I believe I have a word on the tip of my tongue. The closest word I can think of is sacrifice, but does not fit into the context. A situation I am trying to describe is when I allocate five minutes at the start of a one hour meeting purely as waiting for people to show up, take coats off, and the usual mess about that happens at the start. The five minutes is important, but its purpose is to be lost for the greater good of having full attention at the start of the meeting. What would I call this time period?
"Margin might be close enough.
Out of the whole hour I allocate a five minute margin for getting ready to start.
- (OALD, 4) [usually singular] an extra amount of something such as time, space, money, etc. that you include in order to make sure that something is successful