At the start of the year, we referenced starting and ending your meeting/s on time as your number one habit of 2022.
There are a host of measured psychological reasons to not start late, including these: “groups in the lateness condition showed substantially less solution-focused communication overall, less idea elaboration, less in-depth problem descriptions, and fewer socioemotional support statements than groups who started on time.”
Today we want you to also consider the financial impact of time. Recent research from the National Bureau of Economic Research reveals that the value of time (VOT) is 75% of the after-tax mean (median) wage rate. Critically, the research suggests that “…society is under-valuing time improvements.”
To illustrate, let’s say that you have a weekly staff meeting that’s scheduled for an hour with 10 participants (already breaking 3 meeting best practices!). Let’s further say that because of remote work, technical issues, and multi-tasking, that meeting, on average, starts 5 minutes late every week. Over the course of a year, you have wasted 42 hours of time – and just from one meeting.
Your late morning meeting also ends late, impacting the ability of those 9 other people to get on with their work or the other meetings they have to attend or organize in their respective days. For a company with 5,000 people, in just one day, your late meeting could easily impact 20% of them, based on the complex social interdependencies of knowledge work.
Short of building a wormhole powered by a black hole on the scaffolding of string theory, we’re unlikely to be able to travel into the past to make up for the lost time.
Therefore, please start and end your meetings on time! And as an organizer, make sure that you’ve given yourself at least 10 – 15 minutes up to 24 hours before the meeting to collect your thoughts and drive a fruitful agenda to make the most of the time you have.