The days of tight budgets are here to stay as companies from small to Fortune 500 contemplate a global business environment that demands a faster response than traditional meeting formats can provide. Certainly the number of meeting that professionals need to attend has exploded along with the globalization of supply chains and the advent of far-flung teams in offices from New York to New Delhi, and everywhere in between. Even in the US, one of the biggest players in the frequent flyer stakes, video conferencing is streamlining operations and making meetings easy for busy professionals to attend.
The Hard Facts and Soft Costs
If someone popped up and said that you are going to spend 3.7 hours of every 10 hour work day in meetings, you’d think you’d been cursed. Be honest. How many times have you gone to a meeting and felt your eyes glazing over? Or played Candy Crush under the table on your phone or iPad? Or have you even dozed off, staring at a talking head on a screen while a PowerPoint slide show played overhead? You’ve almost certainly fretted about the work piling up in your office, whether you’re down the hall or across the state. With travel, there’s always the concerns for family and pets piled on top of workplace concerns, and if the meeting is unproductive, there’s frustration piled on top of worry. When your staff is stressed out, frustrated, and overloaded, they’re going to do what over 70 percent of American workers do according to a Gallup poll – disengage.
Worse, these workers are the most highly educated and experienced staff – ranging in age from 30 to 64, with college and professional degrees under their belts. At a point where they need to be engaged in their projects and processes, they’re the ones in their third meeting of the day, wondering if they’re going to make their plane or propped in the corner with their eyes glazing over from jet lag. When they’re back at the office, they race to catch up with work, meet family commitments, and still have time to keep up with developments in their projects and departments. In a recent study by Verizon, these busy professionals admit to worry about family obligations going unmet, and office workflow backing up while they’re gone.