According to Atlassian, the average person spends 31 hours, or 1860 minutes, in meetings each and every month. That’s about 62 30-minute meetings!
That’s a lot of meetings, but I’d be willing to bet that many of you exceed those numbers on a regular basis. If that sounds like you, here’s the question you’ve got to ask:
Are they really worth it?
In my experience, the answer’s often a resounding “no.” In fact, one study of 182 senior managers found that …
- 65% felt that meetings kept them from completing real work,
- 71% felt the majority of meetings were unproductive and inefficient,
- 64% felt that meetings came at the expensive of deep thinking—or Whitespace—time, and
- 62% felt meetings generally failed to bring the team closer together.
That’s pretty damning. 1860 minutes every month, and the majority of executives feel they’re a waste of time. And yet, I doubt this comes as a surprise.
Most people know their meetings may not be as efficient as they could. In fact, many people will admit that the majority of meetings are ultimately unnecessary. And yet we keep having them.
There are a number of issues at play here, but I think one of the major problems is this: The true cost of meetings is still too abstract. Sure, 1860 minutes probably feels like a lot; but the pain isn’t tangible enough to prompt people to change (even though, in many cases, they should).
And that’s why I wanted to create the Mindmaven Meeting Cost Calculator: To give you a 100% transparent look at the true cost of your internal meetings (and to offer pragmatic solutions to reduce that cost).
So, without further ado, let’s look at the precise dollar amount through the meeting cost calculator that your meetings are costing you each day. And as a warning … It may come as a painful surprise.
How Much Time and Money Does the Average 1:1 Meeting Cost?
Alright, for this first example let’s assume you’re a tech executive in Silicon Valley making about $200,000 a year and have a weekly 30-minute 1:1 with one of your direct reports, who has an annual salary of $100,000.
As you can see, that meeting costs about $60 each week. Do you think the average 1:1 generates $60 worth of value? Some, sure, if they’re highly-optimized. But most? Probably not; in my experience, the majority of 1:1’s are simply status updates.
Of course, that’s assuming you only have one of these meetings a week. If you have four of these 1:1 meetings each week, that quickly adds up to a weekly cost of $240, or almost $1,000 each month.
Again, I have to ask: Are your 1:1’s generating that kind of value? If they are—and you’re confident that’s the best use of your time—then no changes needed!
But if they’re not, it’s time to either optimize the meetings with the tips I include at the bottom of the meeting cost calculator, or eliminate those that are unnecessary.
How Much Time and Money Does the Average Group Meeting Cost?
Let’s switch gears now and take a look at a group meeting. Let’s say you have a weekly 60-minute 6-person meeting with your executives. They might feel productive, but are they really worth the cost?
Again, the numbers speak for themselves: That one meeting costs your organization $290 each week. Is that meeting optimized to the point where that’s the most productive way to invest that $290?
At the end of the day, only you can answer that. I just wanted to give you a tool to get a 100% transparent look at the true cost of your internal meetings.
An Honest Look at the Cost of Your Internal Meetings
Now, it’s your turn: How much are your meetings costing you?
Here’s my challenge to you: Take a look at the last 7 days, and run each of your internal meetings through our Meeting Cost Calculator.
Find out exactly how much you’re investing into meetings each week, then ask yourself: Is it really worth it? If not, check out the links below the calculator for tips to begin optimizing your meetings immediately!