The 2020 Doodle Work-Life Balance Survey

Learn how everyday employees are struggling and how we can change meeting culture in this fascinating new study.

6 min read

We surveyed hundreds of employees to discover the factors that most impact workplace productivity.

Americans are working harder than ever, and have less to show for it

The Work-Life survey of full-time executives at Fortune 500 companies highlighting a concerning trend: Americans are spending more hours connected to work and missing out on their personal lives to not be any more productive. Feeling pressure to work overtime is not uncommon, a quarter of all respondents think it’s critical to advance their careers.

The majority of employees work beyond normal business hours and have attended meetings during a holiday

Forty-four percent of executives now work an average of 52 hours a week and that number increases to 58 among senior-level staff, 65% of who report working overtime. And it’s no surprise when you consider over a quarter of employees surveyed admit that they’ve spent 20 hours or more in meetings in a single week. These extra hours don’t necessarily take place in the office either - they’re intruding on personal lives:

While plans with friends and family can be rescheduled and vacations can resume after a call has ended, there are certain milestones and once-in-a-lifetime events that can’t stop for work. Doodle’s survey revealed:

Meetings they attend accomplish nothing

Particularly frustrating for those folks passing up personal plans is that often the meetings they join are poorly managed and didn’t accomplish anything (59%) - or even ones they didn’t need to be in at all (60%). Poorly run meetings lead to disengaged employees and participants turn to other activities to fill the time, including:

It’s unfair to put the blame on meetings themselves - some of the greatest innovations, ideas and companies of our time all started with a meeting. We’re misusing meetings and engaging in them without clear parameters and objectives. For companies experimenting with the four-day work week, productivity actually increased because people had to be much more efficient with their time; big gains were made by capping meeting times, limiting participants and having a clear agenda and purpose.

For tips on how to run better meetings and give employees their time back, check out Doodle’s blog.