Meeting Statistics You Should Know (2024)

Are you still stuck in unnecessary meetings that should have been emails?

Is there a breakthrough in sight?

With meeting statistics showing that professionals today spend more time in meetings than ever before, employees have expressed their opinions on meeting productivity and preferences. 

In this guide, we’ll bring you all the interesting facts, figures, and statistics on meetings.

Without further ado, let’s dive in. 

Meeting statistics 2024 - cover
  • In 2023, managers spent more than 50% of their week in meetings, on average.
  • It’s estimated that the number of meetings will continue to rise by around 34% by 2027. 
  • 70% of employees believe their job satisfaction would improve if they attended fewer meetings.
  • Unproductive meetings cost businesses $34 billion a year, and this number continues to increase.
  • Employees spend approximately 31 hours in unproductive meetings each month. 
  • 65% of employees agree that frequent meetings impact their productivity.
  • 76% of employees prefer having meetings on a specific day or time.
  • Employees prefer to keep the start and end of the week a meeting-free zone. 
  • To make meetings more productive and effective, it’s important to define a clear purpose.
  • Aside from that, shorten your meetings and insert breaks between meetings to help attendees process all information and make them engaged.

Statistics on time spent in meetings

Productive meetings can make hours fly by, while unorganized ones can feel like they drag on for days. To better understand this concept, let’s examine some data on meeting duration.

Time spent in meetings during and after COVID-19 times

A large amount of research shows that professionals attended more meetings in 2020 compared to pre-pandemic. 

On average, meetings were shorter and primarily focused on:

The National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) observed the impact of COVID-19 on collaboration and found that the nature of work has changed for the majority of knowledge workers — especially in terms of:

Namely, there are 12.9% more meetings per person and 13.5% more attendees per meeting.

However, some noticeable changes have occurred: 

  • The average length of meetings has decreased by 20.1%.
  • People spend 11.5% less time in meetings post-lockdown.
  • Workdays are longer by 8.2% (or 48.5 minutes).

Shorter meetings prevailed throughout 2020

A sudden shift to remote work gave rise to an increase in meeting time. As a result, organizations started scheduling more meetings to recreate the in-person communication people were used to in the office. 

As showcased by Microsoft’s Workplace Insights, the overall meeting length increased by 10% in 2020. However, there was also a 22% increase in short meetings (for meetings lasting 30 minutes or less). 

According to Doodle, shorter, 15-minute meetings increased by 10.8% in 2020.

The shift to a virtual environment is one of the most unique ways the pandemic has impacted work meetings. However, the previously mentioned research by Doodle indicates that virtual meetings still accounted for 42% of all meetings in 2020.

Meeting time is still on the rise 

As work from home started becoming the new normal, the meeting time continued to increase.

According to Fellow, managers spent over 50% of their week in meetings in 2023, on average — which is a 66% increase compared to the two previous years. 

Meetings continued to be large — more than 22% of meetings had at least 8 attendees — which resulted in over 15 hours of meetings per week, on average, leaving little time for execution. 

Moreover, in the 63rd International Meetings Statistics Report released in 2022, the UIA (Union of International Organizations) estimated that the number of meetings will continue to rise by around 34% by 2027. 

Statistics on time spent in meetings

Statistics on meetings and productivity

Professionals cite unnecessary meetings as one of the critical distractions preventing them from finishing their work. 

However, virtual meetings have the potential to shift this situation around. Before we discuss the impact of virtual meetings on productivity, let’s see what percentage of meetings are unproductive and how much time is wasted in meetings.

What percent of meetings are unproductive? 

Even though productive meetings affect employee performance and job satisfaction, some sessions leave a lot to be desired. 

Namely, Zippia reveals that 65% of employees agree that frequent meetings stop them from focusing on and completing their tasks

According to 34% of workers, unproductive meetings are the leading cause of revenue loss.

With 15% of all work hours devoted to meetings, roughly 71% of all meetings are unproductive

Statistics on meetings and productivity

How much time is wasted in meetings?

Zippia also reports that employees spend approximately 31 hours in unproductive meetings each month

For most employees, this translates to around 8 meetings each week. However, those in managerial and leadership positions usually attend upwards of 12 meetings a week. 

