Managing the High Cost of Meetings

The average employee spends 31 hours in unproductive meetings a month, squandering their company’s most valuable asset: their time. Bain & Company found that one weekly meeting among midlevel managers cost an organization $15 million per year. Understanding the true value of invested time empowers companies to increase productivity and manage the high cost of meetings.

Specify Your Costs

Is your weekly meeting worth the resources? Harvard Business Review developed a Meeting Cost Calculator to take the guesswork out of each decision. Their calculator reveals just how much money your company loses per meeting depending on the number of attendants and allocated time. Add it to your home screen as a reminder that meetings challenge rather than drive profits.

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Limit Meetings to Collaborative Work
Vikram Mansharamani, a lecturer at Yale, encourages a simple change in perspective to drive down costs. Instead of planning meetings to disseminate information, only set aside time for work that benefits from face-to-face interactions. For example, decision-making conversations or collaborative brainstorming sessions are worthy reasons to stage a meeting. Sharing a new benefits plan is not. Use technology such as email, Slack, and even intra-office videos to send information quickly. Differentiating between two real needs — sending information and collaborating — makes it easier to save resources without sacrificing the benefits of face-to-face work.