Singapore Workers Wasting Time in Inefficient Meetings Despite Preparation and Good Practices

Singapore Workers Wasting Time in Inefficient Meetings Despite Preparation and Good Practices




Singapore – 23 May 2017 – ShoreTelÒ (NASDAQ: SHOR), a leading provider of communication solutions that make interactions simple, today revealed research which shows that despite preparation time and good meeting practices, Singapore workers are wasting significant time setting up virtual meetings as a result of technologies that are unintuitive, overly complex or outdated.

ShoreTel’s Build a Better Meeting survey, which canvassed the meeting habits and productivity preferences of nearly 500 respondents across Singapore, Hong Kong and Australia, revealed almost 1 in 5 Singapore workers wastes between 6 and 10 minutes setting up each meeting. Over half of Singapore’s workforce claim this is because of a lack of clarity over conference technology or issues with bandwidth and the Internet.

Compared to their counterparts in Hong Kong and Australia, Singaporeans spend the least time in meetings each month and Singapore workers have generally good practices around those meetings with 45% citing that they prepare an agenda in advance. The majority (83%), spend under nine hours per month in meetings, and of these, most spend less than four hours. This limited time means each meeting is a crucial time for information exchange and collaboration.

However, regardless of the best practices implemented by many, another 43% that say they only prepare an agenda on occasion. Additionally, a third of respondents admit to doing other work in meetings, and around 1 in 10 workers acknowledge not participating at all. As a result, 1 in 5 say their meetings are only slightly productive or not productive at all.

“Singapore’s workforce does not spend the majority of their time in meetings, so these opportunities for collaboration are highly valuable to their organisations,” said Frédéric Gillant, vice president and managing director, Asia Pacific for ShoreTel. “Despite many workers setting agendas and claiming to fully participate in meetings, there are clearly some issues to address in making sure technology enables effective meetings rather than inhibits them.”

Increasingly mobile workstyles will require organisations to adjust
The research indicates that over half of Singapore workers do not work remotely on a regular basis. However, a third of the workforce does spend 1 to 7 days per month working remotely which results in a clear need for organisations to ensure that all workers are able to hold efficient meetings regardless of location.

“Singapore organisations need to reconsider how they are facilitating working practices,” Gillant adds. “If employees are outside of the office or find meeting practices inefficient, measures should be put in place to ensure that remote collaboration is a viable option. Too often, the technology is too hard to use or people are not familiar with it, which causes meeting delays and hurts overall productivity.”

While communication technologies are transforming the workplace and the ways in which we interact with each other, Gillant notes that not every solution is simple to implement or easy for people to use. What’s more, trying to use a host of standalone communication tools presents additional problems for IT teams and users.

“A good unified communications system takes all the best features of each technology – IP phones, conferencing, video, digital document sharing, chat and mobility – and combines them in a single solution that enables individuals to collaborate seamlessly wherever they are and using whichever channel is the most convenient and effective,” said Gillant. “This makes meetings easier to set up and virtual interactions more natural, which increases productivity and greatly streamlines workflows.”

Despite a focus on technology, there is also a need for cultural shifts within organisations to drive efficiencies. With the 43% of the workforce that does not consistently prepare agendas and the 41% that multitasks on calls - including checking personal messages or social media whilst in meetings - organisations can put measures in place to improve meeting practices.

“Meetings without an agenda are like road trips without GPS or a map – unless you are very lucky, you are going to spend ages going in circles and never get anywhere,” said Gillant.

According to Gillant, laying out an agenda and distributing it ahead of time is an easy way to boost meeting productivity. Even more effective is to use productivity tools, such as agenda planners, that are built into leading unified communications (UC) solutions. Agendas don’t need to be long, but they should outline the topics to be covered, the anticipated goals, required attendees, any materials needed, and a start and stop time.

“There are plenty of opportunities for companies to eliminate meeting inefficiency, such as avoiding long meetings where people are prone to losing interest and discouraging distractions that take people away from the task at hand,” added Gillant. “Easy, modern unified communications technology and thoughtful meeting preparation are the keys to building better, more productive meetings that all attendees will find valuable.”

About ShoreTel, Inc.
ShoreTel (NASDAQ: SHOR) provides businesses worldwide with communications solutions that make interactions simple. ShoreTel offers business phone systemsunified communications and contact center solutions that deliver unmatched flexibility and ease for companies looking to increase productivity and drive innovation. ShoreTel offers solutions in the cloudonsite or a hybrid of both, giving customers the freedom to choose the best fit for their business needs now and in the future. Headquartered in Sunnyvale, Calif., ShoreTel has offices and partners worldwide. For more information, visit shoretel.com.



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