Dull meetings a hazard of doing business
By John Eckberg
Nobody keeps track of how many useless business meetings the average person is going to suffer through in 2004.
Here's a one-word answer and it's just a guess:
A longer answer to the same question: more than enough to go around.
A survey of 1,216 workers by Santa Rosa, Calif.-based Interactive Meeting Solutions suggests a little more insight into the common trauma felt by employees of companies large and small.
The firm found by randomly calling workers that about one-third of the country's workforce attends three or more meetings each week that are (multiple-choice):
- So dull that you'd drowse off.
- All the above.
A surprise finding of the survey, which is accurate to plus or minus 3 percentage points, was that half of the workers at larger companies have attended meetings where somebody actually drifted off to sleep.
At meetings at small companies, only one in four workers has seen somebody doze off to the dulcet voice of a supervisor reading from an agenda or because a co-worker just droned on and on and on about customer imperatives and market initiatives.
The doze-off difference between workers at big and small companies is due to two factors, said Chuck McPherson, president of IMS.
"There is more accountability at a small company. They also tend to have fewer meetings," McPherson said.
The IMS report was based on a survey conducted by Opinion Research Corp. of Princeton, N.J.