings per business of over £35,000, based on ONS average earnings data. With 5.4 million businesses in the UK, this means the total staff cost per year is more than £191bn, according to the firm.

The research also claims that 70 percent of office workers believe there are too many meetings in a working week, with 24 percent saying that often the same results could be achieved with a few quick emails. 81 percent say their interactions need a 21st century makeover, with 83 percent saying the meeting process has not changed since they first entered the workplace. 79 percent of respondents say they could get much more work done with fewer inefficient meetings, with 45 percent believing that they prevent people from actually getting on with their job. The lack of digitisation was highlighted by 52 percent saying they still receive a printed agenda and materials for most meetings, despite the ubiquity of smartphones and tablets. 59 percent say that after most they just throw away the agenda and printed materials.