Q: How to leave a meeting before the end if it runs over work hours?
A: There are several considerations here:
- If you know in advance the meeting is due to run over work hours, you might want to ask your boss whether you can leave before the end. Then either you or your boss should ask the chair if you can depart before the meeting ends.
- If the meeting was due to finish within work hours but overruns, you can ask the chair if you can leave on time – you may need to explain your reasons (e.g. catching a bus, sharing a lift), as this may also be true of other people in the meeting. It is up to the chair to decide whether to continue with some participants leaving, or to stop the meeting on time and arrange another meeting to cover the rest of the agenda.
- If you need to make a contribution and that point in the meeting hasn’t arrived before you need to leave, you should raise this with the chair to see if the agenda can be reordered so you can make your input before you leave.
- In general, it boils down to good communication with the chair (and your boss, if relevant). And it’s best not to leave those discussions until just before you need to leave – try to have the conversations before the meeting starts, or as soon as it is clear the meeting is running over.