What Are Meetings Really Costing Your Business?

Do you ever feel as though you’re sitting in more and more meetings?  You’re not alone. Many British workers are feeling overwhelmed by an increasing number of unnecessary meetings.

Worst of all, there’s evidence that rather than helping your company to grow, meetings are actually costing the average SME £637,000 per annum. Sounds unbelievably high right? But when you break down the costs it adds up.

The figure comes from research from PowWowNow which theorises that the average meeting consists of six people and costs £394.80; a figure made up of six people’s salaries, the cost of travel and time out of the office. By comparison, a similar conference call between the same six people would reportedly cost just £46.44. None of this even takes into account the cost of the physical office space and technology required.

So, what can we do to press the reset button on business meetings, cut costs and up productivity?

How You Work

The first thing to do is radically change your approach to meetings. Create a firm set of criteria that defines when a meeting is considered valid and essential. Then, get your management team to formalise those rules (and stick to them!) so that no one can call a meeting unless the criteria have been met.

Next consider if the meeting needs to be face to face or can it be done remotely. There are countless benefits of remote collaboration, of which cost is obviously one of the biggest. Clearly you will save time and money, but you can also increase staff morale by showing them that you value their time, which has a knock-on effect of retaining talented employees. From a sales perspective once you ‘get good’ at remote meetings, you will also be able to widen your net to clients outside of your immediate locality.

Despite all this, sometimes a meeting just needs to be face to face. So if you’re certain that you need to meet up then make sure your meeting has an agenda. Seems obvious? Then you’ll be surprised to hear that 63 per cent of meetings are conducted without one!

What You’re Working With

Ticked all those management and working practices boxes?

Time to move on to the final and most important point of all: you need to provide meeting attendees with the technology and equipment they need to have a productive meeting and actually get the job done. Contrary to the popular phrase, in this case a worker can definitely blame the tools when the outcome is a shoddy meeting!

Flip it on its head. Instead of thinking how much it costs to kit out a meeting room with the right equipment, think about the cost of not equipping the room adequately. Barco states that two-thirds of staff have had to put meetings on hold in order to sort out technical issues. That’s extra downtime and cost on top of the expense of holding the meeting in the first place. Can you really afford this?

At Projectorpoint we’ve pulled together fully installed meeting room solutions from as little as £1,500. That price includes everything you need to get a team up and running from display screens to audio and all connectivity requirements.

At the other end of the financial scale we can advise on everything from top of the range 4K display screens, perfect for large boardrooms and detailed analysis, to complete wireless collaboration solutions, designed to get everyone connected with enterprise level security and ease of use.

But whatever price point you’re working with, our first goal is always to help you identify the technology that’s the right fit for your working style and requirements.

For example, we love 4K, the difference in resolution is stunning and if money was no issue we’d advise everyone to invest in a 4K display screen yesterday. But there are certain scenarios where 4K isn’t just a brilliant step up in display screen quality, but an essential that you really need to find the extra few hundred pounds for.

This is the case if your team are working with financial figures, plans or any other type of highly detailed content. Studies show that screen resolution has a direct impact on productivity and this is especially the case where people are working with details. It’s a simple matter of spending a bit more at the outset in order to save a lot of time and expense in the long run.

This applies across the board. The cost of investing in the right meeting room technology now is tiny compared to the cost of wasted hours in a meeting room later where attendees are struggling to get the job done with poor equipment and inefficient means of collaboration.

Even if you spend £3,000 kitting out your meeting room – we believe within a couple of weeks of productivity benefits, you’ll be back in the black on the investment. This is only around the cost of 8 meetings in terms of staff cost!

So the next time your MD or finance director disputes your IT expenses, show them this article!