Being on time for a meeting has many benefits: ability to utilize time with a colleague for better productivity, shows respect for your colleagues time, allows increased stress reduction during the meeting, and a general sense of being prepared and collected. Gone are the days of having excuses to be late for a meeting. Although no one can predict several accidents ruining the commute, there are some tips and tricks that can help any professional get to a meeting on time.
The first step in getting to a meeting is knowing how long it will take. In larger metropolitan cities, you never know when an accident, or a visit from the President can ruin your entire meeting. Using an app like Waze that gives you updated traffic alerts and a pretty accurate estimate of arrival are a necessity to monitor throughout the day. Using the app while you're driving can also re-route you if an unexpected car fire shuts down the highway.
If it's an incredibly important meeting, check the day before what traffic looks like around your meeting time. This allows you to estimate, and the day of the meeting give yourself a 30 minute buffer to check once again and make sure there's been no event that could cause a late arrival.
The second issue with a meeting that involves a bit of planning is the parking situation. Using an app like Park Me can give any driver the lay of the land. Not only will it help decide the best place to park to get to the meeting on time, but will also aid in determining what the best cost is if you're on a tight budget. If every spot near the meeting is expensive, you can then find a more cost effective spot, but it may require additional walking, adding time to your travel. SpotHero is another alternative growing in metro areas like San Francisco, LA, NY, Chicago, and DC.
It's best to give yourself at least a 15 minute cushion if possible. Be sure to leave to give yourself plenty of time to arrive. An early arrival shows respect to your colleague, as you value his or her time. An early arrival is no longer counter-productive as now professionals can use that time to make a quick call and return emails if waiting.
Prepare for Obstacles
It's Murphy's Law that whatever can go wrong, will go wrong. Always be prepared for a worst case scenario. If your car breaks down, roadside assistance app Honk is a quick way to get your tired changed or towed if you're not a member of AAA. If your car needs to go to the shop, order an Uber or Lyft for a direct drop off.
Alert Your Colleague
Always alert your colleague of your estimated time of arrival if you're running late, or even if on time. Its courteous to let them know when you'll be there, and if late, he or she can take a phone call and use their own time wisely.
Getting to the destination is only half the battle. Sometimes parking is what adds an unfortunate amount of time to the travel process. Services like mobile apps Luxe Valet and Zirx provide you with a valet anywhere you need to go. Alert the app where you're going to be with a little bit of notice, and a valet will arrive at your destination to pick up your car and park it for you. Sometimes these apps are cheaper than parking garages, and you get the power move of a personal valet.