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Three-quarters of Brits believe virtual meetings are a waste of time

Kalila Sangster
·3-min read
Portrait of a happy man taking notes.
Millions of Brits are working from home due to the coronavirus pandemic with a huge 96% of UK workers currently having up to four virtual meetings a day. (Getty)

Three-quarters (76%) of Brits believe virtual meetings are a waste of time, a new survey has found.

One in three (34%) UK works admitted that they excuse themselves from online meetings that they get bored of, according to the survey of 2,000 professionals by job board CV-Library.

Millions of Brits are working from home due to the coronavirus pandemic with many using video conferencing apps to attend virtual meetings.

Users of video conferencing app Zoom (ZM) surged from 10 million at the end of December last year to more than 200 million daily users in March this year.

A huge 96% of UK workers currently having up to four virtual meetings a day, each lasting an hour on average.

Over one in 10 (14%) said they spend around six-and-a-half hours in online meetings every day.

This is despite over half (55%) of respondents saying their most productive meetings are under 30 minutes long.

READ MORE: Zoom users surge from 10m to 200m as world works from home

Some 19% of workers said the ideal online meeting was 45 minutes long, 15% an hour, 6.2% an hour and a half, and 4.7% over two hours.

Lee Biggins, founder and CEO of CV-Library said: “Research from a few years back found that the average Brits’ attention span is just 14 minutes; so think about this when scheduling in your next virtual meeting. Often, shorter, more frequent, meetings can be a lot more productive.”

The survey found that men (81%) were more likely to see online meetings as a waste of time, with 41% saying they would leave a virtual meeting altogether.

This is compared to 68% of women who reported feeling online meetings were pointless, with 27% saying they would try to get out of them.

READ MORE: Four ways to hold a virtual meeting

Biggins said: “We know that more people are working from home right now than ever before and it’s definitely taking some getting used to.

“While it’s great to keep the momentum going and connect with colleagues via conference calls or video chats, there is an argument that these can sometimes be counter-productive — especially if they’re filling up your entire day or nothing positive ever comes out of them.

“Try to get a good balance of personal and professional chat. It doesn’t need to be business all the time! For some people, virtual meetings may be all the interaction they have with others right now, so be sensitive of everyone’s situations.

“If you’re worried that you’re not getting much out of the meetings you’re attending, why not suggest that you shake them up a bit by introducing presentations or setting a clear agenda.”

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