Guiding Principles & Strategies for Scheduling Meetings of ISSOTL’s International Committees and Groups

Developed by the Inclusion Subcommittee of the ISSOTL Board & Approved by the ISSOTL Board November 2021

Principle 1: Schedule meetings judiciously by aligning the committee’s goals with the mode of collaborative work (e.g., a synchronous meeting, an asynchronous email discussion, collaborative document). 

Principle 2: Before coordinating synchronous meetings for an ISSOTL committee, first consult with members of your committee about the range of times within which they can meet, as some members may be more comfortable accommodating early morning or late evening meetings. When possible, strive to schedule meetings at a time that includes all members during these hours (e.g., starting no earlier than 6am and ending no later than 10pm for any member).

  • The “World Clock Meeting Planner” is helpful for mapping all members’ respective times. First, enter the cities of all members and the date of the potential meeting, then click “Show Timetable.” The resulting timetable will feature time slots that fall during “general working hours” (green) and “general non-working hours” (yellow).  It’s also recommended that the Meeting Planner is consulted with each meeting due to seasonal time changes.

Principle 3:  In order to be transparent and inclusive, ensure committee members are aware of others’ locations and times for each meeting.

  •   Share a table of all members’ locations and times, such as the following for the 2021-22 Inclusion Subcommittee:
MembersLocationsMeeting Time (earliest to latest)
Nancy KColorado, US 9:00am
RajAlabama, US10:00am
Nancy C, NicoleFlorida & North Carolina, US11:00am
ClaireEngland, UK4:00pm

Principle 4: If the time zone span places any committee members outside of their core working hours (see Principle 2), alternate meeting times so that the person(s) most impacted by the meeting schedule varies over time. 

  • In Example A and B below, the time slots that align with a hypothetical committee member’s core working hours are represented in italics.

Example A: Alternating Month Schedule

MonthVancouverNew YorkLondonSydney
1Monday 12pmMonday 3pmMonday 8pmTuesday 7am
2Monday 9pmMonday 12pmTuesday 5amTuesday 4pm
3Monday 12pmMonday 3pmMonday 8pmTuesday 7am
4Monday 9pmMonday 12pmTuesday 5amTuesday 4pm

Example B: Three Time Zone Schedule

1Tuesday 7amMonday 11pmMonday 3pm
2Tuesday 12amMonday 4pmMonday 8am
3Monday 4pmMonday 8amMonday 12am
4Tuesday 7amMonday 11pmMonday 3pm
5Tuesday 12amMonday 4pmMonday 8am
6Monday 4pmMonday 8amMonday 12am
  • When a committee member is unable to attend a meeting, a committee representative will send the notes and/or recording to the member(s) as soon as possible (within 24 hours, ideally),  so that the member may stay abreast of the committee’s conversations and plans and be prepared to attend the next scheduled meeting.
  • If issues are raised for a vote at a meeting when a member is not present, the committee member should submit their vote within a week after receiving the notes or recording from that meeting.