10 Formal Ways to Say “What Time Works Best For You?”

Finding the right way to ask someone about their availability for a meeting can be tricky, especially in professional settings. You want to be respectful and considerate of their time, without sounding too casual or demanding.

This article explores 10 formal alternatives to the commonly used phrase “What time works best for you?” Each alternative is designed to make your communications more effective and thoughtful, ensuring you maintain a professional tone while accommodating everyone involved.

Is It Formal to Say “What Time Works Best For You?”

Asking “What time works best for you?” is a common way to inquire about another person’s availability. This phrase is considered professional, formal, and polite. It shows respect for the other person’s time and schedule. It is often used in professional settings, such as in the workplace, during formal meetings, or when arranging appointments with clients.

This phrase is particularly useful when you want to arrange a meeting or call and are flexible about the timing. It puts the power in the hands of the person you’re asking, allowing them to choose a time that is most convenient for them.

Here is a short example of how this phrase can be used in an email:

Dear Alex,

I hope this message finds you well. I would like to discuss our upcoming project in more detail. Could you let me know what time works best for you this week for a brief meeting?

Thank you,
Maria

There are advantages and disadvantages to using this phrase. Let’s take a look at some of them.

Pros:

  • Shows consideration for the other person’s schedule
  • Demonstrates flexibility
  • Keeps the tone professional and polite

Cons:

  • Might result in a long back-and-forth if the other person’s schedule is tight
  • Could be seen as overly deferential in situations where a more assertive approach is needed

While “What time works best for you?” is a useful phrase, there may be times when someone might want to use an alternative. This could be due to the need for a more assertive tone, to suggest a specific time without appearing too rigid, or simply to add variety to one’s language. Alternatives can also provide a more direct approach if you have a tight schedule yourself. In these cases, finding a synonym or another phrase that communicates your need while maintaining politeness is key. Using alternatives ensures your communication remains fresh and adapted to the specific context of your interaction.

10 Other Ways to Say “What Time Works Best For You?”

Exploring different ways of asking for someone’s availability can make your communication more versatile. Here’s a look at 10 formal alternatives to the well-known phrase.

  1. What is your availability?
  2. May I know your preferred time for a meeting?
  3. When would you be available to meet?
  4. Could you inform me of your convenience for a discussion?
  5. What time suits you for a meeting?
  6. Are there any preferred times for you this week?
  7. When is a convenient time for you to meet?
  8. Could we arrange a meeting at a time that is convenient for you?
  9. Would you be so kind as to suggest a suitable time for our meeting?
  10. What schedule works best for you for a discussion?

1. What is your availability?

This alternative is quite straightforward and a direct synonym to the original phrase, making it highly professional and polite. It directly asks the recipient to indicate their free times without implying a preference, putting the decision entirely in their hands.

This phrase is better suited for contexts where you want to provide the recipient with a broader scope to choose their availability. It’s particularly useful in email communications where an immediate response is not expected.

Here’s a sample use in an email:

Dear Mrs. Thompson,

I hope you're doing well. I would like to schedule a time next week for our quarterly review. What is your availability?

Best regards,
Gregory

2. May I know your preferred time for a meeting?

This alternative is more formal and slightly more personal, as it explicitly asks for the recipient’s preference. It’s a polite way of scheduling meetings, emphasizing respect for the recipient’s needs and schedules.

It is particularly effective when you’re dealing with clients or colleagues you want to impress or show extra respect to. It suggests that you’re willing to adjust your schedule to fit theirs, which can be appreciated in many professional settings.

Sample message for this phrase:

Dear Professor Jenkins,

I hope all is well with you. For our upcoming project discussion, may I know your preferred time for a meeting?

Kind regards,
Samantha

3. When would you be available to meet?

This version is slightly more informal than the original phrase but still very polite and professional. It asks directly about the recipient’s availability, implying flexibility on the sender’s part.

This alternative is ideal for when you have a general idea of when you’d like to meet but are willing to adjust according to the other person’s schedule. It’s great for creating a friendly, accommodating atmosphere in your professional interactions.

Here’s how you might use it in an email:

Dear Mr. Wallace,

I trust you're well. Regarding our next project update, when would you be available to meet?

Sincerely,
Olivia

4. Could you inform me of your convenience for a discussion?

This phrase is formal and sets a respectful tone. It inquires about the recipient’s convenience, showing consideration for their time and commitments. It’s an effective synonym for the original, emphasizing thoughtfulness and courtesy.

It’s better suited for more formal communications where you wish to express deference or in situations where you are not familiar with the other person’s schedule. It gives the person ample freedom to choose a time that truly works for them without any pressure.

Email example:

Dear Dr. Patel,

I hope this message finds you well. As we need to cover the new project guidelines, could you inform me of your convenience for a discussion?

Warm regards,
Elena

5. What time suits you for a meeting?

This is a polite and professional way to ask about someone’s availability, similar to the original phrase but with a slight emphasis on the meeting context. This phrase subtly suggests that the meeting is of mutual interest and importance.

