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40+ meeting statistics you need to know in 2024
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40+ meeting statistics you need to know in 2024

Meetings are the default for many, but eat into focus time. Here’s a list of stats that’ll empower you to explore other communication methods.

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Americans collectively have anywhere from 62-80 million* meetings a day. That’s a lot! Some are certainly necessary, but when you default to meetings for every decision, it can harm engagement and productivity—especially if they aren’t well run. 

Luckily, there’s a world where you can have fewer meetings and more time for work. Companies like Netflix and Shopify reconsidered having calls as their primary way of collaboration and most employees ended up reducing time spent in meetings by two-thirds.** 

Our list of meeting statistics also reveals that people want fewer but more focused meetings, even if they last longer. That means you need to look into other ways of communicating to get things done. Here are some meeting statistics that will set you on the right path to doing that, let’s dive in!

Have fewer, more productive meetings. 
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40+ key meeting statistics for 2024 

On an individual level, a third of Americans spend four to 12 hours a week in meetings and spend 10 hours drafting emails every week. This means employees spend most of their business hours talking about work instead of doing work, which can impact productivity and costs. 

Let’s take a look at some meeting statistics.

While almost half of American workers prefer in-person meetings, most are hosted online

Many people have become used to–and even prefer–remote work, but others still enjoy face-to-face meet-ups. Here are some surprising statistics about in-person meetings: 

  1. 47% of Americans still prefer to have in-person meetings over virtual ones.
  2. 63% of onsite meetings are an hour or longer compared to 56% of online gatherings—which usually range from 30 minutes to an hour.
  3. 2.3% of individuals have 30% of their meetings face-to-face. Under 10% of employees engage in up to 70% of their meetings in person—the rest of them take place online.
  4. 59% of all meetings in 2024 will be in-person events.

Despite people’s preferences, only 12% of meetings were in person. Most of them (42%) happened online and 46% were hybrid—with some people sitting in the same room and others calling in.

Bar chart showing the percentage of meetings hosted in different locations
Source: Switchboard

Despite individual preferences, virtual meetings and video conferences are more popular than on-site

Most workplace meetings happen online, making them less expensive and shorter than ones onsite. However, since online meetings are easy to set up, it can lead to people attending more business meetings than they need to. Let’s look at some stats: 

  1. 85.2% of 1:1 meetings happen remotely. 
  2. 50% of Americans think one of the biggest pain points for online calls is audio-related issues. 
  3. Some industries prefer video conferencing over others. For example, marketing and advertising businesses have around 20.9 virtual meetings per person/month, while the travel industry has 11.1 calls every month on average.  
  4. Employees spend 60% more time in meetings than they did in 2020. This represents an increase of five to eight meetings per week on average. We could assume this happens because working remotely makes video calls the primary form of communication.
  5. In 2022, 66% of 1:1 calls were unscheduled, according to Harvard Business Review. Meaning that workers replaced daily in-person interactions with spontaneous video touchpoints.
  6. 46.1% of US employees spend less than four hours a week in video conferences, and 36.98% have four to 12 hours of video meetings per week.
  7. 82.9% of American workers don’t think all virtual meetings require video.
  8. Mondays are the most popular day for video conferences, and Fridays are the least.   
  9. Compared to 2020, meetings are shorter and smaller. In the past three years, online calls lasted 25% less time and had around 10 participants per meeting. 
  10. 67% of American employees claim to be distracted during online meetings and 55% of workers admit to checking their emails during calls.
Bar chart showing the percentage of distractions during online meetings
Source: Switchboard

Meeting length varies based on the number of attendees

When it comes to meeting length, studies show different averages but all agree on one thing: The more participants the longer the meeting. Here are four stats related to meeting length:

