What is the Best Time for a Meeting?
Meetings are ubiquitous in corporate life. A study from Atlassian states that we attend over 62 meetings per month. Most people consider half that time wasted.
That’s somewhere in the realms of 31 hours per month employees are squandering on time that could be better spent on other projects. You can implement various strategies and techniques to improve productivity, but simply selecting the most appropriate time for your meeting might be the key to success!
Breaking Old Habits
Many companies still maintain that 9 am Monday morning is the best time for a meeting. With this time, we’re left with ample time to complete any tasks set during the meeting over the course of the coming week. Research is now starting to suggest that 9 am is not the optimum time.
The issue with 9 am is that employees will have little time prior to the meeting to prepare. They’ll either have to prepare the evening prior or get in even earlier to prepare. Mondays are also too close to the weekend. There have been two days where your team hasn’t been engaging with their work, they’ll undoubtedly be slow getting off the mark.
The Most Popular Time isn’t Necessarily the Best Time
Research carried out at 247meeting proved that 9 am to 11 am and 2 pm to 4 pm are the most popular times for meetings across Europe. Meetings and conference calls often operate outside these hours but only at half the rate. Within these times, 10 am is the most popular time to host a meeting.
Many experts believe that people are at their most productive at 10 am. One such expert is Dr. Steve Kay, a professor of molecular and computational biology at the University of Southern California. He believes that through our circadian rhythms, or internal body clocks, we’re at peak productivity late in the morning.
In spite of this research, the belief is that 10 am is now not the most appropriate time for people under the age of 25. Younger people are slower in moving up the gears each morning compared to their older colleagues. We also must consider those unfortunates who are just generally sluggish in the morning. So, despite the popularity of this time slot, it is not necessarily the best time for a meeting.
So When Exactly is the Best Time?
Research from YouCanBookMe, a UK company that makes scheduling apps for businesses, suggests that Tuesday afternoon is the best time for a meeting. With Tuesday afternoon, there is time left in the week to take action on any decisions made. Your team should also still be fresh from the weekend and not too tired. Try aim for the 3 pm slot as employees can be lethargic after their lunch hour, so it’s best to avoid scheduling your meeting at exactly 2 pm.
Consider the employees attending your meeting, if your team consists of many young people (under 25) it would be best to host your meeting on Tuesday afternoon. If your team is a little older, it’s better to utilise the 10 am time-slot. To understand your team dynamics, check out our blog on the psychology of meetings.
If you enjoyed this article and would like a more thorough analysis of the data provided, check out our White Paper by clicking here! In this White Paper, we take a look at the literal cost of lost productivity through conference calls. The figures may astound you!