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Meetings suck and bad ones will cost enterprises $399 billion in 2019, says Doodle

When someone gives you an hour of your life back by canceling a meeting give them a hug. It's a small way to claw back the 24 billion hours lost to meetings this year.
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor

Pointless meetings are costing companies and business professionals time and money--$399 billion in 2019 in the U.S.--to be exact.

Doodle, the meeting scheduling platform, interviewed more than 6,500 customers in the U.S., Germany, Switzerland and UK as well as examined 19 million meetings arranged in 2018.

The State of Meetings 2019 findings are jarring yet not necessarily surprising. High level takeaways include:

  • Professionals spend 2 hours a week, or 13 days a year, in pointless meetings;
  • The average business pro spends three hours a week in meetings;
  • 24 billion hours will be lost to meetings in 2019;
  • 34 percent of American workers consider unnecessary meetings to be the biggest costs to their companies;
  • 70 percent of respondents prefer morning meetings and 76 percent wanted face-to-face meetings.

This meeting conundrum is one driving force behind smart office efforts. By offloading meetings to collaboration platforms such as Slack, Microsoft Teams and other tools vendors are hoping to make work more efficient. Meanwhile, the Internet of things, analytics and sensor networks aim to make meeting scheduling easier. Hardware vendors are trying to make video and audio conferencing easier.


Here's how the numbers break out, according to Doodle.


Given Doodle's findings it's not surprising that employees aren't exactly responding to meeting requests quickly. A U.S. worker takes 8 hours and 57 minutes to respond to a meeting request. Sweden, Switzerland and France workers take more than 10 hours to respond. Business pros in Italy, Poland and Israel take between 5 hours and 6 hours to respond.

Doodle also quizzed respondents on what makes a good meeting and more than 80 percent said clear objectives and an agenda need to be set. Visuals were mentioned by 26 percent of respondents. Given my rudimentary slide-making skills, I'll take heart that only 26 percent of my meeting attendees will be annoyed. Sixty-five percent of respondents told Doodle that people talking about nothing make meetings bad.


Let's roll a few slides via Doodle:

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