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      Are your colleagues focused in meetings? Or planning dinner…?

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      If today’s meeting lacks focus, it could be that your staff and colleagues are actually thinking about something entirely different.

      According to new research, 38 per cent of office workers are thinking about what’s for dinner when they should be concentrating in meetings, with 37 per cent planning for the weekend and 13 per cent even dreaming about the colleagues they fancy.

      The report by meeting governance technology firm eShare also listed shopping (28 per cent), football (14 per cent) and stressing about work they could be doing instead of attending the meeting (31 per cent). Some 22 per cent of respondents even admitted to just staring aimlessly into space.

      This lack of focus could in part be attributed to a lack of direction at the outset of the meeting, according to eShare – more than half of respondents in the research said they often attend a meeting with no agenda and that outcomes suffer as a result. Furthermore, around two-thirds of respondents said that they felt meetings were just social chit-chat in a work setting.

      “Most of us have been guilty of letting our attention wander in meetings on occasion, but this is going to be more likely if there is no agenda or a lack of access to relevant information,” said Camilla Braithwaite, head of communications at eShare.

      “Sharing the agenda and then sticking to it are basic requirements of a successful meeting, and not doing so makes attendees frustrated and the meeting itself unproductive and time-consuming.”

      Some common frustrations revealed by the research were a lack of preparation on behalf of colleagues (25 per cent), struggling to find the time to read through all the background materials (18 per cent) and actions assigned from the meeting being forgotten (17 per cent). The research also revealed that 61 per cent of respondents never share their notes with a colleague after a meeting.

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      Jade Burke

      Jade Burke, Editor for PA Life

      All stories by: Jade Burke