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New meeting scheduling practices: Breaks to support employee well-being

In our new hybrid environment — and with many Oakland colleagues navigating an updated campus — we all need time between in-person or Zoom meetings to travel from one meeting room to another, take a breather, stretch our legs, grab a drink or snack, refresh our mind, prepare ourselves and set up technology for our next meeting.

To better support everyone’s wellbeing and productivity, UCOP leadership has announced a set of common practices that shorten meeting times and allow us to transition between meetings, have time for lunch, and handle start- and end-of-day work activities.

New meeting practices

All UCOP staff and contractors are asked to adopt the following practices:

  • Shorten meetings and start them at consistent times to allow for breaks and transition time
    * Schedule 1-hour meetings for 50 minutes – Starting at 10 minutes after the hour or half hour
    * Schedule 30-minute meetings for 25 minutes – Starting at 5 minutes after the hour or half hour
    * For meetings of all other lengths (e.g., 45 min, 90 min, etc.), the general rule is to shorten the meeting slightly as follows:
    —  If longer than one hour, start at 10 min after the hour or half hour
    —  If shorter than one hour, start at 5 min after the hour or half hour
  • Allow an uninterrupted one-hour lunch break by leaving noon to 1 p.m. free
  • Avoid scheduling meetings before 9 a.m. or after 4 p.m. to allow staff to handle start- and end-of-day activities before jumping into meetings or finishing the normal work day (UCOP regular business hours remain 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.)
  • Be mindful of time zones for meetings that include colleagues in our Washington, D.C. office
  • Practice good meeting etiquette, such as having an agenda and sending it ahead of time, making sure desired outcomes are clear and following up with action items. For more best practices, check out the LinkedIn Learning Effective Meetings collection or visit the UC Learning Center for information on the following live courses: Inclusive Hybrid and Virtual Meetings, Collaborative Tools for Virtual Meetings and Making Connections in a Hybrid World.

Examples of best-practice meeting times



One-hour meeting Schedule for 50 minutes

Start at 10 minutes after the hour or half-hour

10:10 – 11:00 a.m.

10:40 – 11:30 a.m.

30-minute meeting Schedule for 25 minutes

Start at 5 minutes after the hour or half-hour

10:05 – 10:30 a.m.

10:35 – 11:00 a.m.

Other meeting lengths under an hour (e.g., 45 minutes) Schedule for 5 minutes less than the original meeting time

Start at 5 minutes after the hour or half-hour

10:05 – 10:45 a.m.
10:35 – 11:15 a.m.
Other meeting lengths over an hour (e.g., 90 minutes)
Schedule for 10 minutes less than the original meeting time; start 10 minutes after the hour or half-hour 10:10 – 11:30 a.m. for a 90-minute meeting


Leave 12 – 1 p.m. free Post-lunch meetings should begin no earlier than 1:05 p.m.
Start/End of day meetings


Avoid scheduling meetings at the beginning or end of the day to allow staff to handle start- and end of day activities. — Morning meetings may start at 9:05 a.m.
— Afternoon meetings should end by 4:00 p.m.
Meetings with Washington, D.C. colleagues
Use the guidelines above, taking care not to schedule meetings after 4 p.m. ET (1 p.m. PT). N/A

Please make every effort to adopt this new approach when scheduling new meetings, and adjust standing or existing meetings as quickly as possible. For these practices to be successful, we must all follow them whenever possible. Time-sensitive or emergent matters may require us to occasionally break from these meeting scheduling practices, but that should be the exception.

While these changes may seem small, their combined effect will make a significant impact on our and our colleagues’ wellness and effectiveness.

For questions about the new meeting scheduling practices, please talk to your manager.


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Comments ( 2 )

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  1. Tony May 5, 2022 Reply

    I am well aware of employee well-being as I was on disability last year. That being said, I think this should be a suggested practice and not micromanaged into each units processes. Let each unit or department decide how to move forward.

    • Link editor May 9, 2022 Reply

      Hi Tony — thank you for sharing your feedback. We will pass it along to the appropriate department.

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