For developers, too many meetings, too little ‘focus’ time

Software developers spend a third of their week in meetings on average, according to data collected by time management app Clockwise — with those at large companies facing the most packed schedules.

Clockwise’s data is gathered from 1.5 million meetings tracked by its platform over the course of 12 months up to May 2022, providing an overview of work practices by 80,000 developers at 5,000 companies. It shows that the average software engineer spends 10.9 hours per week in meetings, with 19.6 hours of “focus” time – defined as two or more hours free to concentrate on work.

The remaining six hours are classed as “fragmented”, which refers to the schedule gaps between meetings that provide little opportunity to settle back into completing a task. Separate research has shown that it can take around 23 minutes to refocus after an interruption, and meetings can often be the cause of context switching that distracts workers from more productive work.

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