How to Avoid Scheduling Conflicts?

Scheduling conflicts sound familiar to everyone who works in a multinational company. Product Owners with their calendars full of meetings are trying to figure out when to help colleagues. Micro-managing bosses are scheduling new meetings for employees that have already had a couple of consultations with clients, making it impossible to get the real work done. 

What are scheduling conflicts?

The above-mentioned examples are leading to chaos, and scheduling conflicts. This means that two tasks have to be done at the same time. But as we know – unless you have a time-turner – this isn’t possible. Two meetings, double shifts, and multiple events can cause scheduling conflicts.

Conflicts like these are breaking the workflow, decreasing employee motivation, and creating stress (while running out of the project’s deadlines). 

However, scheduling conflicts have many types in the office. 

Types of scheduling conflicts in the workplace

Let’s see what events can lead to scheduling conflicts in the workplace. 

Time conflict with another meeting

Overlapping events – like meetings, and stand-ups – are the most common form of misscheduling. Let’s say an employee has a consulting between 10 am and 11.30 am. And someone schedules a team meeting from 11 am until 1 pm. 

Inviting an unavailable colleague

Inviting a colleague who is not available at the moment also happens sometimes. Maybe he or she is on vacation, or on a work trip. 

Underestimating worktime

People tend to underestimate their time of work. If someone says he can finish his project in 2 weeks, then the project will most likely last for 2 months. It is because people are horrible at guessing their working time and don’t count in the external factors. Things can happen: a client can go on sick leave, stopping that employee from working. 

Also, a 10 minutes meeting is never 10 minutes. If you schedule a meeting for 10 am and the next one for 10.15 am, you won’t make it. 

The meeting is not during working hours

If the meeting is on the weekend or after working hours, that can also lead to scheduling conflicts. No one has to be able to be on a call after work. Maybe someone will have an important anniversary dinner that day. Don’t organize a meeting after work!

How to avoid scheduling conflicts?

Of course, it’s not impossible to avoid scheduling conflicts. We have some tips to prevent double bookings and overlapping events. 

Slow down

Create a stress-free, yet precise work environment, where employees care about each other’s free time. They will slow down and even ask if the time is right for the meeting. 

Be flexible and re-schedule the non-urgent tasks

An adopting attitude can be a big help. Understand what led to the scheduling conflict and work together on the solution. 

Ask a colleague to help you out

Encourage team members to communicate and replace each other if needed. Make work patterns, so people will understand the firstly-opened spreadsheet, because they work with the same method. Thus, a colleague can present another employee’s presentation easily. Name the backups!

Use project-management software

A shared Google Calendar or an Asana is enough to follow your employees’ time schedule.