Survey says over half of meetings at work are utterly pointless

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Meetings, meetings, and more meetings. And then meetings about meetings. Followed by even more meetings.

The modern workplace is awash with meetings, and long-suffering British employees will sit through a mind-numbing 9,776 of them during their working lifetimes – with more than half of them being deemed as completely pointless, research from Deliveroo for Business has revealed.

This new study of the nation’s office workers discovered that the average Brit reckons 51 per cent of the meetings they attend every week are utterly useless.

What’s more, one in 10 of those employees who took part in the study admitted to having nodded off during a meeting at some point in their life.

The poll of 2,000 full-time employees also found that we will munch our way through 10,753 sandwiches, 19,552 chocolate biscuits and drink 15,642 cups of tea during our lifetime of meetings – all in a bid to get through the tedium.

Of those polled, 17 per cent claimed they had completely clammed up in a meeting, 26 per cent had not listened to one word that was said, and 27 per cent spent the duration of the meeting thinking about what they were going to have for their dinner that night.

Almost one in 10 (eight per cent) pass the time by flirting with colleagues over the meeting table, while 20 per cent admit they text their other half.

Four in 10 said they like it when their diary is packed full of meetings as it gets them out of doing any ‘proper’ work. But six in 10 moaned that meetings just create more unnecessary work.

Here are nine tips for getting the most out of meetings:

1. Know what you want to accomplish from the meeting before you go in.2. Develop a plan and schedule for the meeting.3. Write a one-page summary of the purpose of the meeting before the meeting begins4. Keep everybody on topic.5. Ask questions.6. If you're leading the meeting, encourage everyone to contribute.7. If you're presenting, don’t leave the meeting right away. Check everyone understands what you are trying to deliver and has an opportunity to ask questions8. Learn from your mistakes - if your last meeting didn't go well, think about why before you go into your next one.9. Change things up. Don't follow the same old pattern every week. This could stifle creativity.