How to Run Late for a Meeting in Style

                The internet, smart phones and email have all turned the normal work hours of 9AM to 5PM, Monday through Friday into a thing of the past.  Workers are connected all the time every day of the week.  These communication tools have also made operating in a global market place significantly easier.  When workers in the US are sleeping, workers in Asia are busy sending emails.  Time to respond and working in a global environment has become a very precious commodity.

                With limited time available people are looking to become as efficient as possible while at the workplace.  Each day a person’s schedule is probably filled with email, phone calls, and a number of face to face meetings.  It is with a new app called Twist that serial investor Bill Lee is looking to ensure that no one is wasting any time prior to the start of these face to face meetings.  Twist identifies which people are going to attend a meeting and notifies them via text message if you are going to be late.  Bill came up with the idea last year after holding 200 meetings at a San Francisco hotel.  A number of participants were late causing meeting attendees to spend time tracking down participants.  Now with notification meeting attendees can use the extra time in their prior meetings or for other tasks.

                Twist works by combining real time traffic data with the traveling tendencies of each individual app user.  It was important to capture the speed of the user, whether lead footed or not, in order to provide an accurate time of arrival.  The app will automatically send a message if it determines that you will likely be late to your next meeting.  The text message will provide an estimated time of arrival and also a map where participants can see your current location.  A final text will arrive when the person is within one minute of arriving.

                For CEO Bill Lee this is the first step in his vision for Twist.  He wants to be able to further develop the app so that each meeting can provide you with the exact time needed to arrive since 20 percent of the U.S. population is late to meetings.  He has pointed out that 38 percent of late arrivals can be attributed to underestimating the travel time needed and 53 percent is due to traffic.

                This app is an important step forward in using technology to make the work day more efficient.  All workers try to manage their time, but this helps to pull in outside information like traffic data to make Twist notifications as informed as possible.  This way when we do still need to meet face to face these meetings happen on time.



27 thoughts on “How to Run Late for a Meeting in Style

  1. I am interested to see the popularity of this application in the business world. In today’s business world, atleast in the established conglomerates, meetings are still scheduled by using MS Outlook.

    This app is more suitable for folks in the tech industry or start-ups etc. Fortunately for the CEO, this is an industry that is always growing.

  2. This is an interesting concept and I would certainly agree that people running late for meetings is a problem with everyone’s packed schedules. Unfortunately, I think this concept really only works for teams that are always meeting face to face. I’m also not sure how many people would like to be able to be tracked down via GPS.

    Personally I spend a good portion of my day on conference calls with team members located in all different locations. In my experience our companies increased usage of instant messaging has really helped with notification of people running late or tracking down unresponsive participants without creating a lot of extra email to sift through.

  3. I don’t think this is a great idea. Not sure an app is needed to replace common sense and a text message.

  4. I do not think I would like this application. First it seems like just another way of “big brother” watching over me. I believe that there is no need to know where someone is at at every moment. Second what happened to personal responsibility. It is common courteously to let your group you are meeting with that you are running late. If there is a member of the team that is always late address that person individually and let everyone else be.

  5. This app doesn’t seem to provide anything additional than most other email services such as MS Office or Lotus Notes provide over a cell phone. One can set up reminders on their calendars for upcoming meetings and can have reminders sent to them throughout the day to remind them of meetings on their phones and desktops. I think this app still has a lot of work left to be a significant app for business meeting attendees.

  6. Ryan- the biggest assumption here is that folks will have their location service or GPS turned on. Personally, I keep it off unless I’m searching for a place or looking for directions so I keep it off for privacy reasons as mentioned by others in this blog post. The other reason to keep GPS off is battery life since GPS uses up more power. Until users are comfortable with the location/privacy aspects, full adoption of such apps is highly suspect.

  7. Speaking from a person who is obsessed with time and hates to be late I see where this app would be useful in the business world. However, I think the logistics of the app itself could use some adjusting. I agree with an earlier comment though that the app isn’t really much needed. I feel like technology is most definitely important in business but I don’t think it should replace human interaction. If I were running late for a meeting I would call ahead of time and inform the person holding the meeting– I could even text them. An app would just replace human contact and that’s already a problem with our society. Maybe if the app was geared more towards the person who was running late, in that it gave that person reminders about the meeting and maybe even times of travel and alternate routes to avoid traffic; then I think this app would be more beneficial to everyone.

