Teams that are focused on productivity and efficiency, while also maintaining a high quality of work, are constantly communicating. This is true even though technology has allowed many teams to be more spread out than ever.
When teams are separated by distance, though, strong communication skills and habits become even more important. That’s why regular meetings and conference calls are such a common occurrence in today’s business environment. Teams that are not communicating may be missing out.
But standing meetings and conference calls are far more effective - and likely have better participation rates - when they are scheduled wisely. With that in mind, let’s take a look at what days of the week and times throughout the day are best for scheduling your team’s weekly conference calls.
Many people will admit that they often dread conference calls and meetings. This isn’t necessarily a criticism of the organizers; most people feel this way. Common criticisms of conference calls are that it is difficult to establish rapport between colleagues over the phone, poor conference call etiquette is commonly used and many people don’t give calls their full attention.
But there are ways to make conference calls more enjoyable. Obviously, one way is to schedule conference calls at times that work best for everyone on your team.
First things first, let’s get this rule of thumb out of the way: Monday is not the best day to schedule a conference call or meeting for most people. And that’s not just our opinion. There is scientific research that backs us up on this.
It’s not a secret that Mondays are not for everyone, especially when it comes to standing conference calls. Much of the prior week’s work and priorities are usually on people’s minds, and they are still trying to get a handle of how the current week’s workload is shaping up.
Research shows that Monday mornings are the absolute worst day and time for meetings of any kind. Sure, getting on the phone with everyone right away in the week to share information, updates and weekly goals seems to make sense, but you are actually interfering with the most productive time many people have in any given week.
On top of that, many of your team members may be looking to capitalize on their renewed energy from a weekend away by scheduling follow-ups and communicating with people they had been working with prior to the end of the week.
So, it’s probably best to avoid Mondays - and definitely Monday mornings - if at all possible for your regularly scheduled conference calls.
You may think to yourself, OK, Monday mornings aren’t great. But that leaves other mornings as the perfect time for our team call.
Nope. According to Payscale, no morning is a great morning for a meeting or conference call. That is due to the fact that most people prepare for meetings at these times either the day before - when they could be wrapping up that day’s work instead - or not at all.
Don’t expect that you can go too far in the opposite direction when you are scheduling conference calls, either. Schedule a conference call too late in the afternoon and you could encounter participants
As Payscale rightly points out, if you schedule a conference call or meeting too late in the afternoon, then you run the risk of people being too drained to participate at their best. They may not come as prepared to engage with items on the agenda as you would like to see from your team. Some may even try to find ways to not participate as often as you would like.
In addition, if your call participants have been sapped of all their energy, they may not bring their best ideas, discussion points and solutions to the virtual table. Some people also develop decision fatigue throughout the day. At some point, they are tired of making decisions.
All these reasons point toward avoiding conference calls later in the day.
So far, we’ve warned against Mondays, Monday mornings and later afternoons no matter the day. So what day actually works? Aim for Tuesday conference calls. Tuesdays could actually be an optimal time for you to organize and hold conference calls. One study cited by CNBC suggests Tuesday at 2:30 p.m. is the best time for meetings.
Why? The study suggests this is because you are not taking up valuable morning time for productivity and also, being Tuesday, there is still plenty of time to discuss the week ahead. Your team also is not too far removed from the prior week for a little review time.
If you can’t fit a conference call in for Tuesdays at 2:30 p.m., then your next best options are days in the middle of the week in the mid-afternoon time range.
Some companies with people spread out across an area - an entire country or internationally - may find that holding conference calls in the middle of the day can help others more easily hop on the call.
Not every expert has the same feelings about afternoon meetings and conference calls. Some, for example, recommend scheduling between 9 and 11 a.m. This time range, the experts say, gives people a chance to wake up and falls before they hungry and ready to head to lunch.
Still, every team is different and you should ask for input from every person who typically joins your conference calls.
No matter the time of day, you will want to pick a conference call service that delivers on quality. With free conference calls through Conference Town, your team will enjoy a wide array of features combined with a service that is flexible enough to meet your needs.
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