Time, Efficiency, and Etiquette

8 February 2022

As the original texts are written in Turkish, English translation is provided for non-Turkish readers. The author apologizes in advance for any and all possible changes and losses in meaning due to translation.

Many things have changed in our lives with the outbreak of the pandemic. We have started using many new digital applications and platforms in this period. Likewise, the ways we meet and come together have changed. Our way of working has evolved into a hybrid model where we work from home on certain days of the week, and at the office or in environments that are fit for working on others. Are we more productive? Time will tell, but for sure we need to remain open minded and experiment with the NEW opportunities the change brings.

The hybrid working model offers more flexibility to employees where and how to work and becomes a main lever for the often-talked work-life balance aspect. The perspective of this working model is shaped by many factors from the employee’s personality and family situation to the requirements of their job. In this context, a significant concept stands out: TIME. I believe that using time properly, well, and efficiently is a core element to become productive and have a well-balanced (happy) life.

Therefore, I wanted to focus on the topics of “Time, Efficiency, and Etiquette” in this article.

Let’s say you have been invited or have invited someone to a meeting. Regardless of whether it is a physical or online meeting, what does it mean to start or arrive at a meeting on time for you? If “time” is one of the most valuable assets, then we need to talk about the importance of the ‘’dos and don’ts’’ or meeting culture and etiquette at meetings at this point as well.

An efficient business meeting has a direct influence on creating value through the meeting. One of the key factors that enhance the efficiency of a meeting is propriety (good or proper behavior or manners) on the part of the participants. Just like business etiquette, meeting etiquette also encourages participants to act professionally and respectfully. Mutual courtesy holds true for everyone, anywhere and anytime, regardless of people’s positions, hierarchy, age, or gender. Yet, we sometimes witness that the aspect of courtesy is at times forgotten or ignored in today’s business world.  Let’s take the aspect of the start or join a meeting on time.

The waiting period should not exceed 15 minutes

If you have an appointment (physical or remote) and the other party is late, how long should you wait for them? Or, if you are attending a meeting, but it does not start on time? How long should be the waiting period before you politely leave a meeting which does not start on time? For me, it is 15 minutes.

Based on the experience and corporate culture I have gained as someone who has assumed various roles in 7 countries, I think that the waiting period should never exceed 15 minutes. If you have been offered no valid excuse for the delay after a 15-minute wait, politely leaving and rescheduling is the best thing to do to use your time efficiently. The key, however ‘’subject to’’ is if you have been offered no proper excuse for the delay. Surely, delays can occur due to emergencies. However, such delays should not be repeated or become a habit / standard attitude.  We should all make a point of abiding by common courtesy rules in online as well as physical meetings. I felt that highlighting once again how valuable our time is by way of this article would be beneficial. For we always aim to ensure further efficiency, quality, and professionalism, don’t we?

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