Future of Work
The State of Meetings in 2020

The State of Meetings in 2020

Matt Martin
Co-Founder and CEO
February 10, 2020
Updated on:

For a lot of people, our work lives largely consist of meeting after meeting. With so much time being spent on this one activity, we wanted to find out more about what’s working (and what’s not working) when it comes to meeting culture.

The State of Meetings in 2020
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By working with SurveyMonkey, we asked 757 workers in the US to share their perspectives and found out some pretty interesting things.

1. Tuesdays morning meetings are the ultimate crowd pleaser

Your best bet is to schedule meetings on Tuesdays, as almost a third of people picked it as their favorite meeting day (29%), with Wednesdays coming in at a close second (25%). When it comes to the least desirable meeting day, almost everyone (87%) picked either Monday or Friday, meaning they don’t like to bookend their week with meetings.

What's your favorite day for a meeting?

What's the worst day for a meeting?

It’s worth calling out that Mondays are the most controversial day: it’s the least favorite for half (47%) but also the top pick for almost a quarter of people (22%). It’s no surprise that Friday took second place for the least favorite day with 40% of the votes.

Almost 80% of people prefer their meetings in the morning or right before lunch! Only 1% of people find evening meetings productive.

2. Showing up late is universally the biggest meeting “taboo”

Showing up late is considered the biggest meeting “taboo” across every generation and in every industry - it’s even more bothersome than interrupting. Younger generations were (unsurprisingly) 15% less likely to be bothered by cell phone usage, but (surprisingly) 10% more likely to be bothered by people eating in meetings.

What are the biggest meeting taboos?

3. The tech industry has more technical issues in meetings

Across the board, people agree that off-topic conversations are the biggest issue they face in meetings. Surprisingly, yet the tech industry was 54% more likely to cite “the technology not working” as an issue than those not in tech.

What are the biggest meeting challenges?

5. Most people feel like their scheduling overload and blame management

More than three quarters of people (78%) feel that their meeting schedule is either always or sometimes out of control and people earlier on in their careers are even more likely to feel this way, as the number goes up to 82%. Who is the biggest offender of creating crazy meeting schedules? Most people (38%) blame upper management or their direct manager (16%).

6. People despise a bad meeting

You’d be shocked by some of the things people would rather do than attend a bad meeting that they felt they shouldn’t have been included in.

What would you rather do than attend a bad meeting?

The average person also ranked “bad meetings that should’ve been an email” higher on their list of annoyances than: not replacing the toilet paper roll, not using a turn signal and even littering!

7. Want to get people excited about your meeting? Plan it well

A well-planned meeting is the #1 way to get people excited about going to a meeting, with 64% of people saying it gets them excited about joining. It even beat out meeting perks like a free lunch, drinks, being able to take the meeting from home and even having an office dog in attendance. Younger generations (18-29 year olds) were an exception: 71% said free lunch is what gets them excited - and we get it, when you’re early in your career, free food can be a big draw.

8. Overall, interruptions at work are out of control

The average person can’t even go an hour without getting interrupted during Focus Time by something while on the job. Here’s the breakdown of just how bad the problem is:

What's the longest you can go before being interrupted at work?

What’s the cause of all of these interruptions? Here are the top five offenders across all industries, though in tech, email & chat notifications took the top spot.

What are the most common causes of interruptions?

At Clockwise, we’re building an intelligent calendar assistant that frees up your time so you can focus on what matters. Download Clockwise for free today and take back control of your calendar.

About the author

Matt Martin

Matt Martin is the Co-Founder and CEO of Clockwise, a time orchestration platform that brings much needed flexibility to our schedules. Clockwise learns about the things that matter to us and to our coworkers and makes time for both, using AI to find the right moments to meet while saving focus time for each of us.

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