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Comparing Meeting Loyalists, Meeting Fatigued, and Meeting Critics

Monday, March 20, 2017 - 13:00
Comparing Meeting Types

Whether you love meetings or hate them, our report on the state of meeting fatigue finds workplace meetings remain the most effective way to disseminate information, despite their impact on productivity. But not all employees are on the same page when it comes to how vital they really are. We surveyed more than 250 full-time U.S. employees, and our data suggests three unique personalities exist among meeting goers: Most employees don’t dream of a world without meetings. In fact, 86 percent feel they’re necessary. Of the 86 percent, West Unified Communications Services has identified two distinct dispositions:

  • Meeting Loyalists: 42 percent think meetings are necessary to achieving results.
  • Meeting Fatigued: 44 percent feel meetings are necessary, but feel they don’t need to attend as many as they do.
  • Meeting Critics: 14 percent of the total survey population, feel meetings are unnecessary and prevent them from getting work done.

Meeting Critics

We took a deeper dive to uncover what separates the Meeting Loyalists from the Meeting Fatigued and the Critics. Here are a few distinct trends we found: Employees who loathe meetings are least likely to attend video calls Instead, Meeting Critics tend to use audio conferencing.

Employees who loathe meetings are least likely to attend video calls

Instead, Meeting Critics tend to use audio conferencing.

Use Audio Conferencing Most

Surprisingly, Meeting Critics are most likely to say video is their preferred meeting format, and even go so far as to report that video is the most productive type of meeting.

Preferred Meeting Type Productivity

So what’s holding meeting Critics back from using video conferencing more often? Business culture might be to blame – Critics’ organizations might not provide training or support for video calls, or perhaps managers haven’t set precedent for using video.

As the report points out, meeting type matters, so this data reaffirms that video meetings could positively impact employees’ overall perception of meetings. By implementing video use and etiquette training, organizations can ensure employees exhibit more positive sentiments towards video conferencing.


Going off topic reflects on employees’ attitudes towards meetings

Twenty-six percent of meeting loyalists say that when one of their meetings derails off topic, they still end on time and complete the agenda. This attitude is severely skewed among the other groups, with just 5 percent of meeting fatigued and 8 percent of meeting Critics reporting the same outcome of side-tracked discussions.

Do agendas make a difference? It’s difficult to stick to an agenda that doesn’t exist, and surprisingly, many organizations still run agenda-free meetings. Only 37 percent of all employees surveyed always use agendas. Of those:

Always Use an Agenda for Work Meetings:

  • Meeting Loaylists: 46%
  • Meeting Fatigued: 32%
  • Meeting Critics: 27%

Meeting perception impacts remote behaviors

Our survey also suggests that an employee’s overall outlook towards meetings might also impact their activity when dialing-in remotely. Once again, Meeting Loyalists report high levels of engagement when joining hybrid meetings -- where some participants are in the same conference room while others dial-in remotely. Fifty-nine percent of Meeting Loyalists say they’re engaged when dialing into a room full of other participants.

Engagement is down among other hybrid meeting goers, with 35 percent of Meeting Fatigued and 16 percent of Meeting Critics reporting active participation when dialing into a meeting where everyone else is in the same room. Similarly, hybrid or entirely remote meetings can leave some employees feeling like a fly on the wall. In fact, 62 percent of Meeting Critics say they’re forgotten about and become passive listeners. This compares to 36 percent of Meeting Fatigued and 19 percent of Meeting Loyalists who report the same attitude.

Remote Workers in Meetings

Which meeting personality do you identify with? To see more findings, check out our full report on alleviating meeting fatigue.

View Full Report


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