Unproductive business meetings cost companies an estimated $541 billion in lost productivity and employee time, according to the from the meeting scheduling platform Doodle.
Forbes reports that this figure does not include additional spending on things like travel expenses involved in sending employees to meetings. Such costs could be significant, since the US Travel Association estimates that American companies spend $154 billion annually on business travel.
The estimate was based in responses to a survey of US workers finding that two-thirds of meetings are deemed a “waste of time” by attendees.
In the US alone, wasteful meetings could be costing companies in excess of $102 billion annually, the report said.
Doodle reported that a survey of 6,500 workers in the US, UK, Germany, and Switzerland found that employees spend an average of three hours per work day in meetings.
Employees cited a variety of reasons why they considered meetings wasteful, including gatherings that were deemed unnecessary, lack of an agenda, failure to stick to an agenda, poor reception on video or telephone conferences, late arrivals or early departures by attendees, and failure of attendees to pay attention, such as by texting during meetings.