From an efficiency perspective, time is everything. Businesses often attempt tasks or meetings when their employees are least productive, therefore wasting time and money. This article will look at some of the main areas that businesses need to increase efficiency by planning the most appropriate times.
The Best Day to Efficiently Conduct a Meeting:
When is the best day of the week to conduct an office meeting? Well, Monday and Friday are typically the least effective days to hold an important meeting. Many employees use their personal or vacation days to have an extended three-day weekend. Therefore, you may find that essential employees are not there every Monday or Friday. Also, employees are typically still in “weekend mode” on Mondays. On Friday, they are likely to be rushing through the day in anticipation for two days off. Holidays on Mondays may also affect meeting availability.
Therefore, for productivity and participation reasons, it is generally better to conduct meetings on a Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday. So how do you find a specific day and time in which all employees can be available? In a recent study conducted by WhenIsGood, the company found that a majority of their respondents accepted Tuesday at 3PM meeting times. Early morning meetings should be avoided as you will find a number of employees are still sleepy. Also, meetings at the start of the day mean that the employee must prepare for it the previous day or arrive early. In late afternoon meetings, employees may simply watch the clock and think about the end of the day. If your meeting’s goal is to create enthusiasm about a particular product or service, chances are the enthusiasm will wear off as the employee heads directly home.
Mealtimes can also directly affect a meeting. Employees are likely sluggish directly after eating. By 3PM, their pre-lunch energy level has resumed. Also, if you decide to conduct a meeting during a mealtime, whether it is breakfast, lunch, or supper, you may consider providing food. Many employees find it productive to eat and still work at the same time. If you do not provide an entire meal, you may consider offering hot coffee or small refreshments.
Many businesses have found that a mid-morning meeting is very effective as employees have had time to settle in, are more alert, and have not dealt with numerous tasks yet. Enthusiasm will remain throughout the day. WhenIsGood offers a free service in which an organizer can send meeting invites out and receivers can respond with their availability. This may help you determine a time that would least interfere with your employees’ work day.
The Best Day to Unveil a New Program/Initiative:
Although new programs are unveiled at any time, their success can depend on your strategic planning. Generally, new programs should be unveiled at the beginning of the month. If you choose to unveil a new program or initiative near the end of the month in anticipation to start next month, you run the risk of employees losing interest before the program even starts. Similar to meeting times, you may choose to unveil the program on a Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday mid-morning or mid-afternoon time slot. Don’t expect to generate enthusiasm at 8AM on a Monday morning and likewise don’t expect enthusiasm to last through a weekend if you make an announcement on Friday afternoon.
The Best Day to Send Out a Press Release
When is the best time to send out a press release? Well, because the specific question has numerous variables such as content, timeliness, audience, and media source, there is no exact answer. The best way to determine when your business should send out press releases is to first determine where you are sending them and their guidelines. Magazines may need the content several months in advance while newspapers which prefer to break the latest news need the content yesterday.
So how exactly can you increase your chances of having the content published? Many companies make the mistake of simply sending out press releases to numerous outlets and hope the editors read the content. In reality, editors are juggling 100 new e-mails as well as deadlines, reporters, etc. To increase your chances of publication, call the editor. Take just a few moments and highlight why your press release is news worthy. If she agrees, send the press release complete with the content that you discussed. If she disagrees, don’t waste your time sending the release.
While there is not a specific day or time of the month to send a press release, there are a few general guidelines. Don’t expect the press release to generate a lot of buzz if it is published while there are high volume events occurring. For example, if there is an epidemic of the flu hitting the United States or an earthquake has left 100,000 people homeless, chances are the news media is spending all of their print space and air time presenting this news. Your publication will take a back-burner and likely go unnoticed. Also, avoid sending out press releases one week before and after major holidays such as Christmas. The exception to this is if your press release directly relates to the holiday. Avoid sending releases on Fridays or Mondays as editors are likely in weekend mode, may take Fridays off, or return to 1,000 emails on Mondays.
Your press release’s success really depends on your willingness to check specific sources and their guidelines.
