Understand users' meeting load

With Work Insights, you can see how many meetings users attend and how much time they spend in meetings. Meetings are valuable for exchanging information, solving problems, and building teamwork. However, too many meetings and ineffective meetings can hamper productivity and well-being.

Step 1: Check the meeting load of a typical user

  1. From the Work Insights dashboard, in the left menu, click the Work patterns category.
  2. In team filter at the upper-right corner of the page, select a team. For details, see Filter Work Insights data by team.
  3. (Optional) In the time filter at upper-right corner of the page, select a different time range.
  4. Find the chart "What is the meeting load per user?"

    Note: This chart shows the average meeting load for 7 days instead of actual working days. If your organization has fewer work days, the average meeting load for your organization is likely higher.

Step 2: Check daily meeting load

  1. On the chart "What is the meeting load per user," click View details.
  2. On the Number of meetings tab, check the daily meeting load of the typical user. 
  3. Check the distribution of meetings across the selected time range.

    The distribution chart can often provide more accurate metrics on meeting load, because outliers can affect the average number of meetings per day.

Step 3: Check how much time users spend in meetings

  1. On the "What is the meeting load per user?" details chart, click the Time spent in meetings tab.

    This chart uses the same data as the Number of meetings tab but displays meeting time instead of number of meetings.

  2. Determine the percentage of work time a typical user spends in meetings.

    For example, if a user spends 4 hrs/day in meetings during an 8 hour workday, meetings take up 50% of their work time.

  3. Click the Meeting trends tab.
  4. Check how many long meetings teams have per day and what percentage of their meetings are long.

Step 4: Check after-hours meeting load

  1. In the left menu, click the Work patterns category.
  2. Find the chart "Do users work with G Suite outside of standard business hours?"
  3. Check to see how many meetings teams are having outside of standard business hours.

Step 5: Reduce high meeting load

After you've examine the metrics on users' meeting load, you can consider reasons why different teams might have higher meeting loads. 

Check common reasons for high meeting load

Reason Details
Job function The type of job an employee has can affect their meeting load. For example, program managers or recruiters might need to meet more than employees with other roles at your organization.
Managerial role Managers might have more meetings than other employees. For example, they might have a weekly meeting with each employee who reports to them. 
Job level

Higher-level employees, such as executives, might spend more time in meetings than junior employees. Consider whether job level affects meeting load and, if so, by how much.

Location

Remote teams might have a higher meeting load because they need to communicate or collaborate with employees at your primary office. Check to see if meeting load changes by how remote team members are. For example, is the team distributed across multiple offices in different locations? 

Time zone

Some teams might have a high after-hours meeting load because they're in a different time zone than your primary office. In this case, consider a policy of rotating meeting times among different working hours to reduce the after-hours meeting load for a single location.

Tenure How long an employee has worked for your organization might affect their meeting load for many reasons. For example, long-tenured employees might meet more often for decision-making purposes. On the other hand, new employees might spend more time in meetings to learn about their projects.
Meeting duration Time spent in meetings might be high if your organization holds many long-duration meetings. Note that attendees' attention level tends to decrease in longer meetings. To help reduce the number of long meetings, considering providing employees with tips on how to run meetings effectively.
Meeting recurrence

Recurring meetings might increase meeting load. Check to see if some recurring meetings are no longer necessary, especially those that were inherited from past projects or disbanded teams.

Time of year

Meeting load might be higher during certain periods. For example, the number of meetings might increase during your organization's performance reviews or product release cycles.

Work load

Too many after-hours meetings might mean that employees' work loads are too high. A very high work load an affect users' productivity and work-life balance.

Find out more with surveys

To learn more about why users have high meeting loads, use Google Forms to send a survey and get their feedback. Based on survey responses, share your findings with your organization and develop a plan to reduce meeting load. Learn more about using Google Forms.