What should the duration of your virtual meeting be?

Meeting Insights
What should the duration of your virtual meeting be?

What should the duration of your virtual meeting be?

According to your team, how long should a meeting last? Meeting duration is usually a very subjective matter when deciding how long you should spend discussing matters with your team. As we experienced with the responses to our most recent survey, different people have very different ideas on how to run meetings as well as how long they should go on for. However, this isn't really useful information to you. So, using our gathered data we are able to see a trend in professionals opting for around the 30-minute mark for a meeting. They seemed to think that this was enough time to fully work through an agenda including accounting for unexpected tangents.

15 minutes: 9%
30 minutes: 70%
45 minutes: 17%
Other: 4%

The data from 135 participants suggests that only 9% of people thought that meetings can be done and dusted in 15 minutes however, a massive 70% thought that 30 minutes was a suitable time for a meeting. The rest of the data shows 17% stating 45 minutes was sufficient and then 4% stating others, subsequently dropping us a comment as to their personal preference.

A lot of the comments tended to favor the 15–30-minute time-span however, one participant said that they would attend or host meetings of up to 60 minutes which many of the other participants saw as far too long for a meeting. We had one participant state that “Anything that fits in a 30-minute slot can be done in 15, 20 minutes to be safe”. This just shows the varied approach to virtual meetings for regular users however, I think it’s safe to agree that 30 minutes seems like the best bet when trying to plan a meeting and thinking about how much time may be needed. Although, if your agenda constitutes a longer meeting don’t try to fit it into 30 minutes just for the sake of it.

Snacknation states that “Virtual meetings should last for no more than an hour. Break your meeting into 15-minute segments and take breaks to keep attendees energized. Be prepared to use your judgment. If you sense engagement has plummeted, it might be more productive in the long run to end your meeting early.”.

This statement shows that keeping colleagues engaged is the most important factor when planning a meeting

So, how long should a meeting last? It depends, really. One of the most vital factors to consider is that the meeting should remain engaging to all participants. It is better to call a meeting short when you sense that you’ve lost your crowd rather than dragging out an unnecessarily long meeting.  

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