How much time do we waste in meetings? The consensus is about 25 percent, according to a recent survey released by Robert Half Management Resources.

 

The survey results were based on interviews with more than 400 U.S. workers over the age of 18 who are employed in office environments.

 

When asked the question "In general, what percentage of the time you spend in meetings is wasted?", the mean answer was 25 percent.

 

The two most common mistakes leaders make, according to survey-takers, are not having a clear purpose or agenda for the meeting and not sticking to an agenda. Both of those responses were chosen 30 percent of the time.

 

Of those surveyed, 20 percent said meetings don't end on time, 15 percent said they don't start on time, and 14 percent said leaders commonly invite people who don't need to attend.

 

Paul McDonald, senior executive director for Robert Half, said in a news release that bad meetings can do more harm than good, and suggested that leaders can avoid that by clearly establishing the purpose of the discussion and making sure the right people attend and have a chance to contribute.