Recent reports suggest that organizations spend up to 15 percent of their collective time in meetings. That statistic climbs to 50 percent for upper management. Despite this, executives consider over 67 percent of meetings to be failures and up to 92 percent of respondents admit to multitasking during a meeting.
These figures readily explain why it can be such a challenge to quickly schedule meetings. In a nutshell, people just aren’t that keen on them. If you’re the designated meeting time planner for an event, the others likely don’t envy you your job. What’s likely to complicate this even further is trying to schedule the meeting across time zones.
Since the advent of the pandemic, remote working is quickly becoming the norm rather than the exception. Digital nomads are mainstream and companies are much more likely to have an internationally distributed workforce. As a meeting planner, finding a time and date that works for everybody can be almost as time consuming as the meeting itself. Here are a few pointers that might make your job easier.
1. Check for Schedule Overlap
It might seem self-evident at first, but it can be a really neat way to narrow down the scheduling window without causing conflict amongst your attendees. When you’re meeting across time zones, your participants are likely to have only part of their working day in common. Being aware of this overlap will make it easier for you to book a meeting time on everyone’s planners.
2. Use a Meeting Scheduler
Traditionally, people try to schedule meetings through discussion. This often leads to long-winded back-and-forths with attendees trying to push for their preferred times in an email thread. However, when trying to coordinate a meeting across time zones, doing it via email or chat isn’t just inefficient, it can also be counterproductive. Doodle’s online scheduling tool, for example, automates much of the process of scheduling an event, bringing it down to minutes.
3. Let Everyone Have Their Say
A big part of coming to an agreement on a meeting time is ensuring everyone’s had a chance to pitch for their preferences. An online poll is the ideal way to do this. With Doodle’s meeting time planner, the survey feature comes in-built. You can make a clutch of pre-selected time slots available to your attendees. Then each of them gets to cast their votes for whichever slot suits them best. Once all the votes are cast, the results are there for everyone to see. This shifts the onus of meeting scheduling back onto the participants, taking the pressure off any one individual.
4. Ensure Your Calendars Are Synced
If you’re scheduling a meeting well in advance of it happening, there’s a chance people aren’t going to remember it when the time comes. The final step after settling on a time slot is syncing the meeting time on planners and calendars across the board so that it’s set in stone. If you’re a Doodle user, a great way to do this is to integrate your online calendar to your Doodle account. This way, when you’ve decided on a time to meet, it’s marked on your calendar and you don’t have to worry about it anymore. This is especially important when your attendees are joining in from different places and everyone’s calendars can display the meeting in local time.
The important thing when scheduling a meeting across time zones is to use a mechanism that takes the heat out of the scheduling process. You want people looking forward to the meeting and not annoyed at the fact that they’ve had to go out of their way to attend it.
Over 30 million people trust in Doodle to set up their meetings every month, precisely because Doodle makes it hassle-free and quick. For more information on how Doodle’s meeting time planner makes scheduling positively easy for you, browse through its features or simply contact us. We’ll be happy to help you get started.
Scheduling across time zones often involves meeting with people who work remotely. If you’re someone who works from home, we have some hints about saying productive here.