Would you schedule fewer, shorter meetings also with less people if you were aware of the total time and salaried cost of your meetings?

Would you schedule fewer, shorter meetings also with less people if you were aware of the total time and salaried cost of your meetings?

Meeting cost = duration x number of participants x number of meetings

At Eric.ai we’ve spent time compiling a whole bunch of information using online polls that will help us optimise our product, make new tools and give you the head start you need to make this your best year yet for online meetings.

Unproductive meetings are extremely expensive. In fact, a survey found that ineffective meetings cost up to $399 billion in the USA and £42 billion in the UK alone. Globally, the financial cost of meeting is over a trillion dollars and that's not including opportunity cost and environmental impacts.

We asked a large group of 35 regular users of online meetings if they would change the way they schedule and arrange meetings when made aware of the financial costs of unnecessary meetings and over-running meetings. When you begin to look at the billable hours, you will see how much time could be saved which is now losing you potential billable hours. Taking an extra moment when planning your team's week can stop you from losing out on potential earnings, just by creating a more efficient meeting space within your team. It’s a win-win situation really.

Yes, I'd try to minimise costs: 86%
No, I'd carry on as usual: 9%
It depends (please comment): 6%

As you can see above, 86% of our poll participants agreed that they would try to create a more financially efficient meeting space if they were more aware of the financial and opportunity costs that they were conceding due to lack of detail in planning. 9% of participants said that they would carry on as usual and disregard these costs. And 6% said that it depends on several factors.

One participant said “The 'opportunity cost' or 'redirection of resources' involved in meetings should always be considered. Is the meeting necessary or would and email or quick chat on the 'phone suffice?”. Opportunity cost can swing both ways with this question as if a longer meeting is necessary due to high volume of discussion topics and debates then it is in your best interest to not miss out on the opportunity to discuss these things due to the high potential costs. However, if there is a lower volume of discussion avenues then the opportunity cost will be your employees missing out on potential lead sourcing and other tasks that surround their billable hours.

Something interesting was said by a participant in the comment thread. “Much ground was covered, and the time felt very productive. The CEO refused meetings unless unavoidable or impossible to cover any other way and encouraged adoption of this across the entire business.” We particularly liked this comment because I think this just represents the way that the world surrounding internal meetings is heading. There is a multitude of ways to communicate throughout a team using tools such as Slack to create channels of communication that are accessible to everyone so internal meetings are becoming less necessary which will save massive amounts of money on time spent away from being away from laying down billable hours.

I hope that this will help you and your company gain a bit more of an insight into creating a more efficient meeting schedule and bring you a great year of meetings in 2022!