Shift your calendar for anchor-day meetings
UCOP’s primary reason for adopting anchor days was to facilitate meaningful and productive in-person interactions. To make the most of our time together, take these three simple steps to shift your calendar:
- Plan to meet together on anchor days. Whenever possible, schedule (or reschedule) meetings with colleagues at your location to take place on anchor days, in person. For help reserving conference rooms, check out the article in today’s Link.
- Add a Zoom component for out-of-office colleagues. If your meeting is relevant to colleagues who work remotely or at other UCOP locations, or to accommodate colleagues who must unexpectedly work from home, add a Zoom component so they can join virtually.
- Adopt UCOP’s common scheduling practices. Allowing breathing time between meetings is important to our well-being and productivity. See below for more details and how to set this as a default setting in your Outlook calendar (see “Update your Outlook calendar”).
While these changes may seem small, their combined effect will make a significant impact on our wellness and effectiveness.
UCOP meeting practices
Last May, UCOP leadership asked us to adopt common meeting scheduling practices. These shortened meeting times provide flexibility for us to transition between meetings, take a lunch break, and handle start- and end-of-day work activities. Now that more of us are returning to in-office work, these practices are particularly important.
Please follow these guidelines:
- 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 minutes, 90 minutes, etc.), the general rule is to shorten the meeting slightly as follows:
– If longer than one hour, start at 10 minutes after the hour or half hour
– If shorter than one hour, start at 5 minutes after the hour or half hour
- Allow an uninterrupted one-hour lunch break by leaving 12 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 workday
- 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.
Time-sensitive or emergent matters and meetings with external partners may require us to occasionally break from these meeting scheduling practices, but that should be the exception. For these practices to be successful, we should all follow them whenever possible. For additional information and examples of best practice meeting times, read the details from the UCOP Meeting Scheduling Practices fact sheet.
Update your Outlook calendar
Adjust the default settings in your Outlook calendar to make following our meeting guidelines more convenient.
- Select File > Options (Mac users: Select Outlook > Preferences)
- Select Calendar
- Scroll down to Calendar Options
- Select Shorten appointments and meetings and in the drop down, select Start late
- Click OK to save your selected options
As a reminder, there are many resources available to support you, both at home and in the office, should you need assistance.
If you have questions about your schedule, talk with your manager or supervisor. For questions about the Future of Work Phase 2 program, email UCOP-Futureofwork@ucop.edu.
Tags: meeting practices, meeting schedules