The cost of virtual meetings during covid-19

Published: Jun 13, 2020

For over 2 months now, since lockdown began in the UK towards the end of March, large portions of the workforce have been working from home in order to help to reduce the spread of the virus. The vast majority of such workers are office workers, who naturally can quickly adapt to working from home, using laptops to do much of their usual job.

With this comes a greater need to stay in touch with the rest of the workforce, who have also found themselves suddenly working from home in a similar situation. Teams need to keep in touch so that they can work closely and keep updated on projects, tasks and goals. Without this, things will start to fall aparat pretty quickly.

Fortunately, apps such as Zoom and Skype allow teams to keep in touch, and keep things moving in the right direction. But with everyone working remotely, and the increase in time spent in virtual meetings, just how much is this costing business in time and money?

The team at CIPHR, one of the UK’s leading HR software brands, have created a virtual meetings calculator to answer this exact question, as well as showing what else this meeting time could be spent on, to give a better picture of just how much time is spent in virtual meetings.

On average the typical office worker spends around 1 hour per day in meetings while at work. If we assume a £45k salary, this equates to a cost of £474 each month. The time spent in meetings would be 20 hours per month, which is the same amount of time it would take to make your own toilet paper at home.

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For a senior manager earning £100,000 per year, spending half of their time in meetings, this would cost over £4,000 per month, and equate to the same amount of time it would take to wash your hands while humming happy birthday twice, 14,400 times!

Commenting on the release of the virtual meeting calculator, David Richter, director of marketing at CIPHR, said: “This new calculator puts a light-hearted spin on the sudden increase of virtual meetings and chat that many organisations are adjusting to.” 

“Next time you’re about to send a virtual meeting request, think: could this be an email instead? Is every person on the invitation list genuinely required (or is there anyone important missing)? Will it really take an hour, or will 15 or 30 minutes suffice? And when you’re in a virtual meeting, respect your co-workers’ time and stay on topic. Equally, while chat apps are a great way for colleagues to keep in touch in an informal way, too many notifications can end up being distracting. If you want an answer to a question that’s not urgent, email may be best. And if you need a block of time to focus on an activity, change your notification settings to ‘do not disturb’.” 

He added: “Remember, virtual meetings and chat apps are just some of the ways to communicate information; for critical announcements, organisations might find it more effective to use functionality available in specialist HR systems like CIPHR.”