Meetings are a critical piece of the workplace communication stack. Sometimes, you just need that live brainstorm or face-to-face feedback session to move a project forward. It’s not the existence of meetings that’s an issue — it’s the overabundance of ineffective meetings that’s sapping productivity and clogging calendars at too many companies today.
The volume of meetings has increased by 13% since pre pandemic times. This has a tangible — and expensive — impact on teams’ ability to maintain productivity, collaborate, and communicate effectively. As hybrid and distributed work becomes the norm for an increasing number of organizations, many companies are stuck in this auto-pilot mode of booking “quick syncs” and recurring team meetings.
The good news? The last few years have also brought about a new class of tools, modern processes, and emerging best practices for reducing time spent in meetings and making the necessary ones more effective.
Loom is an example of an asynchronous tool that helps users eliminate unnecessary meetings, bring more balance and autonomy to their workday, and improve the effectiveness of the live meetings you do have.
In this article, we’ve compiled some of the most eye-opening meeting statistics — including brand new survey data from our users — that’ll help you identify your own meeting-related pitfalls, and tangible ways to bring more balance to your work day.
Stats About the Cost of Meeting Overload
Office workers waste an average of one hour and 42 min per week just on scheduling and rescheduling calls — costing businesses in the U.S. $1.85 billion dollars weekly. (Source)
Workers spend >85% of time in meetings, which negatively affects psychological, physical, and mental well being. (Source)
Even before the pandemic, 71% of managers thought meetings were costly and unproductive. (Source)
Stats About the Positive Impact of Reducing Unnecessary Meetings
When meetings are reduced by 40% (equivalent of 2 days per week), productivity increases by 71% because employees feel more empowered and autonomous. (Source)
Reducing meetings by the equivalent of just one day per week drove a 62% increase in autonomy, 45% increase in communication, 15% increase in cooperation, 28% increase in engagement, 35% increase in productivity, and a 48% increase in satisfaction. It also drove a reduction in micromanagement of 33% and stress by 26%. (Source)
Using Loom to Reduce or Replace Meetings
In a recent survey of Loom users, we learned more about the ways people utilize asynchronous video communication to mitigate meeting overload:
62% said Looms helps them eliminate low value meetings (Source: Loom User Survey)
88% said they’ve used Loom to save at least 30 minutes a week at work (Source: Loom User Survey)
Tide reduced meetings by 80 percent using Loom (Source)
Brex replaced 1,273 meetings by using Loom within 90 days (Source)
LaunchDarkly replaced 523 meetings within 90 days using Loom (Source)
Cleverly CEO Nick Verity says his team has “saved >200 hours/month by turning client check-in calls into Loom videos” (Source)
Making Your Meetings More Effective With Loom
48% of professionals believe asynchronous (recorded) video messages allow them to easily communicate with co-workers without setting up meetings. (Source)
47% of workers prefer asynchronous video for communication as it offers the flexibility of when to watch. (Source)
65% said Loom helps them share knowledge across distributed teams more efficiently (Source: Loom User Survey)
78% said Loom helps them more effectively demonstrate technically complex concepts or ideas (Source: Loom User Survey)
When asked what best describes how they feel when using Loom at work, 63% of respondents said “Efficient” (Source: Loom User Survey)
3 Ways to Improve Meeting Balance & Effectiveness
These statistics make it clear: the impact of too many unnecessary meetings costs time, money, and productivity. But the data also shows the ways new tools — like Loom — make it easy to flip the script on bad meeting overload. Here are three best practices you can use to start clearing that calendar and making your live meetings count.
1. Build clear meeting guidelines for deciding between live time or async.
Setting clear expectations gives every team member the autonomy to make the best decision for their schedule. It also provides a layer of consistency and clarity for the entire team, establishing a “cultural norm” over time. This article goes into more detail about how we built a async vs. sync framework at Loom and how to build one for your own org.
2. Send pre-watches in the form of async videos before every live meeting.
You can easily record an overview of the agenda and objectives for the meeting — or provide a walkthrough of an entire presentation — in advance of a live discussion. By giving attendees time and space to digest the information and ideate on their own, the sync conversation becomes more productive, efficient, and decisive. This article digs into the ways Loom and Miro have implemented similar best practices across their team.
3. Evaluate if designated “async days” are best for your work or entire team.
Brands like Shopify are making headlines these days for taking drastic measures to purge meetings from their calendars and unlock focus time. No-Meeting Days, Weeks, or permanent practices are popping up across industries for the same reason. This article outlines what a No-Meeting Day looks like, how to evaluate whether it makes sense for your team, and a look at how Loom built a “No-Meeting Wednesday” into our company calendar.