Attending board meetings is one of the biggest commitments a Board of Directors member makes. These meetings are of high importance because your board takes actions that affect the whole community. However, these meetings can eat several hours out of your schedule, and can be especially time-consuming if your board meets once a month. To help you balance your responsibilities, we will discuss possible solutions for this predicament, including the daytime board meeting.
Pros of Holding Daytime Board Meetings
- Board members will be more alert and productive. Instead of trying to concentrate on community business after a long day of work, hold a daytime board meeting. Morning or noon meeting times would be the best; the earlier in the day, the smaller the chance that anyone’s worn out. Because everyone will have more energy, you can accomplish more in less time. On the same note, afternoon meetings might prove unproductive; at 3:00 p.m. or 4:00 p.m., people can begin feeling tired and hungry, and might need a snack to help them concentrate.
- The meeting is more likely to stay on task. If you meet at the end of the day, no one has anywhere else to be, so there is no reason to finish the meeting in a timely manner. However, if you meet in the morning or during lunch, board members will be motivated to prepare presentations and notes beforehand, keep discussions to the point, and be solution-minded. Everyone will have something to do once the meeting is over, so no one will waste time on tangents or small talk.
- Board members will have evenings free to be with family and friends. Evening board meetings can be problematic because they take away from family time, when children are home from school and the day’s work is finished. If you complete board meetings during the day, you will have more time in the evenings for game nights, movie nights, or homework assistance.
Cons of Holding Daytime Board Meetings
- Daytime board meetings might be more difficult to attend. Although many companies now encourage employees to take off time during work hours to volunteer or complete community service, some professionals have strict work schedules that make it difficult to take time off to attend board meetings. This issue can become more problematic if homeowners feel left out of board discussions because they cannot take time off work to attend board meetings.
- Securing a venue could be more difficult. For associations that cannot simply meet at a local restaurant or library, securing a large venue for a board meeting could prove more difficult during daytime hours. If your board decides to meet during the day, you might need to plan further in advance to secure a meeting place.
Other Meeting Options to Consider
- Meet quarterly. Monthly nighttime meetings can become a hassle for many board members, so meeting once a quarter, or perhaps only twice a year, could alleviate much of the burden of board meetings. State law only requires a meeting to be held for 15 specific items, so focusing on holding meetings to target these particular items would minimize the impact on board members and homeowners alike. Fewer meetings work especially well when all members come prepared and ready to vote and engage in informed discussion. If your association’s governing documents allow fewer meetings, this could be an effective solution to a tight schedule.
- Meet during mealtime. A breakfast, lunch, or dinner meeting puts less strain on one’s schedule than an evening board meeting. You can enjoy a pleasant meal while discussing important community issues. If a board meeting fits into the lunch hour or if you can discuss neighborhood plans over a family-style dinner, go for it! Homeowners will also be more likely to attend if the venue is somewhere they are likely to visit on their own.
- Meet by teleconference. While homeowners and board members might not be able to take off enough time during work hours to meet in person, they may be able to squeeze in a conference call or join a Skype video chat. This solution can work well when board members work across the city, and the commute from work to a meeting place is difficult.
After you weigh the pros and cons and determine how these items apply to your community specifically, we hope that you can modify your board meeting plans in a way that makes holding meetings more productive and enjoyable for everyone. As always, if you need assistance modifying your board meeting schedule, you can ask your HOA community manager for help.