When speaking to Business Leader on whether meetings help businesses or prevent growth, the Head of Business Sales at SMART Technologies, Charlie Levitton, reached a similar conclusion. He estimated that the average employee spent over 35% of their workweek attending meetings and called the practice unsustainable. However, he acknowledged that management recognized the issue and is pursuing creative solutions. 

Moreover, research on meeting productivity from suggests that employee productivity increases when they have the freedom to skip unnecessary meetings.

I’d be more productive if I could sit out on unnecessary meetings.Percentage

Additionally, 70% of respondents stated their job satisfaction would improve if they attended fewer meetings.

Why are meetings unproductive?

Poorly organized meetings can have a lasting impact on employee satisfaction and organizational success. 

Zippia found that:

  • 55% of workers have engaged in some type of multitasking during meetings,
  • 45% of surveyed employees are overwhelmed by how many meetings they attend, and
  • 39% of respondents have admitted to dozing off during a work meeting.

Unfortunately, unproductive meetings don’t just hinder organizational success. They also negatively impact employee well-being and can leave severe physical and psychological consequences

Namely, unproductive meetings decrease employee morale and engagement, which further leads to dissatisfaction with their jobs. What’s more, unnecessary meetings can overwhelm employees, which decreases their cognitive performance and drains their energy.

Virtual meetings have a more positive impact on productivity

Although the shift to the work-from-home (and work-from-anywhere) model increased the general meeting time, it also caused higher productivity and engagement. 

While employers have traditionally linked on-site work and in-person meetings to peak productivity, the numbers suggest that the workforce doesn’t share this view. 

Namely, 67% of respondents stated in Owl Labs’ State of Remote Work Report for 2022 that they’re more productive when working from home. This flexibility allows them to better manage their time and ensure that meetings don’t disrupt their workflow. 

Another reason for improved productivity is improved training on the part of employers. 

Owl Labs states that half (50%) of surveyed organizations have trained leadership on managing virtual meetings. Additionally, 54% of businesses have focused on educating employees on ensuring that hybrid meetings are inclusive and effective. 

Respondents in Buffer’s State of Remote Work report for 2023 also favor virtual meetings, particularly when the camera is on. Around 62% of surveyed remote workers stated keeping the camera on allowed them to gauge the nonverbal cues of other participants. Another 16% of respondents believe these meetings help them feel less isolated. 

When managers and higher-ups know the best practices for leading virtual meetings, productivity and motivation follow suit. In 2024, in-house training should cover:

For midsize and large businesses, training on meeting role delegation should also be one of the top priorities. Depending on their objectives, some companies may benefit from tracking meeting costs and opting for asynchronous work.

Statistics on the cost of meetings

Meetings still pose a massive cost to companies and teams.

Earlier projections show that unproductive meetings cost businesses $34 billion a year

Atlassian made similar estimates, revealing that unnecessary meetings cost US businesses $37 billion in salary costs. 

Research on meeting expenses in 2021 by Fellow shows that meetings cost companies between $43,008 and $56,448 per manager annually. 

The research also shows that the average time spent in meetings is 16–21 hours. As directors spend the most time in meetings, and their average salary is $145,000, Fellow estimates that a director’s 1-hour meeting costs around $98. 

When translated into weekly costs, companies pay between $1,568 and $2,058 per week or between $75,264 and $98,784 annually for directors to attend meetings. 

In The Cost of Unnecessary Meeting Attendance report, underscores a simple solution to cut costs. The report suggests that eliminating unnecessary meetings can result in significant savings for companies. In particular, businesses with 100-400 employees could save almost $2.5 million annually, while companies with 5,000 employees could save over $100 million.

Statistics on the most common types of meetings 

The pandemic and remote work also affected the most common types of workplace meetings organizations and teams conduct. 

One-on-one meetings became the most common, but group sessions persisted.  

So, let’s examine some data on one-on-one and group meetings trends.

The rise of one-on-one meetings   

Before the pandemic (February 2020), there was less than 1 one-on-one meeting per week, compared to 5.6 one-on-one meetings per week in October 2021. 

Meetings statistics for 2021 from Fellow align with these findings, indicating that 64% of respondents attended one-on-one meetings once a week.

As opposed to pre-pandemic years, the meeting landscape in 2020 and 2021 became predominantly virtual — this also applies to one-on-one meetings. 

Analyzing data from 2020, Doodle concluded that one-on-one meetings rose by more than 1,230% from January to December. Although these meetings saw the highest increase, they comprised approximately 42% of all scheduled meetings. 

