Is the 8 a.m. meeting coming back?

Early morning meetings were never a fan favorite, but they've become a greater source of contention post-pandemic, according to a recent report from Korn Ferry.

The management consulting firm cites a case in which an employee — paid for the work hours of 9 to 5 — is asked to come in for an 8 a.m. meeting. The employee explained to his managers, and to his TikTok audience, that he would not attend the meeting due to a scheduled workout class. 

The TikTok was viewed nearly 30 million times in the past few weeks, and adds to managers' questions about acceptable demands in the evolving workplace. Like in-office work, early morning and late night meetings threaten the work-life balance that many employees say they achieved during the pandemic. Increasingly, workers want to log on right at 9 and log off right at 5 (or even a little before 5). 

Requiring a meeting outside of normal working hours can wreak havoc on established routines for parents and caregivers, adding unwelcome steps to their days. However, many managers leading remote/international workforces are hosting calls outside of their own hours to accommodate their teams' schedules, per Korn Ferry. 

Bosses are increasingly concerned about workers' productivity, and may be using early morning meetings as a way to "energize" workers and ensure the day starts on time. But they should be wary of the resentment this could foster, according to Korn Ferry. 

"Are you solving for a productivity question or a culture question?" said David Vied, global sector leader of Korn Ferry’s medical devices and diagnostics practice.

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