A new report has shed light on the pervasive anxiety many employees experience when attending day-to-day work meetings.
Craft Docs, a company at the forefront of shaping the future of documents, has published a white paper titled ‘Zoomed In, Zoned Out.’
The report, based on a survey of 2,000 hybrid and remote employees, examines the attitudes of workers towards business meetings and daily workplace processes in the year 2023.
The findings of the report are striking, with a significant 80 percent of respondents admitting to frequently feeling anxious or worried about attending their daily work meetings.
When asked about their feelings towards these meetings, 39 percent strongly agreed with the statement, while an additional 42 percent somewhat agreed. Only 9 percent of respondents disagreed with the assertion.
Both managers and team members are affected
This pervasive anxiety is not confined to one level of the workforce; it affects both managers and team members alike. A staggering 83 percent of managers and 71 percent of team members acknowledged feeling anxious about attending work meetings, indicating a shared concern among diverse job roles.
Furthermore, the report revealed that a quarter of workers (25%) believe they have not derived any value from the last 4-5 meetings they attended, while only 66 percent believe they contributed any value themselves. This discrepancy highlights a pressing issue with the quality and effectiveness of meetings in today’s workplace.
One potential cause of these sentiments may be inadequate preparation. Only 22 percent of respondents believe they always attend meetings fully prepared, underscoring the need for improved planning and organisation within teams and organisations.
In a digital age where various forms of communication are readily available, 72 percent of respondents believe that at least one of the meetings they attended in the past two weeks could have been effectively conveyed through email or other written means.
Hours spent in meetings can be reduced
Additionally, 60 percent believe that the number of hours they spend in meetings each week could be substantially reduced by sharing written status updates and important information prior to the meetings or adopting collaboration tools to facilitate asynchronous communication.
A spokesperson for Craft Docs commented on the report, saying, “Our new report highlights the imperative for teams and organisations to rethink their communication and information-sharing practices. It’s no surprise that many respondents find little value in the quantity and quality of meetings they attend, indicating a need for more efficient and effective communication.”
The spokesperson continued, “Our survey revealed that a substantial 74 percent of respondents believe that sharing written status updates and important information before meetings could reduce the time spent in meetings each week. An additional 70 percent expressed a desire to use collaboration tools for asynchronous communication. These findings suggest that many teams have yet to implement these straightforward and cost-effective solutions, underscoring the urgency of reimagining how we conduct business meetings in 2023.”
As the report suggests, addressing these issues with better tools and communication strategies could help alleviate the anxiety and nervousness many workers experience when attending daily meetings. It is clear that there is room for improvement in the way businesses conduct their meetings, ensuring that they are not only more efficient but also more conducive to employee well-being.
Amelia Brand is the Editor for HRreview, and host of the HR in Review podcast series. With a Master’s degree in Legal and Political Theory, her particular interests within HR include employment law, DE&I, and wellbeing within the workplace. Prior to working with HRreview, Amelia was Sub-Editor of a magazine, and Editor of the Environmental Justice Project at the University College London, writing and overseeing articles into UCL’s weekly newsletter. Her previous academic work has focused on philosophy, politics and law, with a special focus on how artificial intelligence will feature in the future.