  1. Sessions hosted on a Friday are shorter than the ones held on other days of the week, with an average meeting time of 40 minutes. 
  2. On average, meetings tend to last 45 minutes, but when the group is larger (20+ invitees), these usually turn into 70-minute sessions. 
  3. Only 40% of meetings exceed one hour. However, when meetings have more than 10 attendees, they are likely to last longer.
  4. There's unspoken meeting etiquette. When people send last-minute invitations, meetings are shorter. By contrast, if someone was invited more than a month in advance, meetings tend to go past the hour. If invited within the week, meetings range from 30 to 60 minutes.
Pie chart showing the percentage of meetings of a certain length in North America
Source: Switchboard

People believe most meetings are unproductive or inefficient

Sixty-five percent of American workers believe both the host and the meeting participants are responsible for making the session productive. It’s crucial you nail this because a few unproductive meetings can lead to them all getting a bad reputation. Here are seven stats about meeting productivity:

  1. The average employee in the US feels meetings are unpleasant when:
    - They feel like a waste of time (32.7%)
    - They don’t show progress or have a conclusion (24.5%)
    - The meeting doesn’t follow the original agenda, purpose, or goal (28.59%)
  2. 71% of senior managers believe meetings are both unproductive and inefficient.
  3. Rethinking your approach to meetings and identifying time wasters could result in a 28% increase in team performance. For instance, ask your team to reconsider before resorting to meetings for collaboration or problem-solving.
  4. Meeting-free days can help people focus on their work and feel less stressed. A 78% reduction in meetings can represent a 22% increase in focused work. 
  5. Having meetings too frequently can make them less effective, even more than the length of the meeting. It might be best to hold longer meetings less often.
  6. 23% of people believe too many meetings lead to organizational inefficiency. 
  7. Having back-to-back meetings with no breaks can also cause people to be unproductive. This is because the beta wave activity of the brain feels the stress and “overheats.” Having breaks allows you to focus better and be more productive.
Pie chart showing what makes meetings unpleasant for the average US worker
Source: Switchboard

Factors that impact meeting effectiveness, in order of importance:

  1. The behavior of the person leading the meeting
  2. Having a clear meeting goal
  3. Encouraging focused communication
  4. Humor, icebreakers, and small talk
  5. Using the right tools and facilities
  6. Punctuality and frequency
  7. Following an agenda
  8. The number of meeting attendees
Pro tip: Run effective meetings that drive productivity by following in-person and virtual meeting best practices, including:

- Setting clear objectives for each meeting
- Having a clear agenda and sharing it with team members ahead of the call 
- Reducing the number of meetings and hosting long meetings less frequently 
- Wrapping up the session with a conclusion or takeaways
- Booking the meeting room in advance and sharing the location with meeting attendees
- Following strategies to reduce unnecessary meetings like switching to asynchronous meetings. For instance, running weekly project status update meetings async by adding points to a Google Doc in your persistent Switchboard room.

Inefficient meetings feel like a waste of time and can cause team dissatisfaction

People spend on average four to 12 hours of their workweek in meetings. That’s a lot of time, and having a meeting-heavy role could impact a person’s wellbeing and job satisfaction. Here are four statistics that illustrate what people consider to be a waste of time and what are their major meeting frustrations: 

  1. In-person meetings have one big issue: lack of available space. 40% of employees in big companies waste up to 30 minutes per day finding a space to collaborate—on top of the additional 4.75 hours they spend arranging 15 meetings a week.
  2. 47% of US workers complain about meetings being the number one time-waster at the office.  
  3. 17% of Americans dread having meetings.
  4. 56% of US workers are mostly annoyed by meetings that could’ve been emails and more than 50% can’t stand people with loud background noises.
Bar chart showing the percentage of distractions during online meetings
Source: Switchboard

Meetings cost money in terms of salary and loss of productivity

According to Atlassian, unnecessary meetings can cost up to $37 billion in salaries for US businesses. That’s an extreme scenario, but the truth is that defaulting to meetings can impact your business finances. Here are four statistics that prove this:

