It’s important to check someone’s schedule and free time before setting anything up. That’s where questions like “when is a good time” come in.
However, is “when is a good time” truly a professional question? You might be wondering whether it’s worth including in an email.
Well, you’ve come to the right place. This article will explore some alternatives to show you how to ask if it is a good time to talk.
Is It Professional to Say “When Is a Good Time”?
It is professional to say “when is a good time.” It’s an effective question because it shows you’d like to take someone else’s schedule into account.
The best way to make plans in the workplace is to ask for availability first. This question allows you to do just that, ensuring that every party is ready for a meeting before you plan it.
This example will help you if you’re still unsure how it works:
When is a good time to talk about this? I’m keen to find out more from you.
- It’s a useful way to find out when someone’s free.
- It’s friendly and respectful.
- It’s a bit unconfident.
- It doesn’t allow you to suggest a time yourself.
“When is a good time” is a great question to include in your formal writing. We also recommend having a few alternatives ready to help mix things up, though.
So, keep reading to find out how to ask for a good time to call or talk to someone.
You can also review the examples we provide to see how they work in context.
What to Say Instead of “When Is a Good Time”
- What time works for you?
- When would you like to do this?
- When are you available?
- Can you tell me when you’re free?
- Please let me know when is a good time
- I’d like to know what times work for you
- Which time works best?
- When should we arrange this?
- When can we make this work?
- Please let me know what works best
1. What Time Works for You?
It makes sense that the best way to be polite is to ask a respectful question. You should include “what time works for you?” in an email to show an interest in someone’s schedule.
It allows the recipient to decide what time they’d like to meet.
For instance, you can use it when asking a client when they’re free. It’s very effective if you’re interested in speaking with them some more but need to get them in person.
You should also review this email sample to find out more:
Dear Mr. Hurley,
What time works for you to talk about this? I’d like to meet with you as soon as possible to discuss these problems.
2. When Would You Like to Do This?
To give the recipient the freedom to choose, you can ask “when would you like to do this?”
You may list a couple of times originally, but it’s up to the recipient to decide on the best one for them.
This is a respectful question that shows you value someone’s time.
It works well when asking your boss for a meeting. After all, you should always try to respect your boss and their busy schedule.
Check out this example to see how it works:
Dear Miss Honest,
When would you like to do this? I need to call you to discuss the changes, so I’d like to know when you’re free.
3. When Are You Available?
You may not know much about someone else’s schedule. If you don’t work with them, it’s unlikely you have it written down.
Therefore, you can ask “when are you available?” It’s a direct and open question that shows you’re looking for availability.
It gives the recipient a chance to explain their schedule to you. They can also choose a meeting time that suits them rather than relying on you to sort it out.
The following example will also help you with it:
Dear Mr. Riley,
When are you available to meet with me? Have you got any plans on Friday or can I set it up for then?
All the best,
4. Can You Tell Me When You’re Free?
For a more direct question, ask “can you tell me when you’re free?” It’s very effective as a more formal and polite question.
We recommend using it when asking coworkers to meet with you. It shows you’d like an insight into their schedule to determine which times work best for them.
Don’t forget to review this example before moving on:
Can you tell me when you’re free, please? I’d like to meet with you to discuss what happens next.
5. Please Let Me Know When Is a Good Time
Starting any question with “please let me know” is a great way to sound polite.
It’s also a very common choice in a formal email to help you sound as respectful as possible.
“When is a good time” already works well as a question. So, you don’t need to change much about it.
Do you see where we’re going with this?
You can fuse “please let me know” and “when is a good time” to create a formal and respectful alternative. “Please let me know when is a good time” works well when asking your boss for their time.
Here’s a great email example to help you understand it:
Dear Mrs. Fraser,
Please let me know when is a good time for you. We’re trying to get everyone together to discuss our next steps.
6. I’d Like to Know What Times Work for You
So far, we’ve only touched on questions. However, that doesn’t mean questions are the only ways to sound polite in an email.
You can start an email with “I’d like to know what times work for you.”
It’s a polite and formal way to ask for someone’s schedule.
Generally, this allows a recipient to decide when to meet or call you. We recommend using it if you’re free but unsure whether the recipient is.
We also recommend reviewing this sample email:
I’d like to know what times work for you to call about this incident. It’s important we’re on the same page.
7. Which Time Works Best?
There’s a subtle difference between asking “when” and “which” regarding times.
“When works best?” (or “when is a good time?”) works when you haven’t suggested any times. This is a good formal option that allows the recipient to decide.
“Which time works best?” shows you have already picked a selection of times. The recipient can then choose the most suitable time based on your list.
It’s a good way to give the recipient a choice without giving them complete freedom. This ensures you’ll be free and works well if you also have a busy schedule.
If you’re still unsure, you can check out this example:
Which time works best for you? I’m keen to meet, as I think we have to discuss a few things before the takeover.
8. When Should We Arrange This?
You can use “when should we arrange this?” before setting up plans in formal settings. It’s a great way to show respect to a recipient before finalizing a call.
Try it when emailing coworkers about a conference call. It shows you’re looking to find the best time to sort the call out so every relevant party is free.
Here’s a great sample email to help you understand it better:
When should we arrange this? I think this call is very important, so we need to find a time when we can get through it uninterrupted.
9. When Can We Make This Work?
It’s worth asking “when can we make this work?” to give the recipient the freedom to choose.
We recommend using this when discussing plans with colleagues. It shows you trust them to choose a suitable time that works for both of your schedules.
Of course, this only works if you already have quite a clear schedule. You shouldn’t use something this open-ended if you know you’re going to be quite busy.
You can also refer to this email sample:
When can we make this work? It’s important for us to talk about the next steps before we report back to our peers.
10. Please Let Me Know What Works Best
You can use “please let me know what works best” as another way to say “when is a good time.” We recommend including it as a more formal alternative.
It allows the recipient to decide when they’d like to do something. This is a polite and respectful choice that puts the decision on someone else.
So, if you’re not willing to make any final decisions, this is a great way to go about it.
Here is an email sample to show you how it works:
Dear Ms. Jensen,
Please let me know what works best for you. I’m keen to find out what your thoughts are on this matter.