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New State of Meetings Report finds meetings aren’t dead, but low engagement is killing productivity

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Thomas Dawson2023-11-09

52% of business leaders in North America say low engagement in meetings is their biggest challenge.

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STOCKHOLM, TORONTO & SYDNEY – October 26, 2023 – As companies re-evaluate meeting policies and the role of meetings in today’s workplace, a new State of Meetings Report by Mentimeter, an audience engagement platform used by 95% of Fortune 500 companies, found the vast majority of respondents (72%) agree that meetings are not dead. Further, nearly all of the 4,000 people surveyed find meetings to be an effective (96%) and productive (94%) way to move work initiatives forward. However, the results also point to growing frustration around low meeting engagement, with the majority of leaders (52%) stating that participants do not speak up, engage or provide input enough during meetings.

94% of leaders say meetings are productive

In fact, the results show that 62% of respondents correlate strong meeting engagement with higher levels of productivity, and 49% cite that meetings are doomed to fail if leaders cannot incite engagement from the very beginning. The report also reveals that leaders may not be offering ample opportunities for participants to engage, or opening up the floor to discussion, with more than a third (38%) of respondents admitting they are the most talkative person in a meeting. 

“It’s clear from our findings that leaders view meetings as a powerful productivity tool, and that they are here to stay,” said Tobias Porserud, General Manager of North America at Mentimeter. “However, lack of engagement is killing productivity. It’s critical that for meetings to be the most productive, leaders need to move away from the old way of running meetings of talking at participants, and embrace strategies that practice inclusive, transparent, collaborative decision-making, harnessing the collective intelligence of the team.”

What would make meetings more effective?

Additional findings include:

  • Heightened distraction is hampering meeting engagement, with 60% of respondents admitting that they have not shaken bad habits from the pandemic workplace. More than a third of participants admit to checking social media and texting friends and co-workers during meetings, about a quarter admit to shopping online and nearly a fifth of respondents say they are guilty of watching sports or a show during meetings. More than one in ten admit they have even slept during remote meetings when the camera is off. 
  • The rising wave of Gen Z leaders is more introverted and distracted than previous generations, with nearly half (46%) of the respondents identifying as introverts. This group is most likely to be texting (42.7%) or checking social media or personal email during meetings (44.6%) than other generations. 
  • Respondents (63%) suggest leaders should encourage engagement by offering non-verbal (47%) or anonymous (45%) ways to participate through integrating fun and interactive tools (44%). Worth noting, nearly half of Generation Z and Millennial respondents cited having anonymous ways to react and respond to ideas as a helpful tool for engagement. 
  • Sixty-two percent of respondents note that having multiple ways to engage in meetings would make them more productive. These engagements include likes, comments, reactions, polls and more. 

“It’s time to unlearn bad workplace habits lingering from the pandemic, and rethink the traditional role of meetings as not only a place for updates and box-checking but to create an engaging and productive culture where every voice is heard,” said Johnny Warström, co-founder and CEO of Mentimeter. “Leaders need to find more opportunities for meeting participants to engage, adapting to the needs of younger leaders who are more introverted and distracted than ever. Using meeting tools that are geared towards increasing engagement, thereby becoming a more effective leader and improving business outcomes.” 

The survey queried 4,000 adults in North America, including business leaders ranging from managers and team leads to CEOs and Presidents; representing sales, marketing, finance, legal, human resources, operations, and more between April 21st and June 21st, 2023.

For more information, download the full report here.

State of Meetings Report

About Mentimeter:

Mentimeter is an audience engagement platform (AEP) that makes it easier to listen and to be heard by transforming passive audiences into active contributors. Used by 95% of Fortune 500 companies, Mentimeter is fundamentally changing the culture of presentations, lectures, and workshops in business and education from talking to listening.

Whether on-site, remote, or hybrid, Mentimeter creates a unique, transparent, and engaging experience for everyone. Since launching in 2012, more than 22 million users have gathered opinions, questions, and thoughts from over 600 million voters through our dynamic AEP.

For more information, please contact:

Thomas Dawson, PR & Communications at Mentimeter

Email: press@mentimeter.com

Telephone: +46 79 101 42 62