Management Matters

5 Reasons To Avoid Scheduling That Early Morning Meeting

Date Posted: 04/10/2015

How much thought do you give to the time when you schedule a meeting?  The majority of people checks their diary for an available time slot during the week and shoots out a meeting request.  Whether you are having a meeting with your colleagues or with a prospective client, the meeting day and time has a strong impact on its success.

Research done by a web app which analyzed 2 million responses to over 500,000 scheduled events shows that if you try to schedule a meeting before 10 a.m., only 1 in 3 people will accept. The research also shows that Tuesday afternoon at 3 p.m. is the best time of the week to schedule a meeting as almost half of the people in the research responded that they are available during this time.

Morning is a good time to do tasks but early meetings should be avoided.  Ask yourself, how do you begin your day at work? Usually we do the most important things first – like checking and responding to emails, preparing tasks for the day and prioritizing some deadlines.

Here are some more reasons why you should avoid scheduling that early morning meeting.

1.    The majority of employees are still getting into work mode when they get to the office and will not concentrate on matters discussed during the meeting.

2.    If you are having a 9am meeting, most likely your employees will need to prepare for it the day before or come unprepared.  If you want to have a morning meeting, it is best to have the meeting later in the morning to give those attending more time to prepare for it.  Another option is to have a late afternoon meeting, plot out the plan for the following day, send all people home and then have a fresh start the next morning.

3.    Studies show that there are different times of the day for different opportunity costs; energy may be at peak at 8 a.m. while most employees have less energy by late afternoon. So if you have a meeting at 8 a.m. you are erasing the opportunity for productivity.

4.    Different people might start work at different times of the day and it might not be possible for everyone to attend a meeting at 9 a.m.  Some people will be rushing for the meeting while others have to interrupt their work to attend the meeting.  This might have a disruptive influence on them for the rest of the day.

5.    Long early morning meeting can interrupt one’s daily tasks such as responding to emails as email communications tend to be heavier in the mornings than in the afternoons or evenings.

When is really the best time to schedule a meeting?

Meeting right after mealtimes can make employees sluggish after eating.  By around 3 p.m. their pre-lunch energy level should have resumed.  Also, if you are holding a meeting during mealtime, you should consider providing food.  There are some employees who find it productive to eat and still work at the same time.  This also creates a more relaxed atmosphere.

According to some studies, if you need to have a morning meeting, mid-morning or late morning meetings are the most effective time to conduct meetings. Employees have already settled in, are more awake, have not dealt with a lot of tasks yet, and they still have the enthusiasm to face the day. Also they have enough time to prepare necessary reports or presentations for the meeting.

As far as work days are concerned, Mondays and Fridays are the least effective days for an important meeting. Many employees take their personal leave on these days to have an extended three-day weekend.  Also, most employees are still in the weekend mode on Mondays while others are too excited or likely to be rushing for the weekend on Fridays.  Therefore, it is generally better to conduct meetings from Tuesdays to Thursdays.

Time is a significant factor in businesses.  Employers should find out when is really the best time of the day that their employees are most productive so they do not waste time and money to conduct meetings during that time. Productivity and participation of your team should be considered in scheduling your next important meeting.

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