UK businesses make most of meetings

The
British make better use of time in meetings than their French and German
counterparts, new research claims.

The
study focused on the meeting habits of business people in Germany, France and
the UK and found that the most productive meetings involved high levels of
collaborative sharing of documents and visual information.

When
asked what value meetings have in driving productivity, UK business managers
rated viewing documents together as the greatest benefit. This was compared to
being able to judge body language and facial expressions, socialising after the
meeting and meeting new people for the first time.

French
and German managers both rated being able to see facial expression highly as
key benefits of a meeting.

The
survey, Efficiency of Business Meetings, which was conducted on behalf of
online communications provider WebEx, interviewed executives from 303
companies, all with more than 100 staff.

Cherry
Taylor, Research director at Dynamic Markets, said: "The research
indicates a more sophisticated approach to meetings among UK business people.
Instead of presenting and reviewing data, greater productivity is being
achieved by having everyone’s eyes on the same page working towards a common
goal in a meeting."

Tony
Gasson, vice-president Europe of WebEx, said: "UK managers are saying
that, in meetings, "What you hear you forget, what you see, you remember,
but what you do you will understand."

The
survey also reveals that European business professionals participate in 559
meetings a year – this equates to 47 meetings a month, or 12 a week, or two a
day.

Survey
respondents said they recognised the value of regular meetings, but the
frequency was having an impact on their lifestyles.

By Quentin Reade

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