Time Spend in Advance of Meetings - United States

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Time Spend in Advance of Meetings - United States

Majority of US workers spend an average of 3.8 hours every week preparing for a weekly status meeting. Harvard Business Review also reported that Executives, Unit Heads, and Teams collectively spend 293,000 hours every year preparing for weekly Executive meetings.

Below you will find a deep dive of my findings and methodology.

METHODOLOGY

To complete your request, I reviewed the previous response as well as your feedback. I tried to search other materials to avoid duplicating the previous response's findings. My research included industry and market reports, surveys, studies and trusted media articles. However, I did not find a lot of materials around time spent on preparing for meetings, as most sources focused on time spent on attending meetings. This was true for pre-meeting tasks such as emailing and calling participants beforehand to assess preparedness for a business meeting. Clarizen's 2016 report contained the most straightforward answer. However, I was able to expand my findings for your research by using the most recent sources available.

I narrowed down the results to time actually spent preparing for meetings, instead of attending meetings. I also did not find a breakdown per meeting size or type. For this reason, I opted to present my findings in a standard Wonder response instead of a spreadsheet to avoid confusion. I hope that our findings are helpful for your project. Please continue below to see the results of my research.

PRE-MEETING PREPARATION

Our best source to answer your question was Clarizen's report in 2016. Clarizen is a provider of collaborative work management solutions. In 2016, the company reported that based on their survey, 56% of US workers spend an average of 3.8 hours each week preparing for weekly status meetings.

The report did not provide a breakdown per industry.

PREPARATION TIME PER LEADERSHIP LEVEL

Stormboard, an online collaboration tool provider, published an article in 2017 detailing the breakdown of time spent for pre-meeting preparation per leadership level.

The data was taken from a 2014 Harvard Business Review report. Though this source is older than 2 years old, I included it as it provided the most detailed breakdown for time spent by teams and their leaders preparing for a weekly executive meeting.

The following statistics were calculated for a typical corporation with an average of 11 executives conducting weekly executive meetings.

7,000 hours spent annually - Executive meetings
20,000 hours spent annually - Executive pre-meeting preparation with Unit Heads
63,000 hours spent annually - Unit Heads pre-meeting preparation with Teams
210,000 hours spent annually - Team pre-meeting preparations

Collectively, these added up to 293,000 hours spent annually preparing for weekly Executive meetings (7,000 hours annually). This also translated to 41.8 hours spent in preparation for every 1 hour of weekly Executive meeting.

PREPARATION TIME FOR TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES

Barco, a global technology company, reported the following statistics in 2016 regarding the percentage of company personnel preparing for technical difficulties before a business meeting. Though the report did not report their findings in time units, I included their report as additional information related to the aspects of preparing for a business meeting.

88% "pre-prepare" for technology failures
50% prepare paper hand-outs as a fail-safe alternative
42% run a tech rehearsal before a meeting

MEETING FREQUENCY PER INDUSTRY

I tried to find a study reporting the average meeting hours and preparation per industry. Though I did not find a study specifically for the US, Mitel's 2016 global report shows the following data points for 3 major vertical industries:

53% of workers in the Education industry spent 0-4 hours in weekly meetings
43% of workers in the Government spent 0-4 hours in weekly meetings
41% of workers in the Healthcare industry spent 0-4 hours in weekly meetings

Though the report does not show the time spent for pre-meeting preparation for each industry, the data points can be used to determine which industries dedicate the most hours to weekly meetings. From Mitel's report, workers in the Education field spend the most time attending (and consequently preparing) for weekly meetings.

CONCLUSION

To wrap it up, US workers spend an average of 3.8 hours every week preparing for a weekly status meeting. Harvard Business Review also reported that Executives, Unit Heads, and Teams collectively spend 293,000 hours every year preparing for a weekly Executive meeting. Finally, majority of company personnel spend time preparing for technology failures in advance before a corporate meeting.
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