How are things going at work? While there has plenty written on a wide variety of factors affecting employee well-being – on everything from management style and organizational structure to the effects of ergonomic furniture and natural lighting – the "elephant in the room" in our workplaces is something that almost everyone complains about but no one has studied: how much time we spend in meetings.
In the average workplace, there are lots of meetings. Reports indicate that the average number of meetings at work more than doubled in the second half of the 20th Century and time spent in meetings keeps growing. While the importance of this change has been largely unnoticed, a new study on the effects of meetings on worker well-being reveals some surprising dynamics behind modern meeting mania, with broad implications for the effects on morale and productivity.
The report, written by a team of researchers led by industrial and organizational psychologist Steven G. Rogelberg from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, appears in the March issue of the Journal of Applied Psychology. It describes the first international scientific study ever performed on the effects of meeting time on employee well-being, based on the responses of 980 employees to two work surveys.
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