A Meter for Meetings

How to calculate the cost of wasted time.
Vincent RyanJanuary 1, 2008

If time is money, then wasted time is wasted money, and the wasted time of many people is a pile of money indeed.

At least that’s the theory behind Meeting Miser, a free Web software tool from PayScale Inc. that gauges the cost of meetings in real-time based on the salaries of everyone attending. Enter the job title and location of each attendee, click the start button, and the meter starts ticking, putting a dollar amount on how much is wasted in meeting-happy Corporate America.

Consultants might argue that this software’s value lies in its ability to sensitize people to the value of co-workers’ time, thus encouraging them to be prompt and adequately prepared. Others might kvetch that Meeting Miser is miserly indeed, failing to capture the soft-dollar value of a corporate bonding experience, or the return on investment of a brainstorming session that generates a $1 billion product.

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But will anyone say a kind word for what surely must be Meeting Miser’s real utility: making a case for skipping meetings altogether? What other software product gives you such a valuable reason to opt out even as it allows you to impress others with your cost-consciousness? For more, visit