Report reveals one in ten have fallen asleep in meetings

Hundreds of office workers from across the UK have admitted to switching off, leaving early, and even falling asleep, during all-day meetings, according to a new report.

Turning Meetings Upside Down, a paper launched by Drayton Manor Park, is the result of a survey of 1,000 UK office workers who have attended an all-day meeting or training session. The results have found that over half of the respondents actually dread all-day meetings when one is put in their diaries, while 59 per cent prefer to concentrate on their work rather than attend a training session.

Causing the negativity, according to the report, is the fact meetings have a strong sense of déjà-vu, with 44 per cent experiencing the same format and agenda each time the meeting is held. Other problems with existing meeting structures including everyone needing to have their say (31 per cent), too much being crammed on the agenda (30 per cent) and the start time running late (28 per cent).

The report also uncovers a real issue with attendees switching off, with more than half admitting to zoning out, while a quarter confessed to playing games or checking social media. Worryingly, 12 per cent of the respondents confirmed they had fallen asleep, while 10 per cent have secretly listened to music. The findings should be an alarming wake-up call for event organisers.

Melissa Penn, Conference and Events Manager at Drayton Manor Park, explains,

Our survey results show that the businesses need to seriously think about the way it delivers meetings and training sessions. In a time where businesses are scrutinising all budgets, delivering effective meetings which people look forward to can ensure that no time is wasted when lots of talent is taken out of the office and invited to an all-day session.

One of the more worrying, yet perhaps unsurprising, findings from the survey was that 82 per cent of delegates agreed that the productivity of their meetings suffer once the afternoon hits. Equally alarming is that only 22 per cent of those surveyed confirmed they take part in energising team activities, something the report suggests can help attendees break out of the post-lunch slump.

The report provides advice and tips on how to realistically refresh and energise the mind, which highlight the benefits of utilising outdoor space and changing the usual snack selection to include grazing stations.

It is not all doom and gloom for meeting organisers, however, as 71 per cent of the respondents said they would be more receptive to attending an all-day meeting if it was held off-site. Getting people out of the office can help boost productivity, sparking new and better thinking and helping to create unique experiences and team building opportunities.

Melissa Penn continues,

It is clear that the enthusiasm and motivation for meetings is flat at the moment and a change in format is required. We hope that our report will encourage event organisers to shake up their current meeting schedule and consider new methods to help re-energise attendees for the whole session.

Interested in improving the employee experience? We recommend the Job Design for Good Work and Increased Productivity training day.





Aphrodite is a creative writer and editor specialising in publishing and communications. She is passionate about undertaking projects in diverse sectors. She has written and edited copy for media as varied as social enterprise, art, fashion and education. She is at her most happy owning a project from its very conception, focusing on the client and project research in the first instance, and working closely with CEOs and Directors throughout the consultation process. Much of her work has focused on rebranding; messaging and tone of voice is one of her expertise, as is a distinctively unique writing style in my most of her creative projects. Her work is always driven by the versatility of language to galvanise image and to change perception, as it is by inspiring and being inspired by the wondrous diversity of people with whom paths she crosses cross!

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