Senior staff estimate that only a third (36%) of the time they spend in business meetings is helping them to do their jobs better and less than half (44%) the time is helping their organisation, new research from executive coaches That People Thing shows.

The company, which has worked with organisations including Manchester United, Santander, Mattel, Airbus and the Foreign Office, commissioned the research to find out what is bad, and good about the business meetings culture.

The survey also reveals how senior staff are spending their time in meetings. 35 percent admit to daydreaming in work meetings, one in 10 have planned their evening meal, 27 percent are doodling and one percent are on dating sites or looking for other jobs.

Blaire Palmer, CEO of That People Thing says:

“Bad meetings are killing businesses. Meetings should be where key decisions are taken, where sales targets and figures are discussed and where the agenda is set.

“The research however shows they are a huge waste of valuable resources tying up the time of key people responsible for the success of businesses in meetings where too much of the time they are achieving nothing.

“Well-run meetings can create a positive ripple throughout the culture of a business and companies which address the issue of what is going wrong can see real benefits.”

More than half (51%) said they attend meetings even when they know beforehand it is going to be a waste of time.

There is a general agreement on what makes a good meeting, 59 percent say a meeting which makes clear decisions is valuable and 46 percent welcome a vigorous debate and discussion.

The main problem with meetings is the length, 56 percent of respondents say meetings they attend are too long followed by 43 percent who say colleagues have not prepared and the same number who say meetings veer off topic and are not organised.