The more meetings, the less productivity. If the average company cuts their staff meetings in half, their productivity goes up by half. The average worker gets one interruption every eight minutes. That’s seven interruptions an hour. Throw in email and text messages and the amount of interruptions goes up. That’s 50 or 60 interruptions per day without the texts and email. The average interruption takes five minutes, totaling 4 hours of wasted time per day or 50% of the workday.


Imagine that. If a meeting is scheduled, on top of those interruptions (there are always questions after a meeting outnumbering the questions during a meeting) the time wasted skyrockets. By the way, 80% of those unscheduled interruptions are of little or no value creating approximately 3 hours of wasted time per day.


In this country (sit down for this one) there is an average of 17 million meetings per business day. If you’re given one hour a day, 7 hours per week for independent study, 365 days a year, that means in 3-5 years you can become an expert in whatever topic you choose.


Meetings are considered by most experts in business management and consulting to be a complete waste of time, especially now with emails and text messages. The most common phrase used at the start of a meeting by the person who scheduled the meeting is, “I just want to go over a few things.” In other words, it’s a good chance most people sitting in the meeting already know what’s going to be talked about because they’ve already been briefed. 60% of people attending a meeting will take notes to pretend they’re interested in what’s being said. 9 out of 10 people daydream during meetings.


Meetings are the bane of the workday existence yet no one speaks up about how much time they waste because they’re afraid they won’t be considered, “members of the team”. If you’re in management or head of an organization, remember this: Nearly all of your employees work more efficiently when they feel that have more time to get things done instead of sitting around listening to you “go over a few things”. New corporate orders or procedures can be effectively communicated through an email or text. Or, you can just stop by the employee’s cubicle or office and tell them new information. And that means at least 1% of the 80% of wasted interruptions per day will be of value.


Now that’s what I call a meeting.


by RI Radio Hall of Famer Geoff Charles