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Group meetings are still relevant 

Despite the rise of one-on-one meetings, group team meetings focused on internal collaboration are still very common. In Fellow’s report on workplace meetings for 2021:

  • 89% of professionals said they regularly attend weekly team meetings and
  • 77% of respondents said they regularly participate in weekly project meetings.

Group meetings serve different purposes, but most often, they are a tool for:

  • Networking,
  • Knowledge sharing,
  • Training,
  • Marketing, and
  • Professional and personal development.

Although group meetings are supposed to be engaging and inspire innovation, data from Atlassian suggests that’s not always the case. 

With 91% of respondents admitting to daydreaming during meetings, questions arise about whether our calendars are too swamped with back-to-back sessions. 

The biggest meeting pet peeves

Clockwise’s survey reveals US professionals across all generations and industries consider arriving late to be the biggest meeting taboo. Respondents found meeting tardiness more frustrating than:

  • Cell phone use,
  • Interrupting,
  • Lack of agenda, and
  • Eating food during meetings. 

As expected, younger generations are 15% less likely to find cell phone usage irritating but 10% more likely to be annoyed by someone eating during a meeting.  

According to data from Zippia, there’s no shortage of meeting pet peeves in 2024. Among their biggest frustrations, workers cite:

  • Unnecessary sessions that would be better off as an email, 
  • Attendees with loud background noise,
  • Late starts, 
  • Technical difficulties,
  • Unprepared attendees,
  • Off-topic conversations,
  • Vague meeting agendas, and
  • Boring discussions. 

Statistics on the best meeting practices

Reviewing statistics and following the best meeting practices is essential to enhance meeting productivity and overcome common drawbacks.

More inclusion and detailed meeting preparation provide a winning formula for more successful meetings.

Practice #1: Defining a clear meeting purpose 

Setting clear meeting objectives is vital for engagement. 

The previously mentioned Fellow report found that a clear purpose and detailed agenda are the determining factors for people’s interest in meetings. They are closely followed by:

Setting clear expectations has multiple benefits:

  • Invitees can make decisions about their attendance and prepare for the meeting,
  • They can maintain focus during the meeting, and
  • Organizers can evaluate whether the purpose of the meeting was met.

Aside from setting a clear meeting objective and agenda, it’s critical to facilitate meetings — guide a meeting in the way that ensures everyone participates.

Employees believe better meeting facilitation could improve meeting quality. Statistics from Slido’s The Online Meeting Revolution show that as many as 54% of employees think their managers need to improve their facilitation skills.

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Practice #2: Make short meetings and brief breaks between meetings

According to Fellow, shorter meetings are more effective and impactful, which helps all attendees be more engaged.

What’s more, if you shorten regular meetings by 5-10 minutes, there’s more time for breaks between meetings, which allows people to process information more effectively.

Practice #3: Set end dates for recurring meetings

One of the best ways to ensure your meetings are productive and have a purpose is to set end dates for recurring meetings

This way, you avoid perceiving recurring meetings as unnecessary routines, which most likely causes disengagement.

Statistics on the most common meeting difficulties

Arguably the most critical ingredient for successful and productive meetings is that employers try to ensure every participant feels included. But for everyone to be seen and heard in a meeting, there are some hurdles they have to jump over.

Owl Labs’ data for 2022 on remote and hybrid work indicates that more than a third (34%) of hybrid workers are hesitant to interrupt a colleague during a meeting

When it comes to remote meetings, 32% of respondents state they’ve had trouble seeing the faces of other participants and may misinterpret visual cues

In addition, the lack of personal connection to colleagues has been identified as one of the major challenges in a remote meeting environment.

Namely, in Apollo’s The State of Virtual Meetings, 50.1% of respondents stated that personal connection was the leading challenge in the remote environment

On the flip side, in-room participants reported a set of different complications. Their most commonly cited challenge was starting at the agreed time due to malfunctioning technology (30%). 

Moreover, 27% of respondents stated that even when the technology worked properly, they had to move and rearrange the equipment so that remote employees could get a better view. 

However, remote and in-office workers attending virtual meetings seem to agree on one thing. 

Namely, 24% of remote attendees and 23% of in-person participants feel left out during work meetings. With equity and inclusion becoming a top priority for modern organizations, we hope to see more initiatives that help employees feel included during work meetings in 2024 and beyond. 

