2 hours: That's the maximum time that should be spent daily in work meetings

Can AI help shorten meeting times? Expert says yes

2 hours: That's the maximum time that should be spent daily in work meetings

Spending more than two hours per day in meetings should be the max, according to a recent report from Slack.

If workers spend more than two hours a day in meetings, they are more than twice as likely to say they don’t have enough time to focus.

Currently, more than one in four desk workers (27%), including more than half (55%) of executives, say they spend too much time in meetings.

As a result, 20% don’t have enough time to connect with coworkers, and 50% say they rarely or never take breaks during the workday. 

This is bad for their mental health. Those who rarely or never take breaks during the workday are 1.7x more likely to experience burnout.

In contrast, workers who take breaks have 62% higher scores for work-life balance, 43% greater ability to manage stress and anxiety, 43% greater overall satisfaction and 13% higher scores for productivity.

Gen Z and Millennials are two to three times as likely as Gen X and Boomers to say they feel left out during hybrid meetings, according to a previous report.

How AI can help with meetings

With companies feeling the urgency to incorporate artificial intelligence (AI) into work, workers are hoping it can help them out with meetings, according to Slack’s survey of over 10,000 workers in the U.S., Australia, France, Germany, Japan and the U.K. between August 24 and September 15, 2023.

The top three activities that employees expect AI will provide the most value in the future when it comes to meetings are: 1. meeting notes and recaps 2. writing assistance and 3. automation of workflows.

Currently, 94% of executives feel some urgency to incorporate AI into their organizations, with half of executives saying they feel a strong sense of urgency.

However, more than 80% or employees say that AI tools are not improving their productivity at work yet.

“People at every job level may be shocked to see that more than two hours of meetings a day reduces productivity. It may feel unrealistic to many team leaders to try to hit that target today. But that’s where the newest generation of AI tools could be a lifesaver,” said Christina Janzer, SVP of research and analytics and head of the Workforce Lab, Slack.

“An AI assistant that could accurately summarize meeting notes and automate common workflows could be the key that frees up our time and helps us to unlock the balance we need to set ourselves up for success.”

Big companies are losing over $100 million thanks to unnecessary meetings, according to a previous report released by Otter.ai in partnership with Dr. Steven Rogelberg.

Running effective meetings

Here’s how to plan and run effective meetings, according to Indeed:

  1. Determine if the meeting is necessary.
  2. Invite only the people that need to be there.
  3. Set a clear agenda.
  4. Come up with a schedule.
  5. Share plans for big ideas beforehand.
  6. Set a positive and productive tone.
  7. Take notes and share minutes.
  8. Measure effectiveness of meetings.

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