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What your staff are actually doing during conference calls

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With more adults preferring a collaborative (47%) workplace than a hierarchical (11%) one, it is not surprising that a large portion of a professional’s workday is devoted to meetings.

In fact, according to the latest Clarizen survey, conducted by Harris Poll, your staff are likely to be wasting as much as 30% of the work week (11.8 hours out of a 40 hour work week) preparing for and attending status meetings.

With 64% of professionals participating in conference call meetings with colleagues, how much productivity are organisations losing and are your staff really sticking to the agenda of the meeting or doing something else altogether?

Apart from already wasting five minutes or more waiting for everyone to join the call, 74% of professionals who participate in conference calls admitted to taking part in other work-related or personal tasks while on mute during these calls.

Here’s what these professionals have admitted to doing:

  • 33% of them respond to work emails
  • 33% talk to someone else in the office (with 14% of those making snide comments about the meeting)
  • 24% eat lunch
  • 22% take care of personal emails
  • 17% use the restroom
  • 15% watch TV
  • 12% get on another call

ALSO READ: CEOs are wasting time in meetings and replying to emails

Though one might assume that time is only wasted during meetings, the survey also found that preparing for status meetings often takes nearly as much time as the meetings themselves with 56% of workers spending an average of 3.8 hours each week preparing for them.

Apart from the long hours spent preparing for the meetings, professionals also spend quite an amount of time attending the meetings.

About 60% of employed adults reported spending about 4.1 hours every week on status meetings for updates on specific projects and 62% have reported attending “general purpose” status meetings, which take up an average of 3.9 hours weekly.

To make things worse, the survey found that these meetings aren’t as helpful for communication as we would think.

Of the 68% of respondents who work with a dispersed team with remote individuals, 89% still report that they find some things frustrating.

Among the biggest frustrations were “keeping everyone in the loop” (20%) and “communicating with the team” (21%).

“Over three years of studying status meetings, the results have consistently shown that they substantially decrease the amount of time and energy workers can devote to completing actual, meaningful work,” said Viken Eldemir, GM of the Americas, Clarizen.

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