  1. Businesses with 250 employees that work 47 weeks per year and spend 4 hours per week planning meetings see 47,000 hours less of employee productivity per year. 
  2. 67% of companies think in-person meeting spending will increase in 2024, taking into account meetings in hotels (52%), social events (47%), and traveling (46%).
  3. In-person meetings can be costly. Gatherings like conferences, seminars, or get-togethers are expected to cost $865 per employee, without taking airfare into account. Simple team meetings are expected to be $538 per attendee, and internal meetings and product launches will range at $646 per attendee.
  4. A 30-minute meeting with three people costs from $700 to $1,600. This can rise to $2,000 if a C-level executive joins. 

Companies like Netflix and Shopify changed their approach to meetings. This switch led to 80% of employees reducing time spent in meetings by two-thirds. Try using a meeting cost calculator browser extension to determine the price of each meeting. Then, decide if you still think it’s worth having one.

Additional meeting statistics

Here are some more interesting stats about meetings:

  1. 55% of meetings in North America are organized within a week or a month in advance. 
  2. One in four employees claim to suffer from “Zoom fatigue” during meetings. 
  3. Workers have 62 meetings a month on average. 
  4. Over 30% of Americans think the biggest issue with video conferencing tools is that they don’t integrate with other platforms. 

According to Reclaim:

  1. On average, 29.6% of 1:1 sessions get canceled.
  2. An average employee cancels ~83 1:1s in a year.
  3. Employees with 15+ meetings a week tend to cancel them 50% more frequently than others.
  4. People waste time even while the meeting is canceled. Workers lose up to 71 minutes each week due to meeting cancellations. 
  5. Employees spend an average of 24.4 minutes every week canceling and rescheduling 1:1s.

Meeting statistics: Empower your team to cancel more of them

If a third of employees leave a meeting thinking it was a waste of time, maybe you should be looking for alternative ways of doing things. Sure, you still need some meetings to get alignment or make decisions, but defaulting to them can hurt engagement and team productivity. 

One alternative to meetings is to do more async using an async-first collaboration platform like Switchboard. This lets you organize all the apps and tools your teams use into persistent rooms that save your work and make everything instantly multiplayer. 

By using Switchboard, your team will always know where to find each other—and what they need. This helps eliminate silos and keeps everyone on the same page without the need for constant meetings. 

Have fewer, more productive meetings. 
Switchboard’s persistent rooms bring your team, tools, and resources together, saving you time.
Learn more

FAQs about meeting statistics 

How much time is lost in meetings? 

According to AskCody, people lose 4.75 hours a week arranging 15 meetings a week and in-person workers spend 30 minutes a day searching for a room to chat. In addition to this, 32% of meetings are considered a waste of time by employees. 

This means that, if you have 15 meetings a week that last 45 minutes on average, one employee could lose:

  • 4.75 hours arranging meetings
  • 150 minutes looking for a place to meet
  • 3.6 hours that felt like a waste of time

Based on this example, almost 11 hours a week are lost in meetings in total.  

What makes meetings a waste of time? 

Many things make meetings a waste of time, according to Zappia, these are the top three reasons:

  1. Meetings that could've been an email
  2. Starting the meeting late
  3. Unprepared hosts and participants 
  4. Searching for links and materials to share 
  5. Clunky screen sharing 

Are meetings the killer of productivity? 

Meetings don’t necessarily kill productivity, but ones with no clear goals or agenda do. Too many will also get in the way of focus work. It’s good practice to evaluate all of your team meetings and determine which ones are worth keeping and which ones you can do async using a platform like Switchboard. It lets you organize all the apps and tools a team uses into persistent rooms—and makes everything instantly multiplayer. Plus, it enables you to organize asynchronous communication and collaborate on every document, browser, or whiteboard without having to be online at the same time as others.

Stop, collaborate, and listen

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Have fewer, more productive meetings.

Switchboard’s persistent rooms bring your team, tools, and resources together, saving you time.