  8. I am one that finds this app to be a fantastic idea. Time is very precious to pretty much everyone and no one likes to have their time wasted, especially me. I was not too surprised that 20% of Americans are late to meetings because I have witnessed it first hand. When someone’s time is wasted, then that person will most likely become angry, and no one likes when people are angry. This app would benefit people who are very busy and could lower their levels of stress. With this app being available, I hope other people will come up with ideas like this to help make their time more beneficial and efficient.

  9. I run on the policy that if you are not 5 minutes early you are late. Unfortunately, it seems that most people that I am surrounded by do not abide by the same rule. I am usually left sitting at my destination wondering where the other person(s) are. I could see this app being extremely useful. Rather than waiting around twiddling my thumbs I could know how long I have to maybe get something else done in the meantime.

  10. This article is really interesting to me. The reason I find it so interesting is because it reminds me of those GPS apps that parents put on their children’s cellphones in order to track where they are at all times. To me, this could possibly be crossing the line of privacy with the employees, especially if this app is required of each. I do understand why it could be effective, but when do we draw the line with mobile devices and privacy? I believe in the old school way: be on time.

  11. I found this article extremely relatable. Living in such a busy city like Chicago sometimes makes it hard to arrive to work either. Despite the fact that I always leave early heading to work, the train sometimes gets delayed or traffic is heavier than usual. Those situations tend to make me late. It can be awkward and hard to reach my boss when I’m running late. Twist would provide that information to my boss without me having to do so. While I agree that everyone should strive to run on time – things tend to happen and it’s great that there’s an app for those types of situations.

  12. While virtual communication tends to make communication easier in many cases, it becomes problematic when it is used at the wrong times and in the wrong places.

    I worked for a company where there was very little face-to-face interaction. This was not a problem until important information was not communicated correctly. At the same time, I currently work for a company where I helped monitor a virtual job interview via webcam. While this may seem like a crazy idea, it actually worked!

    Obviously, avoiding face-to-face communication is not the best strategy in many cases. However, there are great ways that virtual communication can help a company’s business strategy. I do not think that this new application is a bad idea at all, but just because it is the latest new trend does not mean that it will work for every company.

  13. I am very intrigued by this application since I have yet to hear of it. Although I find the app interesting, I somewhat feel that it is a violation of employee privacy. I would think that within most businesses, employees are hired for a reason and that their employer would already have invested confidence in their abilities if they are holding them responsible to arrive at a meeting on time. Therefore, I believe that when an employee is outside the workplace, they should be able to make decisions on their own terms and not have their every move tracked.

    Overall, I believe that this application could very well affect the workplace negatively. While the app may be seen as an appealing new form of virtual communication to some, I think that it would ruin that face-to-face communication between employers and employees that allows them to work together efficiently. Lack of overall communication in the workplace could cause for a major downfall when they start to lose sight of their previously established working styles.

  14. The concept of this app seems very practical because it is essentially combining multiple apps that are usually already installed on most smartphones and combining them all together to try to be more helpful for people running late for meetings. However, since almost all smartphones have all these capabilities, I agree with some comments above that I do not see it being an app necessity and some people could just see it as another version of a calendar that you need to manage. While being late for a meeting is stressful and sometimes chaotic, in my experience I believe someone waiting on you would rather you have the courtesy to pick up the phone yourself for a more personal message as would I if I was in charge of the meeting. I feel the notifications are a way for workers to not be accountable for themselves when they are running late.

  15. I believe this app is a bit impractical in that it is taking an unnecessary step toward efficiency concerning meetings. If anything, I think the app would open a door to abuse by those people who are consistently late to a meeting (i.e. “Don’t worry, I can be late because of this app”). As well, it singles out individuals who are late, potentially hurting their reputations. Forget the app; I think just a little common sense and punctuality would do the trick instead.

  16. I agree with most of you on how this app is impractical. It is a very interesting and unique concept but I feel that the use of it in the real world wouldn’t work out. I feel that people should be able to communicate by themselves. I also feel that people wont feel comfortable knowing that there exact location is being given out to others.

  17. I think this concept makes sense, but I don’t think anyone would want to be tracked down by an app. It is common sense to come on time to a meeting or notify someone if one will be late. I don’t think this app will improve anyone’s attendance to a meeting.

