State of Meetings

The future of work: How AI is changing meetings

We're all familiar with the statistics on meetings: unproductive sessions can detrimentally impact productivity and morale, and there's plenty of advice on enhancing meeting efficiency. However, much of this data and guidance belong to a bygone era.

In 2023 we saw the application of new AI tools that have revolutionized our work lives and how we spend our time in meetings.

As experts in making meeting notes a breeze, we're excited to share our insights on how meetings are evolving. Our insights are derived from anonymized, aggregated data from Supernormal users, showcasing the impact that AI tools have had in reshaping the meeting experience.

Time Spent in Meetings

First, let's talk about the time people spend in meetings. In 2022, Atlassian reported that employees attended an average of 62 meetings per month, with half perceived as time-wasters. The shift to remote and hybrid work models majorly increased average meeting counts from 2020-2022. In 2023, we observed a decline in these numbers, with the average worker attending just 14 meetings monthly, amounting to 8 hours per week. 

Next, we assessed meeting durations. Livecareer's 2022 survey showed that post-pandemic, 39% of employees noticed an increase in meeting lengths, with 95% experiencing occasional loss of focus and missing critical details. The average meeting for workers in 2023 was just 35 minutes.

Additionally, meeting attendee numbers are shrinking, allowing more time for productivity. Zoom noted that in 2022, the average meeting size was seven attendees. In 2023, this average reduced to five on Supernormal, and more than 11% of all meetings were one-on-ones.

The introduction of AI tools like Supernormal, adept at coordinating, note-taking, and disseminating meeting information, has effectively reduced the time spent in meetings. More importantly, it has enhanced the value derived from the meetings workers attended.

Types of Meetings

In our study of how organizations invest resources in meetings, a key focus was on how employees effectively use this time.

To begin, we looked into the predictability of meetings. The predictability of meetings plays a crucial role in effective time management and productivity. Pre-scheduled and recurring meetings, which make up about 76% of all meetings, allow participants to plan their workload and prepare in advance, leading to more focused and productive sessions. On the other hand, the 24% of meetings that are spontaneous or one-time events can bring necessary flexibility and immediacy to address urgent matters. Balancing these two types is key to ensuring a productive meeting culture without overwhelming participants with unexpected or poorly planned sessions.

Additionally, we compared internal versus external meetings. High numbers of meetings might imply inefficiency, but the total count alone is insufficient for a complete picture. A balance between internal and a significant number of external meetings can be beneficial.

On average, organizations had 58% internal and 42% external meetings. The healthy ratio of internal to external meetings suggests positive developments like increased sales activities, more candidate interviews, or growing external collaborations.

Organizations that integrate AI tools like Supernormal tend to achieve a well-balanced mix of internal and external meetings. They benefit from more concise and predictable meetings, which significantly boosts productivity and operational efficiency.

Meeting Patterns

As we broaden our perspective, we uncover some intriguing patterns and trends in meeting schedules and preferences.

Contrary to common assumptions, Mondays aren't the undisputed champions of meetings. Surprisingly, Tuesday and Wednesday take the lead, each claiming 21% of all meetings. Positioned in the middle of the workweek, these days seem to strike a balance between collaboration and productivity. On the flip side, Friday stands as the underdog, hosting only 16% of meetings.

The day you choose for your meeting significantly influences attendance and duration. Mondays boast the highest attendance rates, while Thursdays witness the lowest.

But your Sunday scaries aren’t totally uncalled for - meetings scheduled on Mondays tend to be the longest, clocking in at over 37 minutes on average, while Wednesdays see the briefest gatherings, wrapping up within 30 minutes.

Speaking of time, an interesting stat pops up: 20% of meetings exceed their scheduled end time, showcasing a spectrum of meeting dynamics—from in-depth discussions to efficiently concluded sessions, with 54% finishing ahead of schedule.

Beyond the schedule, the title of your meeting speaks volumes. Our data highlights "Standup" as the reigning title champion, closely trailed by "Team Meeting" and "Sync." But while Standups are popular, meetings titled “Sync” have 50% higher attendance.

Wrapping up and looking ahead to 2024, it's clear we're on the cusp of a meeting revolution, all thanks to AI. New tools like Supernormal aren’t just trimming down your meeting schedule, we're amping up their impact.

At Supernormal, we believe AI is the secret sauce to reimagining how work gets done. By tapping into AI for sharper meeting management, we're not just saving you precious time, we're setting the stage for a more cooperative, dynamic, and enjoyable work life. It's a big leap towards making your workplace not just efficient, but also a whole lot more engaging.

We’ll catch you at the next meeting!