IEEE has conducted a survey of high-tech professionals in IT consulting, medical device, and telecommunications industries. They found that on an average half a day is spent in meetings and doing email. Another quarter of the day goes in information gathering, usually, using the Internet. That leaves only a quarter of the day for generating some kind of knowledge artifacts!
The study has some interesting data about how meetings are run in US and India…
An average U.S. meeting lasts about 55 minutes, compared with about 47 minutes in India. And more people show up at U.S. meetings than in India: about eight people versus five. That’s because U.S. companies will pull in an entire work team, while Indian companies invite a more targeted group.
Trying to keep up with their heavy workload, attendees often multitask during meetings—writing and reading e-mail, surfing the Internet, or even doing their regular work. That happens more in the United States than in India: multitasking occurred in 46 percent of U.S. meetings, compared with 20 percent of the meetings in India.
In the study, the researchers watched the engineers as they worked alone or participated in meetings, and then interviewed them. A total of 103 engineers and technical professionals from four U.S. and two Indian multinational companies were studied. The participants were involved with software and hardware design, testing, product development, and managing workgroups.
Are you surprised by the findings?