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To discover why diversity training is important and how to implement it, make sure to read our blog post:

Statistics on the use of conference platforms for meetings

According to Dialpad’s State of Video Conferencing report for 2022, companies started investing in video conferencing equipment more significantly during the 1990s. However, it wasn’t until 2020 that the use of video and audio technology for meetings became more widespread. 

This could be explained by the pandemic and the global shift to remote work, when many people had to install these tools for the first time. In 2021, most professionals and organizations were already settled in remote offices with conferencing platforms installed. 

In 2019, professionals surveyed in the US State of Work report by Workfront predicted that within 5 years of communication, long-distance meetings would be powered by artificial intelligence (AI) to help remote workers feel physically present in company meetings. 

5 years later, we can see some changes, especially in how virtual conference platforms are integrated into corporate meeting environments. 

Statistics on the impact of virtual meetings on corporate perception

In The Impact of Video Conferencing Report, Lifesize examined what workers thought of businesses that used different video conferencing tools. They found that:

  • 55% of respondents thought companies that used video conferencing technology promoted better collaboration, 
  • 50% believed such businesses are more innovative, 
  • 41% thought employees of such organizations were more engaged, and
  • 30% stated that these companies were more successful than their competitors. 

Statistics on how organizations use conference platforms 

Dialpad concluded that most respondents (approximately 83%) spend around a third of their workweek participating in meetings. 

The report also underscored that 76% of employees liked holding meetings on a specific day or time. 

Interestingly enough, the respondents weren’t bothered by feeling overwhelmed by frequent meetings. 

Instead, audio issues ranked as the top problem of workplace meetings for nearly half of the surveyed employees (approximately 50%). 

When asked whether all virtual meetings should be accompanied by video, 82.9% of employees stated, “No.” 

And, when determining the most time-efficient type of meeting, Dialpad arrived at standup meetings. On average, these sessions have a maximum of 20 attendees and last for no longer than 13 minutes. 

Statistics on how many employees prefer audio over video meetings

Before the pandemic, professionals felt more comfortable in audio-only meetings. Moreover, most people (88%) believed that video conferencing is best suited for interviews and training, according to a report on enterprise conferencing from LoopUp. 

It seems like people’s preferences haven’t changed in this regard.  

The global shift to video conferencing gave rise to the increase in fatigue in professionals spending long hours on camera. Described as the particular mental and cognitive exhaustion caused by frequent on-camera meetings, Zoom fatigue was experienced by 49% of professionals in HubSpot’s 2021 study. 

Research from Stanford supports these findings. 

A study on the mental strain of video conferences concluded that attendees of virtual meetings experience higher cognitive loads than employees who attend meetings in person. 

According to Forbes’ survey from 2023, Zoom fatigue has metastasized into Meeting fatigue — physical and mental exhaustion caused by back-to-back video calls. Almost 30% of surveyed workers viewed too many meetings as the main cause of meeting fatigues, while 47% of them considered meeting without a purpose as the main source of fatigue. 

Dialpad suggests that walking meetings may be an optimal solution for lessening this exhaustion. Their report also indicated that for meetings where screen sharing wasn’t necessary, around 45% of employees leaned toward holding an audio-only meeting. 

Statistics on the use of conference platforms across industries

One part of the Dialpad report focused on how often professionals from different industries have work meetings. 

The results show that the real estate industry has entirely accepted video conferencing tools, using their features to bring potential buyers on virtual tours. 

When it comes to the advertising and marketing industry, professionals have gradually been implementing video conferencing tools into their workflows. However, unlike what we saw with other sectors, there was no sudden spike when the COVID-19 pandemic began. 

The energy industry and the professional services sectors continue to resist change. As a result, the number of meetings per employee per month before the pandemic was low, and no significant change occurred in the years afterward. 

The below chart provides a more detailed look. 

Average number of virtual meetings per employee (per month)Industry
21Marketing and Advertising
10-12Real Estate
9Professional Services

The above numbers indicate that, although video conferencing isn’t a universal solution for all organizations, it aids them in their daily operations as their needs evolve. 

In the following years, video meetings will become natural for most employees in nearly every industry. 

In fact, the Fortune Business Insights report states the video conferencing market was worth $6.28 billion in 2021 and is expected to reach $14.58 billion by 2028.

