best time for online meetings

The Best and Worst Times for Meetings

Choosing the perfect time to meet is almost as complex and challenging as executing the meeting itself.

To start, you have to find a time when everyone is available across time zones and account for those who may be on flex schedules. You also have to meet at a time that attention spans and cognitive aptitudes are at their peaks to get the most accomplished.

But the perfect meeting time can rein in some of the biggest frustrations with in-person and online meetings, like tardy attendees, wandering minds, multi-tasking distractions, and meager participation.

When Is the Best and Worst Time to Meet?

You’re most likely to bump up your RSVPs to meetings if you schedule them for a Tuesday at 3 p.m., according to online meeting scheduling service When is Good. Part of the reason this time seems to work best is because workers have already eaten, found their “second wind” for the day and still have time left to meet before leaving for the day.

Availability and attention tends to be the worst on Mondays and Fridays when more employees are checked out of work (both physically and mentally), and meetings that are too early or late (think 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.) interfere with workers’ flexibility.

On the other hand, if your meeting is more about brainstorming radical new ideas than delivering updates, afternoon meetings could zap your productivity. Early in the morning, the part of your brain responsible for creative activity is most active.

How Long Should My Meeting Be?

Traditionally, meetings are scheduled in hourly or half-hourly increments. Even most online meeting software supports this notion, offering a pull-down menu of half-hour start and end times.

However, the average adult attention span only lasts five minutes, according to research in PGi’s free eBook, “The Little Black Book of Presentation Ideas.” This means that attendees don’t really absorb about 83 percent of those 30-minute presentations and they miss about 92 percent of your hour-long meetings.

The solution: 10-minute meetings. Plus, since your time is limited, you only have time to cover one or two topics, narrowing your meeting focus and making meetings even easier to metabolize.

Itching for just a little more time? Design your meeting like a TED talk, confined to 18 minutes to fight the “cognitive backlog.”

What Are the Biggest Meeting Frustrations?

Many of workers’ biggest frustrations with online meetings revolve around a poor user experience, according to a survey from PGi’s webinar, “Hitting a Home Run With Collaboration.”

In that survey, nearly 41 percent said having to download software to enter a meeting was the biggest headache, followed by confusing software, poor audio quality, and a lack of mobility.

What works best for your meetings really depends on the meeting’s purpose, your team’s work styles, and your company culture. In order to find the sweet spot, try different meeting styles to find what works for you.

And to alleviate those major frustrations with online meetings, take a new online meeting software for a trial run. In fact, meet iMeet®. Take it for a free spin now for 30 days.

Featured Image Source: Gratisography

About Ashley S.

Ashley Speagle is a Florida-born, Georgia-raised communications specialist, couch movie critic, dream interpreter, acrophobic adventure seeker, outdoors enthusiast, and easy-going introvert.

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