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  • Colin de Korsak

Most managers say they spend too much time in meetings

The excessive length of meetings leads to a drop in productivity and concentration among employees, according to a study by Slack. Some try to make up for lost time outside working hours, without being any more productive.

Too much time spent in meetings is affecting employee productivity, according to Slack's Workforce Index study. More than one in four office workers (27%), including more than half of managers (55%), say they spend too much time in meetings. One in five (20%) do not have enough time to communicate with their colleagues, and this problem is more pronounced among younger employees.

If they spend more than 2 hours a day in meetings, a majority of workers say they spend "too much time" in meetings. These people are more than twice as likely to not have enough time to concentrate.

Employees working outside their official hours are less productive

The time spent in meetings leads some employees to catch up on their work at home, outside their declared working hours. In fact, around two out of five office workers (37%) go online outside official working hours at least once a week. More than half (54%) of these employees say they do so out of obligation, not choice. Employees who feel obliged to work outside working hours have productivity scores 20% lower than those who do not.

Those who work outside of their stated hours also report 2.1 times more work-related stress, are 1.7 times less satisfied with their work environment in general and 2 times greater burnout.

The importance of breaks

The study shows that many workers do not take breaks during their days. Half of office workers surveyed (50%) say they rarely or never take breaks during the workday. These workers are 1.7 times more likely to suffer from burnout.

In contrast, their counterparts who take breaks score 62% higher on work-life balance, and 13% higher on productivity.

On average, office workers report that 70% of their work time is productive. The majority (71%) of office workers agree that late afternoon is the least productive time to work, with productivity dropping between 3 and 6 p.m. On average, office workers estimate that the ideal concentration time is around 4 hours per day.


The Workforce Index survey surveyed 10,333 workers in the United States, Australia, France, Germany, Japan and the United Kingdom between August 24 and September 15, 2023. The survey was administered by Qualtrics and did not target Slack or Salesforce employees or customers.

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