The Best Time to Respond to Important E-mails
Timeliness is often important if your clients or customers expect prompt answers. While you can respond to an e-mail at any time, it is often best to respond when the subject is fresh on your mind. If you check your e-mail three times during the workday, read the e-mail and immediately respond. If you do not have an immediate answer, respond with a bridge e-mail that promises a response at a certain time. If you procrastinate and let your e-mail inbox fill up, chances are you’ll neglect some inquiries. If you check your e-mail late at night, draft up the response. However, do not hit the send button until the next morning when you have a chance to re-read the message with a fresh mind. Likewise, if you receive a message early in the morning, you may not be alert enough to properly respond. You may find it beneficial to check your e-mail about an hour after your start time. The key to answering e-mails is to offer prompt responses and keep on top of things. Avoid late night and early morning responses as you are likely still groggy or preparing for bed.
Are Mondays & Fridays Useless in the Workplace?
If it seems like this article has deemed Monday and Friday as unproductive days, that is not exactly accurate. In order to create productive Mondays and Fridays, make sure that you have delegated very specific tasks on these days. If the employee clearly knows what is expected, they will be more motivated to complete the task. While a Monday morning or a Friday afternoon may not be your most productive time, if you clearly assign tasks, even small ones, you will notice that employees are motivated to get the job done.
Time is a very important factor in any business decision. The best time to conduct a certain task may depend on your business and employees. The key is to take the time to find what works best for your employees.
thanks for the post, great tips!
checking mails 3 times a day is difficult at the beginning, but once you and your frequent mail senders get used to it, this really jelps.
other good idea from the post is to sleep over the draft email and send the next day. it definetely helps you to move out your ‘mood’, and probably rephrase your words next day…
Andrew Jensen says
Thanks for the comment, Derya. Yes, checking your email 3 times a day may work for some, while for others (based on their job and responsibilities), they could quickly lose clients or get fired! Much of making business efficiency really work for you comes down to tailoring it to your individual situation.
Aaron Wilkins says
What time during the week have you found are most effective for meetings (in your research)?
Randall Rupert says
Science has shown from research the best day/time for business meetings to be on a Tuesday at ~2:30 pm.
Tim Hamilton says
I found your article a great read and very informative.At times we also need confirmation of what we already know.My wife has been asked to attend a meeting out of working hours,along with other staff members.She was told of the meeting a couple of weeks ago.Today however those attending will also bé expected to do a one to one after the meeting is done.Bearing in mind this is in staff time,and it is being conducted in the evening this not only sounds unreasonable but possibly illegal. Any tips on this please. Regards Tim.
Rui Ribeiro says
This article resonate exactly through my experience. Operational teams benefit and contribute more to meetings outside Monday and Friday. As for reading emails, I do find counterproductive following them in real time. Working around so many interruptions during the day is not conductive to concentrate on long-term work to be done. As for meetings outside hours, in a previous job the management often booked meetings for the time we were supposed to leave, with the expectation to start them one hour after the booked time, 1) because they knew it was not legal 2) in order for people not to leave office. To top if off, they were so immature as to run a check list of people present like in elementary school. It was very insensitive and even bordering malicious behaviour. One of those times a superior left me hanging after 7PM for a one-to-one meeting, I left around 8PM for home, and the next time he personally apologised to me.
Tim Yaotome says
I find it interesting that one should schedule a new company program during Tuesdays to Thursdays mid-morning or mid-afternoon at the start of the month to get the needed enthusiasm from employees. One question: what if a clothing CEO wants to reveal a tie-up with a famous artist at their concert? Is it a good idea to rent passenger vans to bring employees to the concert and introduce them to the next client in person?
David S Hodge says
I believe that the best time to conduct a meeting is around 10:00 am. I don’t buy the thinking that people haven’t gotten fully awake by then, I mean really? I find I’m much mentally sharper in the morning.
I leave my email open all day. I do prioritize what I read and respond to first.
Carla M. says
I am grateful to see this post. Choosing the right time to conduct a meeting is really important to ensure that it is effective and productive. Also, one factor that really affects the meeting is the meeting room, or the place where meetings are being held. Making sure it isn’t noisy or dull will help a lot to get the focus and concentration that you need. And when working in an office where a lot of things are taking place all at the same time, it is pretty hard to achieve a peaceful working environment. But I’ve found out about these Soundproof working booths from a lot of companies, which they have been using whether for simple phone calls and solo or group meetings. And one trusted brand I saw is from Soundbox Store which has been installed in a lot of various known companies and brands from all over the world. This may help you or your employees too, so you might want to consider having one.