This alternative is particularly useful when you’re trying to schedule a meeting that requires attendance from all invited parties. It shows respect for the other person’s time while highlighting the importance of finding a mutually suitable time.

A sample email might look like this:

Dear Carlos,

I hope you are well. To further discuss the upcoming marketing campaign, what time suits you for a meeting?

Best,
Claire

6. Are there any preferred times for you this week?

This alternative to “What time works best for you?” is a bit more open-ended and suggests flexibility on the speaker’s part. It subtly shifts the focus to the recipient’s preferences, potentially making it feel more polite and considerate. This phrasing is particularly useful when the speaker wishes to convey respect for the recipient’s schedule and priorities.

When aiming for a tone that is both professional and accommodating, this phrase is especially fitting. It is ideal for situations where you want to emphasize your willingness to adjust to the other person’s schedule. This makes it a great choice for communicating with individuals who have busy or unpredictable schedules.

Here is a sample email using this phrase:

Dear Ms. Thompson,

I hope this message finds you well. I would like to discuss the upcoming project and how we can best align our efforts for success. Are there any preferred times for you this week to have this conversation?

Looking forward to your response.

Best regards,
Michael Anderson

7. When is a convenient time for you to meet?

This alternative is very direct and straightforward, making it a good synonym for the original question. It places emphasis on the recipient’s convenience, which can make it seem more polite and considerate. This question is particularly effective in formal or semi-formal settings where mutual respect is paramount.

This phrase is better suited for instances where clear communication is essential, and you want to make sure the meeting time genuinely works for the other party. It’s a respectful way to schedule a meeting, emphasizing the importance of the recipient’s schedule. Ideal for both professional and semi-formal contexts, this question helps maintain a smooth and respectful dialogue.

Below is an example message utilizing this phrase:

Dear Mr. Larson,

I hope you're doing well. As we're moving forward with the project, I believe a meeting to discuss our next steps would be beneficial. When is a convenient time for you to meet?

Thank you for your time.

Warm regards,
Sophia Patel

8. Could we arrange a meeting at a time that is convenient for you?

This phrase is a more formal and polite alternative, highlighting the speaker’s desire to accommodate the recipient’s schedule. It not only asks for the recipient’s availability but also shows a willingness to prioritize it. This makes the question feel more respectful and thoughtful.

When you need to convey a high level of professionalism and respect, especially in written communications with senior colleagues or external partners, this phrase is particularly effective. It’s best used when the meeting’s topic is significant or requires careful planning, underscoring the importance of the recipient’s convenience and participation.

Here’s a sample email featuring this phrase:

Dear Professor Grant,

I hope you are well. In light of your recent research publication, I would very much like to discuss its implications and potential collaborations. Could we arrange a meeting at a time that is convenient for you?

I look forward to hearing from you.

Best,
Emily Rogers

9. Would you be so kind as to suggest a suitable time for our meeting?

This alternative is notably more formal and polite, incorporating a level of deference that conveys great respect for the recipient’s time and schedule. By requesting the recipient to suggest a time, it implicitly recognizes their authority or seniority, making it an excellent choice for communicating with higher-ups or new clients.

This phrasing is particularly well-suited for formal emails where establishing a respectful and courteous tone is crucial. It’s most appropriate when the sender wishes to show deference or when reaching out to someone significantly higher in position. This approach ensures the message is received as respectful and considerate.

We recommend this example for formal requests:

Dear Dr. Evans,

I hope this email finds you in good health. Given your expertise, I am eager to discuss potential collaboration opportunities. Would you be so kind as to suggest a suitable time for our meeting?

Kind regards,
Jordan Lee

10. What schedule works best for you for a discussion?

This question is a straightforward and flexible alternative, suitable for both formal and informal settings. It directly addresses the recipient’s availability without implying any specific time frame, making it a versatile option for various contexts. This phrasing is beneficial when the speaker wants to be respectful of the recipient’s time while still maintaining a level of informality.

It is particularly effective in situations where the discussion might not have a strict agenda, or when you’re trying to schedule a casual meeting or check-in. This alternative is great for fostering an atmosphere of openness and flexibility, encouraging the recipient to share when they feel most comfortable having a discussion.

Here’s a sample message incorporating this alternative:

Dear Alex,

I hope all is well with you. I've been thinking about some strategies we could implement for the next quarter and would love to get your input. What schedule works best for you for a discussion?

Best wishes,
Taylor Morgan

Final Thoughts

Choosing the right words when asking for someone’s availability can greatly impact the tone and effectiveness of your professional interactions. The 10 formal alternatives provided in this article offer a range of options to suit different contexts and preferences. By carefully selecting which phrase to use, you can show respect for the other person’s time while also making sure your needs are met.

Remember, the key is to communicate clearly and politely, ensuring mutual convenience and avoiding misunderstandings. Whether you’re scheduling a meeting with a client, colleague, or superior, these alternatives can help you find a time that works best for everyone involved.

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