the Results blog

Time Management 

The hidden cost of meetings

  • By: 
    Dave Link
  • February 24, 2021
The hidden cost of meetings

If 100% of your staff spent 100% of their time in internal meetings, your company would fail.

Only two things happen at work: 1) You are attending a meeting, and 2) You are not attending a meeting. Everything else is cascading. Yet, meetings remain a mystery. They are a black hole of time that modern businesses do not understand. Perhaps it is the new event horizon we find ourselves crossing while falling into the abyss time and time again.

How many times have you said to a colleague, "Well, that could've been an email" or my favorite, "I definitely didn't need to be in this one." You're not alone. In 2019 it was estimated that 399 billion dollars were wasted on pointless meetings, and that was just in the US. What's even crazier to think about is that this was before the pandemic hit and all of the video meetings started.

How much of that was from your company? 

Odds are it's the largest consistent recurring expense that remains untracked by businesses. In the absence of data, and for a crippling business metric, it's shocking. 

All internal meetings aren't bad. For every role, there's an appropriate amount of time that we should spend on internal meetings. What's curious is how that trends over time and what performance looks like during areas outside the standard distribution of typical time spent. 

Are top performers spending more time in certain types of meetings? Or are there certain groups in that same role that don't perform as well? Or perhaps, your top performers are declining certain types of meetings. Heck, maybe top performers spend more time with their managers than the rest of the team. There is no data to understand this today. There is no way for you to come up with a hypothesis around performance as it relates to time. 

The absence of this data has been a core driver for building Resultably. We want to empower managers with real data to better understand performance. We fundamentally believe people are in too many meetings. In the absence of data, or a feedback loop from your team, you have no idea what any of this actually means. We can help you instantaneously understand your team's results at scale.

One of the core features of Resultably is a feedback loop through Slack. When a meeting ends, you can ask your team three simple questions:

  1.  Did you need to attend?
  2.  Could the meeting have been an email?
  3.  Rate the effectiveness of the meeting on a scale of 1 to 5.

Imagine being able to sit down and see the following:

  • Role xyz spends 3 hours a day on average in internal meetings
  • The collective feedback of people who have role xyz say 33% of meetings they attend could be emails and all those meetings are recurring

Resultably empowers you with the data to turn those aforementioned meetings into emails and get them off the calendar. 

With the example above, assuming a 20-day working month, you just created an entire extra week's worth of productivity per person. That's the equivalent of adding an additional hire to the team. 

The best part is that people with role xyz are going to be happier that they aren't wasting their time in a meeting that could've been an email and can focus on getting their job done instead.

All of this is possible today with Resultably. We exist to empower employee feedback and give managers the tools they need to make better data-driven decisions and hit goals consistently. 

Unlock your most valuable data today

Let us help you understand what 'normal' looks like for your business and where you can take action to improve efficiency right away.