Time Wasted In Meetings: 59+ Meeting Statistics

The majority (around 83%) of employees spend up to a third of the workweek in meetings. Read on to find more meeting statistics.

steven zauderer
Steven Zauderer
August 30th, 2022

Key Meeting Statistics

Here are the latest meeting statistics that will make you think twice about scheduling more meetings:

  1. There are around 55 million meetings held each week in the United States. That’s at least 11 million per day and over 1 billion per year.
  2. The majority (around 83%) of employees will spend up to 33% of their workweek in meetings!
  3. The average employee spends at least 3 hours a week in meetings. 30% of workers report that they spend over 5 hours per week in meetings.
  4. Time spent in meetings has been rising by 8% to 10% every year since 2000.
  5. Organizations spend around 15% of their time in meetings. Surveys show that 71% of those meetings are unproductive.
  6. Unproductive meetings cause around $37 billion to be lost per year.
  7. 24 billion hours are wasted each year as the result of unproductive meetings.
  8. On average, a corporate employee spends 4 hours preparing for and attending meetings per week.
  9. On average, employees participate in at least 8 meetings per week.
  10. Mondays are the day employees have the most meetings, whereas Wednesdays are when they have the longest meetings.
  11. The video conferencing market will be $19.73 billion by 2030.

How Much Time Does The Average Employee Spend In Video Meetings?

The majority (around 83%) of employees will spend up to 33% of their workweek in meetings, as of 2021!

time spent in meetings
Percentage Of Employees Time Spent In Meetings (Per Week)
46% Less than 4 hours
37% 4 to 12 hours
11% 12 to 20 hours
4.73% 20+ hours

How Many Hours Are Wasted In Meetings?

Employees across different industries and job positions are wasting several hours a week in meetings. The average time spent in meetings per week is 4 hours.

how many hours are wasted in meetings
time spent in video meetings weekly
Source: Booqed.com
  1. The average employee spends at least 3 hours a week in meetings.
  2. 30% of workers report that they spend over 5 hours per week in meetings.
  3. 24 billion hours are wasted each year because of unproductive meetings.
  4. A corporate employee spends, on average, 4 hours preparing for and attending meetings per week.
  5. The average length of meetings has decreased by 20.1%. In 2021, workers spent approximately 11.5% less of their working hours in meetings each day.
  6. Since 2020 began, the number of workers attending meetings has increased by 13.5%, which isn't necessarily a good thing.
  7. The global video conferencing market is expected to see a CAGR of 11.45% from 2020 to 2026.

Read More: Workplace Stress Statistics

How Many Meetings Are People Having Per Week?

There are around 55 million meetings held each week in the United States. On average, employees participate in at least 8 meetings per week.

number of meetings held per week

All employees above junior level have 10 meetings per week. All employees who are executive management and higher have 12 meetings per week.

And employees who are the VP, director, and c-level roles have 17 meetings per week.

Therefore, the trend is the higher up your position is, the more meetings you are likely to have as an employee. The advertising and marketing industry has the most number of meetings across all industries.

From 2020 to 2021, the number of meetings attended by workers has increased by 12.9%.

number of meetings attended
Variable Pre-Lockdown Average Post-Lockdown Average
Total Meeting Hours 2.7 hours 2.5 hours
Meeting Attendence 15.6 attendees 17.7 attendees
Meeting Count 5.9 meetings 6.9 meetings
Single Meeting Length 1 hour 0.8 hours

Money That Is Lost & Wasted Because Of Meetings

Not only is time lost, money is also lost through poorly held or scheduled meetings.

money lost in meetings
Source: Booqed.com
  1. Unproductive meetings cause U.S. businesses to lose $37 billion a year.
  2. That cost can be worth around 300,000 hours of work each year.
  3. Alone, useless meetings could cause one big business to lose up to $300 million.
  4. An hour-long meeting with 5 attendees costs companies $338 of salary.
  5. Video calls cost $1,250 per employee per month when it comes to time wasted on unnecessary video meetings.
money lost due to unproductive meetings

What Percentage Of Meetings Are Productive?

Just 11% of meetings are considered productive, despite organizations spending around 15% of their working hours in meetings.

percent of meetings that are productive

What Percentage Of Time Is Spent In Meetings?

percent of time spent in meetings

Around 6% of time is spent in meetings, which is 2.5 meeting hours per week, divided by a 40-hour workweek. However, the job title and level makes a large impact on someone's time in meetings:

  1. The average CEO spends up to 72% of their time in meetings.
  2. Corporate jobs higher up the ladder usually require more meetings.
  3. Middle management employees spend a little more than a third of their time in meetings (35%).
  4. Upper management employees spend half of their working hours in meetings.

