Effects of late guests at planned meetings

One of the most common factors about the modern workplace is the humble meeting, or more so, late meetings. Below are three negative effects that occur when a meeting starts late.

1. Negative moods and deterioration of performance in other appointments

According to some researchers, employees in the UK, USA and Australia spend close to an average of 6 hours in meetings every week. A total of 37% of these meetings start late, mostly because someone attending it was late.

Research has found, those who arrive to the meeting on time, experience feelings of negativity towards guests who have turned up late, including feelings of frustration and being disrespected, as well as poor perceptions of the late comer. This negativity has flow on effects to other aspects of the team and workplace such as, decreases in performance, creativity and a lack of cohesive relationships.

2. Loss of precious time to the calendar

Businesses are losing two working days a year by starting their weekly meetings late, according to a survey by Barco.

Their survey of 1,000 office workers revealed that 59% attend meetings “a few times a week” with meetings beginning, on average, six minutes late. This means, for an employee is attending four meetings per week, they lose 864 working minutes per year.
If a business employs 50 people, it’s calculated they will lose 950 hours every year – an important consideration for firms with billable hours.

When these employees were asked about the long term consequences of a late-starting meeting, 93% said they experienced stress, 70% said speakers lost credibility, 24% said they missed a deadline, and 12% said they even lost out on business opportunities.

3. Drain on productivity and ruins the personal calendar

Chronic lateness isn’t just annoying, it’s expensive. American CEOs are late to eight out of every 10 meetings, according to a survey by Proudfoot Consulting costing the U.S. economy $90 billion in lost productivity – Australia is not far behind. Giving a 5 minute leeway for meeting start times has become an unspoken rule in the workplace. This has however, resulted in meetings tending to start five minutes later than scheduled.

Lateness in the workplace is not only effecting company culture, it’s also affecting business revenue. Addressing lateness in the workplace can help increase not only employee morale, but also a business’s bottom dollar.