  18. This is a very interesting application, but I don’t believe anyone would enjoy the fact that he or she’s every step will be tracked down. I feel that it is a person’s responsibility to be on time to important events, such as meetings. Although no one is perfect and there are days when people arrive late, it is not necessary to track them down. The person should just email, call, or text their coworkers and/or boss if they are running late and state an honest arrival time.

  19. Although the intentions behind the creation and use of this application are to help the corporate world in creating a more efficient system of holding meetings, I agree with most of the comments in that it is a little bit impractical and probably will not be approved by many employees. There is no need to point out each individual and their location when they are late to a certain meeting. Many people may not be comfortable being tracked down and have their exact location and reason for being late to the meeting shown to all of their coworkers.

  20. This is an interesting concept. It’s kind of crazy how innovative apps have become. At some point a couple years ago it almost seemed like almost every idea imaginable that could have been made into an app had already been done. In reading this article I couldn’t help but feel shocked that someone developed an app to deal with lateness to meetings. I think to some extent it is a very innovative idea and if it is able to help even a small minority of people then it can be considered a succesfull app. On the other hand I feel as if some of the new apps coming out are a little over done. It probably isn’t that necessary for people to have an app like this and lateness to meetings is a normal occurance in business. By trying to make every aspect of life so much easier I think that we may be becoming to dependent on technology and less equipped to handle every day tasks.

  21. This application is something I would highly encourage people to use it, if it is highly successful. Being part of an organization where there are meetings weekly, there are always people that arrive late. Tardiness, being one of my biggest pet peeves, is very unprofessional so if this application would work, I would require people to have it. This would certainly prevent the rest of the crew from waiting around until the late attendees arrived to a meeting. In the real world, most people don’t have time to wait around, for everyone’s schedules are becoming more and more packed.

  22. After reading about this application and its implementation in the business world, I truly wonder if it usability is a realistic possibility. Yes, I can see that the application can keep other member of the business up to date as to there location and wether or not they are going to be on time for a meeting. However, I almost view this application as an invasion of privacy tracking individuals when they might not want to be, as well as I find the application of it tracking your “usual” time scheduling imposing a legal issue. Furthermore, for the business user, from my perspective at least, if im running late, i wouldn’t want some cumbersome app to be notifying me constantly and hindering my ability to be getting to the meeting on time. Yes, Apps are useful in our modern society, but there is a place for them, but in this situation I believe a place doesn’t exist.

  23. This app tells me that we heavily rely on technology. If you have a job, you should be responsible to be on time for meetings. You should not have someone or something to do your job. It would be nice, but people are smart, they should be able to handle being punctual.

  24. Although it would be nice for people to be punctual, it simply does not happen. I can see where the need for an app like this would be useful. I can see the big brother aspect of it, but if this is what it takes to run meetings effectively, then so be it. I do not think the app should be used immediately; it should be considered as a last resort consequence for those who fail to be on time regardless of how many warnings he/she has received.

  25. This post / article is very interesting. This is the first time I am hearing about such an app and just downloaded to my Android device. The app has great feedback and it seems like people use it more for personal tardiness versus business tardiness. Personally, I think this app might not work well within my company where it has become the norm to start a meeting 5-10 minutes late or wait for people to join meetings. People usually state that they have back-to-back meetings and that it is difficult for them to be on-time to any meeting. From this aspect, I think it will not work well in my company but I can see myself using this app within my family/friends for personal tardiness.

  26. I agree with several of the posts as this being an essential function to monitor the precious commodity of time. I frequently have to travel to locations 15-20 miles away from my main office and traffic and/or railroad crossings along different routes can impact my arrival to meetings. While I have apps on my android that can estimate the travel time between these locations at any given time of the day, I do not condone texting while driving to communicate to my coworkers that I may run late. This would be especially effective if the person that is running late can designate per meeting on whether they are critical to the discussion at hand at the meeting or if simply they are an ancillary member of the team of which the meeting can continue without tem being present.

  27. This application seems to be a good advancement in techonology for the workplace. I do think this app needs a lot more to offer before it will become used by a large number of professionals. I don’t think the simple notification of tardiness will be a reason for a CEO to invest time in the application because you would need a million different apps for all functions of the company. I do agree with the other statements that you don’t want to encourage texting and driving, so I think the app needs to be ajusted, maybe just an alarm would be safer for people in the car.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *