Almost half of all meetings are unnecessary

March 21, 2023

Waste of working time continues in companies and costs a lot of money, according to Future Forum

About one in two meetings held by executives in the US adds no value and is therefore superfluous. That’s according to a survey of more than 10,000 desk workers by Future Forum ( According to the research consortium, which focuses on building a flexible, inclusive and networked way of working, managers spend an average of about 25 hours per week in such meetings. Non-managers spend an average of 10.6 hours per week. 43 per cent of that could be cut, they say.
Conference instead of meeting
Nevertheless, the number of conferences remains largely the same. The main reason why executives go to meetings is the assumption that they will bring something positive. They also attend because they are afraid of missing something important and to show their supervisor that they are working. For those further down the career ladder, the most common reason for attending is obvious: they have no choice.
The findings come at a time when many companies are trying to figure out which meetings really matter and which can be jettisoned in an increasingly hybrid work environment where employees are generally not all in the same place. According to the management of e-commerce software specialist Shopify (, companies are currently on track to eliminate 320,000 hours of meetings this year through various administrative measures such as banning conferences on Wednesdays.
100 million dollars per year
Apparently low-impact meetings cost large US companies about $100 million a year, according to a separate survey, which also shows that employees turn down only 14 per cent of invitations to conferences, even though 31 per cent would like to. And workplace scheduling apps like Calendly ( report that some of their customers are getting smarter about scheduling more meetings that really matter.

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