Interesting facts about virtual meetings

Virtual remote meetings have brought entirely new sets of behaviors and phrases that were completely unimaginable in the in-office era. 

From children and pets’ appearances to funny backgrounds and filters, virtual work settings have humanized how we approach meetings. 

We’ll look deeper into some interesting facts about virtual meetings to see how much they’ve changed workers’ day-to-day lives. 

Interesting fact #1: Employees have favorite meeting days

In 2020, when virtual meetings quickly became the norm for most employees, Clockwise analyzed meeting preferences and found that:

  • 29% of workers preferred to meet on Tuesdays, 
  • 25% choose Wednesdays,
  • 22% picked Mondays,
  • 12% selected Thursdays, and
  • 12% opted for Fridays. 

However, when asked on which day they disliked attending meetings, employees had more pronounced opinions, with:

  • 47% picking Mondays, and
  • 40% selecting Fridays.

Overall, employees prefer to keep the start and end of the week a meeting-free zone

But, in 2022, Dialpad found that Monday was by far the most popular day for holding meetings. On the other hand, the data showed that fewer meetings are held on Fridays. This decrease may be due to the fact that employees like to take Fridays off for an extended weekend. 

Interesting fact #2: Some companies have implemented ‘No Meeting’ days

Given that frequent meetings can disrupt employee focus and damage productivity, several businesses have taken steps to alleviate excess pressure

And, their efforts seem to be paying off. 

For example, a 2022 study on meeting-free days from the MIT Sloan Management Review showed that even companies that implemented a no-meeting day once a week experienced significant improvements in employee efficiency and independence. Furthermore, there was a substantial drop in perceived stress and micromanagement.

The results showed that organizations that adopted a single no-meeting day had an average increase in productivity by as much as 35%. For those that adopted 2 no-meeting days, productivity rose by 71–73%.

Interesting fact #3: Employees have trouble skipping or declining meetings

Although many employees would like to skip unnecessary meetings, they still show up or accept the invite. When asked respondents why they did so, there were 3 major reasons, as seen in the table below:

Why don’t you decline meetings?Percentage
I don’t want to offend the organizer.”47%
I don’t want my coworkers to think I’m disengaged from my job.45%
I don’t want to bother colleagues by asking them to bring me up to speed.39%

On the other hand, 90% of surveyed employees stated they were comfortable with declining a meeting when it conflicted with their schedule. And, 88% would calmly decline a meeting if they got the green light from their manager. 

Unfortunately, 78% of respondents revealed that their manager has never broached the subject of declining meetings. 

What is the future of workplace meetings?

Given the rise of remote workers, the increased use of technology will undoubtedly impact how we plan and hold meetings in the future. 

In 2022, Frost & Sullivan studied market trends, estimating that small huddle rooms will replace around 70% of large conference rooms by the end of the year. 

These office layout changes suggest that organizations are trying to ensure that both on-site and remote employees feel included during meetings and can collaborate more effectively. 

In addition to these adjustments, the following years may bring businesses more sophisticated conferencing software due to machine learning and AI development.

AI may allow employers to analyze meeting statistics and optimize conferencing to benefit their employees. However, most workers believe that video conferencing will remain more important for their work than either machine learning or AI. 

According to data from Lifesize:

  • 69% of surveyed workers think voice assistants will be less important than meeting technology, and
  • 55% believe that conferencing technology will be at least as important, if not more, than robotics or automation.

In 2023, companies like Google and Snapchat have already rolled out their AI technologies to customers. 

While these advancements may change how we conduct work meetings, it’s up to employers to ensure workers receive the proper introduction and training

Make your meetings more productive with Pumble

Meetings have come a long way from being the biggest waste of time and resources and are slowly becoming more focused and efficient collaboration spaces. 

The virtual work environment and the use of conference tools had a share in revolutionizing the way we approach meetings. 

In addition to changing the format of workplace meetings, the virtual meeting environment also brought a shift in perspective for both employees and organizations. Organizations and teams still need to work on making their meetings shorter, more inclusive, less frequent, and more engaging. These efforts will help create a more productive meeting experience for all involved.  

So, if you need an effective communication tool to make your meetings more productive, try the team communication app Pumble, so you can: 

  1. Have one-to-one and group meetings with high video and audio quality.
  2. Use text, voice, and video messages to avoid unnecessary meetings.

Make the most out of your meeting. Get started with Pumble.


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