You may wonder if it is rude to call someone early in the morning. That may work well for you, but what about them?
According to our survey, calling friends from 9 am onwards seemed to be the most acceptable during the week. On Sundays, the best times to call friends are from 10 am onwards. To call strangers, the survey indicates that you should wait an hour longer in each case.
Being respectful of the person you reach out to matters. They may be mad or annoyed if you woke them up.
Some people work at night so they may just be going to sleep when you call them. Be mindful of time differences too based on the location between you and the other party.
When you know people well and their routine, it can help you decide if it is a good idea to call them early in the morning or not. Of course, if you have to change plans with them you need to reach them as soon as you can.
If there is an emergency, they will forgive you for calling at an early hour. Their personal preferences as well as the relationship you have with them can influence how you handle it.
If you aren’t sure, it is a good idea to text or email them first. Ask them to call you when they can because you didn’t want to bother them early. If you are sure, they will check those resources, a phone call may not be necessary. It isn’t recommended to text or email when there is an emergency though. That should always be handled by phone or in person.
We asked 105 people about early calls
To find out what people think about calling someone early in the morning, we asked 105 people in the United States. The survey panel was mainly made up of people in their twenties and thirties, with a strong emphasis on the 25-35 age group.
Our survey revealed that calling someone during the week before 8 am is frowned upon.
Approximately 72% of people feel it is fine to call someone you know between 7 am and 10 am. About 60% of individuals felt the same way about calling a stranger during those morning hours.
During the week, calling someone between 9 am and 10 am seemed to be the most appropriate.
Is it rude to call someone on a Sunday?
Most people who took part in our survey don’t see a problem with calling someone on the weekend, especially Sunday after 9 am.
The best times to call someone on a Sunday morning are between 9 am and 11 am. About 10% felt it was fine to call someone starting at 8 am on a Sunday.
Evaluate your relationship with the person you wish to call. If they aren’t happy with you calling early, it can be hard to get your desired outcome.
For professional matters, you may also consider emailing on weekends.
Just about everyone agrees calling someone early in the morning when there is an emergency isn’t rude. Sometimes, it is just to share information with that party. In other scenarios, it is to ask for help.
For example, you may need someone to watch a sick child so you can get to a work meeting on time. You may need the other party to get to the hospital due to a loved one being in an accident.
Any time you call about an emergency, try to give them the positive side first. If everyone is fine, that should be conveyed before you share details of what happened.
Stick to facts and only the details they need. Don’t overwhelm them with an early morning call and an overload of information. Start your call with the most important information.
What to Say:
“Hi, everyone is fine but the Smiths experienced a house fire this morning. Jill won’t be at work today and maybe for the rest of the week. Do you think you can fill in for some of her important client meetings so they don’t have to be rescheduled?”
“Chris was in a car accident this morning. He is doing well but does have some injuries. We need you to come to the hospital. Do you feel okay driving or would you like me to pick you up and take you there?”
“My car broke down on my way to work. I am safely off the road and have my hazard lights on. I can call a tow truck but can you come to pick me up?”
“I didn’t feel well last night so I came to the emergency room. They are taking care of me but I will need surgery this morning. Can you watch my kids so my husband can be here with me? I can have him drop them off after they wake up.”
“Sorry to call so early but I have a water leak in my basement. I called the plumber and they will come as soon as they can. Is there any way you can bring your shop vac and help me with the clean-up? The sooner we get it started the less damage our home will have from the water.”
“Good morning, did you get any missed calls from strange phone numbers? I keep receiving calls from unknown phone numbers, have you been having the same issue?”
There are times an early morning phone call can mean something spectacular.
Calling someone to share details or your excitement can be warranted. As long as you know them it shouldn’t be a problem.
They will be happy you thought to reach out to them about the exciting news!
What to Say:
“I wanted you to be one of the first to know that our baby girl arrived this morning. We are doing fine and I can’t wait for you to meet her!”
“I woke up to an email that the business deal we were all working so hard on has been approved! It is time to celebrate!”
“I just opened my mail that was on the counter and I got into the college I want and a full scholarship!”
“I got a job offer this morning too good to pass up. I am going to start next week.”
“We got two offers on the house, now I don’t have to worry about it selling so we can move.”
“Hey, sorry for the missed call earlier, I was in a meeting. But I have some exciting news to share, I just got a call from the same number and they offered me the job I applied for!”
Change of Plans
When you have plans with someone, you may have to change them.
Don’t wait until the last minute. They already cleared their schedule to be with you.
Don’t leave them waiting; give them the chance to do something else with that time.
What to Say:
“I don’t feel well today so I think it is best to change our meeting. I didn’t want you to commute to the city for my secretary to tell you I wasn’t in. I will reach out to you once I feel better so we can get it rescheduled.”
“I can’t go to church with you this morning; something came up with my family that I can’t put on the back burner. I will try to go with you next week!”
“Sorry, I just got called into work and I can’t say no. I won’t be able to keep our plans for today.”
“I looked at the calendar wrong and now I don’t have a sitter to go shopping with you. Can we go next Saturday instead?”
“I can’t make it today, and I wanted to let you know before you got all dressed up for our lunch plans.”
Different Time Zones
When you live in different time zones, it can be harder to connect with people. This includes those you know personally and business associates.
Talk to them about the difference in time to see what works.
The afternoon for you may be an early morning for them, be respectful of that.
What to Say:
“Comparing our time zones, if I call you after lunch, it will be about 9 am your time. Is that too early to reach out?”
“You are important to me but with our time difference I can only call to talk when it is morning for you. How do you feel about that?”
“It is quite a stretch between our times, night for me and morning for you. Is it difficult if I call you then or do you have another option?”
You know them and their Routine
When you know someone well and their routine, it isn’t rude to call them early in the morning. As long as both of you are on board with it, this can be a great time to talk.
It may be before the kids get up and there are interruptions. It can be time to chat while you drink your coffee.
What to Say:
“I know you get up early, is it ok to call just to talk in the morning? I love your positive energy so early in the day!”
“My evenings are chaos but we can connect in the morning. How does that fit your schedule?”
“Are you a morning person? I feel more creative and energetic then. Do you mind if I reach out weekly so we can work on strategies in the morning?”
“Since we both get up early would that be the best time to call you?”
“Do you sleep in a bit on the weekends or can I call you early like I do during the week?”
When in Doubt Text or Email First
Don’t ruin business relationships or friendships because you call people too early in the morning. Don’t cause tension with family members because they aren’t out of bed when the sun comes up like you are!
When in doubt, text or email first. Then no one can say you are rude by calling them too early in the morning!
What to Say:
“I have some exciting news and I can’t wait to tell you! Not sure if you are up so when you get this call me!”
“Is it too early to call you? Wanted to check first.”
“Since our time zones are so different, I wanted to see if you mind early morning calls? If so, we can continue to email back and forth so that it is more convenient for both of us.”
“Are you awake?”
“How does your morning look? Do you have time for a call?”
Matt Vargas is an author and public speaking coach with a degree in sociology and more than ten years of practical experience. Matt is responsible for the empirical surveys at everyday-courtesy.com, is a passionate recreational musician, and blogs here about his experiences in the field of interpersonal communication.