Are Meetings a Waste of Time?

Are Meetings a Waste of Time?

Organizations hold meetings regularly or at specific intervals. It is difficult for an organization to be successful without meeting to discuss various factors. Meetings help keep track of everything and generate new ideas on how to make things more effective. Despite the positive effects that meetings bring to an organization, they have a derailing effect when coordinated ineffectively and overdone. Here are some of the reasons that make meetings a waste of time.


CEOs and employees spend a considerable amount of time on meetings every week. According to Jonathan Osler, organizations conduct cost analyses before embarking on projects but fail to analyze meetings and see how much meetings take off their finances. When people spend hours on meetings, they are not involved in productive activities, yet organizations will not scrap these hours off their salary. When an organization hosts too many unnecessary meetings, much productive time gets lost, which is costly to recover.

Preparation time

When employees have a meeting, time is not only lost during the meeting. People take time to prepare for the upcoming meeting and fail to focus on productivity. When there are too many meetings, organizations lose more time preparing for the meetings than involving productive activities.


Employees get their morale killed by unnecessary meetings. Prolonged meetings make people lose concentration and doze off, thus demotivating them. Unnecessary meetings should be dealt away with to avoid this kind of de-motivation. However, they should take the least time possible when holding important meetings.

Fixed hour mentality

When there is a meeting, people tend to do nothing else rather than prepare and participate. People fix their minds that no other activity should occur during the time scheduled for a meeting. If the meeting starts late, as people wait for the meeting to start, they get involved in other topics rather than productive discussions that add value to the organization. Organizations should minimize meetings, and if a meeting begins late or ends earlier than scheduled, people should be involved in productive activities or discussions rather than discussing other things such as sports and politics.

How to make a meeting productive

As much as meetings are a waste of time, they are vital for the growth of a business/organization. Here are tips suggested by Jonathan Osler on making meetings more productive.

• Organizations should only host necessary meetings and reduce the number of hours spent on unnecessary meetings.

• The agenda of the meeting and its objectives should be clear.

• People hosting a meeting should reduce time spent on it to avoid losing concentration and dozing off.

• People should not get involved in unproductive discussions because they have a fixed amount of time on the calendar to host a meeting.

• Organizations should train people on how to hold meetings efficiently.

Organizations are losing a lot of meetings, and there is a lot to do to fix this problem. Managers should take initiatives to reduce the amount of time lost on meetings which in the long run result in cost ineffectiveness.