Survey: Are shorter meetings more productive and effective?

We recently conducted a survey to derive insight on the effect of meeting duration on productiveness and efficiency.

We asked if shorter meetings are more productive and effective. According to the findings,

  • 63% of the respondents strongly agree,
  • 25% agree and
  • 13% neither agree nor disagree.

Summary of comments/ insights from respondents

  • The respondents noted that organisations tend to hold meetings for the sake of looking and acting relevant, but without an agenda. And therefore meetings last long because there is no direction and they prolong due to unnecessary issues being raised in the meetings. Hence, because of the nature of such meetings, they are unproductive.
  • Another respondent explained that though meetings are important, long meetings take away time which could have been used for other productive business activities.
  • One respondent advised that having an agenda is imperative for meetings to be effective and hence it keeps meetings short and ‘sweet’.
  • Long meetings have been attributed to lack of preparation and they need to be planned in advance for them to create value. Members also need to be held accountable to start the meeting strong and in the right path.
  • One interesting contribution from a respondent was that they hold 30 minute meetings every day of the week where they discuss urgent matters and those that were on the agenda. Any issues raised in the meeting was noted and someone held responsible for it to be resolved. These meetings are very productive and efficient, the respondent affirmed.
  • One respondent explained that meeting efficiency and productiveness is not merely attributed to the duration of the meeting but to the issues discussed and the outcome.
  • Most of the respondents admitted that they dreaded long meetings and zoned out during the meeting. They also tried to avoid attending the meeting if they could and attend to other matters within the business that were more productive.  

The overall findings conclude that shorter meetings are more productive and effective but there is a need to stick to agendas and for members to be held accountable for issues that would been raised.