Facebook Fever: Friend Feed Steals Focus in Meetings
Ever sneak a quick glimpse at your news feed during meetings? You’re not alone – at least 70% of meeting attendees are doing the same.
Startling new research suggests that only 20% of attendees are focused in meetings, while the rest are busy surfing the web and checking their social media news feeds.
Conference room booking site MeetingsBooker.com surveyed 1,000 office workers and discovered that 71% of staff regularly check social media feeds such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn during meetings. Some staff cite business reasons for using social channels during meetings – such as checking in to location based Foursquare (18%) or keeping up with breaking business news (12%).
But the shameless majority (55%) admits to using social media in meetings purely to find out what their friends are up to. A further 8% said that taking their smartphone into a meeting allows them to escape dull moments.
However where large-scale conferences are concerned, the use of social media for interaction purposes is often encouraged. Around 47% say they use Facebook and Twitter to check up on details prior to or during the event, with 28% actively taking part in debates and discussions during a conference.
According to MeetingsBooker.com founder Ciaran Delaney, these results show our increasing reliance on staying connected and how social media is having an increasing impact on business meeting requirements.
“We have seen over the last four years a significant increase in requests for conference venues with strong internet access,” he said. “Our users are also now specifically requesting venues that offer free WIFI.
“Interestingly, this is common now in most cities we work with around the world from New York to London. Meeting attendees use their smartphone on a daily basis like the rest of us, so when they want to share information or connect during a meeting the first place they will go is social media.”
As a quite astonishing reminder of the mobile working culture we now live in, a massive 97% say they regularly take their mobile phones into meetings. While this may be a precautionary measure in case of urgent calls or emails, the research suggests that the majority of employees carry their mobiles in meetings simply to help them pass the time.
So next time you’re caught on Facebook when you should be scribbling minutes, there’s a 70% chance that you can divert the blame to someone else.
Are you one of the 70% who use social media during meetings? Is it an unwelcome distraction, or a part of modern business thatΓÇÖs here to stay? Share your thoughts in the comments.