Creating a Simple Meeting Cost Calculator

Creating a simple meeting ‘cost clock’ or ‘cost calculator’ can greatly help you value your meeting time. Knowing the actual amount (or close to it) that you are costing your company each hour or minute can help you focus your meeting efforts. It can therefore, help you decide whether a meeting is indeed worth everyone’s time/cost or not.

Here are the basic questions you’ll need answers for to start:

  • Number of people set to attend (count the number of meeting invite accepts, not the total invite sent number)

  • How long is the meeting?

  • What is a ballpark average salary number for each level of attendee (manager, exec, individual contributor, etc…)

  • This doesn’t have to be real/actual numbers to provide the desired effect

  • Use Monster/’s salary look up tools for more accurate numbers:

  • Personal Salary Reports and Small Business Compensation Solutions |

Once you’ve collated this information you can do the simple math using a format that you feel comfortable with.

As a sample, I’ve used the numbers below (salaries from the calculator linked above) and a spreadsheet to reach the desired result.

Here’s how my example turned out:

  • People attending: 5

  • The meeting will last: 1 Hour

  • Salary Calculations:

  • 1 X Executive: $223,543 X 1 (I used a CTO from Sydney Australia)

  • 2 X Managers: $110,250 X 2 (Channel Sales Managers in Sydney)

  • 2 X Individual Contributor: $93,247 (Marketing Managers in Sydney)

So, my quick spreadsheet example resulted in the following:

In this example, just one meeting for a single hour, costs your company over $300! And that simple calculation doesn’t take into consideration any major additional costs like; all of the meeting follow up, work you could be doing, any meeting running over, supplies used, opportunity cost of other work you could be doing, or just simple disruption of your workday.

Maybe $300/hour doesn’t sound like much for a company to spend, but when you start extrapolating that number out to longer meetings with more employees, a few times a week, and then across an entire year, the numbers get scary big very quickly.

The bottom line is, your time is very expensive and you should always seek to apply it as effectively as possible. Creating a simple meeting cost clock calculator to derive your ‘per meeting base cost’ can greatly help you focus that time to be as efficient and effective as possible with every meeting. It can also lead you to make better decisions about whether to have a meeting or not.

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