Are there too many ‘zero outcome meetings’ in UK businesses?

Employment & Skills | Surveys

A survey of more than 4,000 full-time workers in the USA, UK, France and Germany, has found that an alarming number of workers regular experience ‘Zero Outcome Meetings’.

These meetings not only waste hours of the working week but can have an impact on the wellbeing of employees, with a large number feeling frustrated or depressed after pointless meetings.

Of the British workers surveyed, three quarters (75%) admitted that at least 30% of meetings were pointless, in comparison to just 3% of Germans. The data suggests that the US undertakes the most Zero Outcome Meetings with 80% saying they have attended a useless meeting in their current job.

The research, conducted by MatchWare’s MeetingBooster, revealed the extent of the normalisation of ‘zero outcome meetings’ that are essentially a waste of workers’ time.

18% of British workers reported that 50-100% of all meetings produce zero results. Meanwhile, in Germany only 2% of workers believed over half of their meetings to be a waste of time as they take the top spot for the most productive meetings.

A staggering 73% of British workers agree that meetings with no results or outcomes have become normal for business, compared to 41% of German workers.

The problem is more prevalent in America and France according to MatchWare’s data: with 86% of American and 77% of French workers agreeing that pointless meetings are normal.

The impact of ‘zero outcome meetings’ goes far beyond a loss of productivity and profitable business hours; research shows that these meetings can ultimately damage team morale. Over half of Americans admit to being distrustful of colleagues because of unnecessary meetings. While German workers are exposed to the lowest amount of zero outcome meetings of those surveyed, 75% of participants said they continued to be frustrated by meetings with no outcome.

MatchWare Sales Director Ulrik Merrild said: “This research highlights the important issue of ‘zero outcome’ meetings for British workers, but this problem is by no means confined to the UK. Meetings with no results are becoming all too frequent in companies all across the world and inefficient practises can only be tackled with efficient solutions.”

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