Updated: Jan 10, 2021
How many times have you left a meeting thinking "well that was pointless" ?
For some reason, medium to large corporations thrive on having meetings. Pointless meetings!
Be honest. Can you recall the last time you left a meeting saying to yourself - "Wow, I really gained a lot of value out of that meeting"! Didn't think so...
All too often, we are invited to unnecessary meetings and are then forced to cram all of our work into a 2-3 hour period, usually at the beginning or end of the day.
After thinking about this problem for a while, we thought it would be worth quantifying the actual costs of a meeting. Please note that the below numbers are indicative only and only factor in labour costs, but should still help you reconsider who you invite to your next meeting.
The per person cost of a meeting
We estimate that the average cost of a meeting per person is $36.
Meeting Cost Per Person = [Income Per Employee] x [Avg. Meeting Length]
Meeting Cost Per Person = [$0.80] x [45 mins]
Meeting Cost Per Person = $36
The annual income of an employee is $100,000 per annum, split across 260 working days. This works out to be $48/hour.
The average workplace meeting goes for 45 minutes, according to this blog.
"Nearly ONE THIRD of all labour costs are spent on your employees having meetings"
On average, our calendars are filled with AT LEAST 4 meetings per day. We've crunched the numbers for you below;
Daily meeting costs (per person): $144
Weekly meeting costs (per person): $720
Monthly meeting costs (per person): $2880
Annual meeting costs (per person): $31,680
The numbers above imply that nearly ONE THIRD of all labour costs are spent on your employees having meetings! Whilst we appreciate that there is a need for employees to communicate with each other in order to execute, we can almost guarantee that this meeting culture is impacting the productivity and speed of execution in your organisation.
NEED HELP TO CHANGE YOUR MEETING CULTURE ?
What are the annual costs of meetings in your organisation?
Assuming your employees average 4 meetings per day, we've calculated the annual costs of having meetings annually;
20-40 employees: $633k - $1.3 million
41-60 employees: $1.3 million - $1.9 million
61-100 employees: $1.9 million - $3.2 million
101-200 employees: $3.2 million - $6.3 million
201-500 employees: $6.3 million - $15.8 million
500-1000 employees: $16 million - $32 million
1000+ employees: $32 million - $100 million
The above numbers are not insignificant, yet there doesn't seem to be any Executive focus on minimising the amounts of meetings that we are having. Furthermore, the efficiency of meetings is very rarely measured - we all have that meeting that we attend "for the sake of it".
Now let's imagine if we reduced the average number of daily meetings from 4 to 3.5...
Annual labour cost savings from reduced meetings
20-40 employees: $79k - $160k cost savings
41-60 employees: $160k - $240k cost savings
61-100 employees: $240k - $430k cost savings
101-200 employees: $430k - $800k cost savings
201-500 employees: $800k - $1.9 million cost savings
500-1000 employees: $1.9 million - $4.3 million cost savings
1000+ employees: $4.3 million+ cost savings
It's widely recognised that not all meetings are needed, nor are all meetings effective. As such, simple changes in your organisation could lead to substantial cost savings.
In addition to these cost savings, a reduced number of meetings would also give everybody 25 minutes back in their day (on average), allowing more time for actual work to be completed i.e. increased utilisation of workforce.
As you can see with the numbers above, there are SUBSTANTIAL opportunities for organisations to re-assess the way they work. This may include (but should not be limited to) evaluating:
Meeting cadence / frequency
The number of people attending a meeting
The length of time required for a meeting
The notion of a "workshop" versus a "meeting"
If you would like to have a discussion as to how BMC can assist you in changing the way your organisation approaches meetings, please get in touch below;
The Bearded Man