I was reading an interesting piece of research the other day that covered the controversial subject of why UK businesses are inefficient and how the productivity gap can be closed.
The Workplace Productivity Report, conducted by accountancy firm Grant Thornton, canvassed 200 large and medium-sized businesses across the UK, asking them how they measure efficiency and the challenges they face.
Unsurprisingly, the number one answer was meeting overload hindering general performance in the workplace, with almost half (49 per cent) of respondents saying they felt overwhelmed by an endless procession of meetings.
Sadly, meetings are a core part of how most companies are run. They are a necessary evil.
However, I would say the way meetings are run is the biggest problem of all.
It is perfectly possible to hold short meetings and cover all the points
succinctly and quickly and then get on with the rest of the day.
As a journalist, one of the biggest wastes of my and my team’s time is interviews with firms that feel the need to introduce the concept of ‘death by PowerPoint’ into a conversation that in reality should take a few minutes.
It is the same at any meeting the minute a PowerPoint presentation comes out, a lot of people’s eyes start to glaze over. By slide number 30, most people have lost the will to live. I heard somewhere that the human attention span is just one minute out of every seven. Not long at all.
A major way of solving productivity issues in firms is to limit PowerPoint presentations to a maximum of 10 slides. That way those compiling them have less work, and in turn those forced to listen to/watch them during those meetings/interviews, still have the will to live at the end and more time to focus on the job in hand.
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