What Is The Ideal Meeting Length?

The ideal meeting length is around 15 minutes. In fact, studies show that in meetings that aren't longer than 15 minutes, almost all of attendees are paying attention (91%).

meeting length breakdown
Source: Zippia.com

Time Lost Because Of Meetings

Did you know that 24 billion hours are lost each year because of unproductive meetings? Find more statistics below:

  • 71% of workers waste time each week due to cancelled or unnecessary meetings.
  • Each month, there are 31 hours spent on unproductive meetings.
  • The average delay per meeting for employees is 10 minutes and 40 seconds. That's equivalent to 3 days and 2 hours lost each year.
  • The average delay for senior executives is 15 minutes and 42 seconds. That's 5 days and 19 hours lost each year.
  • Figuring out where a meeting should take place is a waste of time. In fact, 40% of workers waste up to half an hour just searching for a collaborative space to hold a meeting.
  • The average employee spends over an hour simply preparing for each meeting.
  • Almost half (47%) of employees complain that meetings waste their time the most at work.
  • Nearly half (45%) of employees feel overwhelmed by the number of meetings they attend.

Preferred Methods to Connect

As face-to-face meetings have been restricted due to the pandemic, the power of physical connection through in-person meetings remains.

In fact, 76% of employees prefer face-to-face meetings over other methods.

Employees who prefer in-person meetings feel like it's easier to make important decisions when face-to-face.

Percentage Of Employees Preferred Meeting Method
76% Face-to-face
7% Conference calls
5% Video calls
4% Instant messaging/email

Most Preferred Time For Meetings

Percentage Of Employees Preferred Time For Meetings
70% 8am to 12pm
19% 12pm to 5pm
9% 6am to 8 am
2% After 5pm
  1. 70% of employees prefer morning meetings, specifically between 8am-12pm, perhaps because they feel it can be a fresh start to the day.
  2. 19% of professionals believe the afternoon, between 12pm-5pm, is the best time to hold meetings.
  3. 9% of professionals believe 6am to 8am is the best time to hold meetings.
  4. 2% believe the best time to hold meetings is after 5pm, in the evening.

An article from FastCompany states that we should rethink having meetings in the morning because they could be more productive if held later in the day. Non-morning people may still be groggy and rushed.

And employees that are most productive at work in the mornings could get more accomplished if meetings were scheduled for later in the day.

Meeting Attendance Statistics

These meeting attendance rate statistics will shock you:

  1. 96% of employees have missed meetings.
  2. 73% of professionals have worked on other things during meetings.
  3. 91% of workers have daydreamed during meetings.
  4. 39% of employees have slept during meetings.
meeting attendance rates statistics

Biggest Meeting Irritations

When it comes to meetings, the number of meetings is not the biggest pain point for employees. It could surprise you to hear that audio and video issues are bigger causes of headaches for workers, since they can frequently affect the meeting's quality and productivity.

things employees do in meetings
Source: Booqed.com

Professionals think the biggest irritations during meets are:

  1. 55%: taking phone calls or sending texts is the biggest irritation.
  2. 50%: attendees who interrupt others.
  3. 50%: audio related issues
  4. 49%: arriving late or leaving the meeting early.
  5. 49%: attendees who don't listen to other team members.
  6. 46%: people who talk about nothing for long periods of time.
  7. 34%: when it's difficult to read the room.
  8. 31%: video quality related issues.
  9. 28%: too many meetings.

These irritations can cause consequences which can lead to poor employee performance, or employee motivation issues.

Consequences of Ineffective Meetings

There are numerous consequences that occur due to poorly run meetings. Here are the most common:

  1. 44% of employees report "not enough time to do the rest of my work."
  2. 43% report "unclear actions leading to confusion"
  3. 38% report "bad organization leads to a loss of focus on projects."
  4. 31% state "irrelevant attendees slows down progress."

What Companies Can Do To Make Meetings More Successful

Here are some things professionals believe can make meetings more productive and successful:

  1. 72% believe that setting clear objectives before the meeting takes place is what would make more meetings successful.
  2. 67% believe that having a clear agenda would improve meeting success rates.
  3. 35% state that having less meeting attendees would make meetings more successful.

Sources

  1. The State of Meetings 2021
  2. Stop the Meeting Madness
  3. Video Conferencing Market Size Worth $19.73 Billion By 2030
steven zauderer

CEO of CrossRiverTherapy - a national ABA therapy company based in the USA.

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