Face to Face Meetings Costing too Much Time

Business people looking at a laptop

Powwownow reveals that British business people are losing over twenty-six days each year, almost a calendar month, sitting in unnecessary face-to-face meetings. That’s over 9,000 meetings and a jaw dropping three years in the average Brits working lifetime. In addition to this, the equivalent of one working week is spent just travelling to meetings every year.

Powwownow reveals more than a quarter (26%) of business people find more than half of the face-to-face meetings they attend a waste of time. The survey also reveals that a fifth (20%) resent the time wasted travelling to meetings, with almost half (45%) stating they get less work done on days they leave the office to attend a meeting. To add fuel to the flames, more than one in ten (15%) frustrated employees are forced to work out of hours to make up for time spent out of the office.

Powwownow’s Marketing Director, Robert Gorby, adds: “Meetings play an integral role in the business world, but the amount of time and money British businesses spend on pointless face-to-faces is staggering and unnecessary.

“At Powwownow, we are all about low-cost and reliability. Basically we just want to help businesses get things done. That’s why it didn’t come as a surprise in our poll that over a third (35%) of Brits claimed meetings put them under additional time pressure and a further third (35%) kept them from doing other impending work. Conference calls are a great example of a better way to cut corners, without impacting business output.”

The survey finds that travel costs and time spent on the road and in face-to-face meetings cost UK companies a staggering £15,979 per head, every year. As a result, UK SME businesses are potentially wasting £637,000 per annum on meetings, which could be held via conference call.

Despite the most common modes of transport to meetings being by car (51%), taxi (26%), tube and train (33%) and bus (19%), the average UK SME is potentially spending over £510k on employees travel to meetings every year.

Nearly one in ten (9%) spend over £4,800 on travelling to meetings per year and while a majority take-on the commuter crush, some businesspeople have accepted a bit of luxury when travelling to meetings, opting for a boat (2%), private jet (1%), helicopter (1%), and even a hovercraft (1%).

The findings reveal Brits may be trying to pass the time in meetings with small talk, which amounts to forty-one hours per year, the equivalent of a full working week every year. Almost half (48%) admit to getting their own back by claiming non-work related expenses, like magazines and even alcohol.

When asked why they preferred conference calls to face-to-face meetings, three in ten (31%) said they were shorter and snappier than meetings held out of the office, with over a quarter (28%) of UK businesspeople claiming they were happy to avoid niggley niceties they experienced during face-to-face meetings. Those polled also added productivity as another reason why they liked conference calls, with three in ten (28%) saying they allowed them to save time and get on with other more important tasks.

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