Meetings guidance

Availability & Meetings Guidance

Calendar & Availability

calendarIf you work a specific work patten that is different to the default office hours, you can set working hours in MS Outlook so that your availability matches your work pattern.  This will ensure you are not invited to meetings when you are not in work.

Set work from home days / periods.  If you have certain days or times when you will be working from home, then you can setup recurring appointments at these times, and mark these times as "working elsewhere".  This will let colleagues know that you cannot attend on campus meetings at these times.

To avoid confusion, block out any annual leave you take, and also any ad-hoc times where you know you will be unavailable by booking appointments in your calendar.  This could include booking time where you know you will need to be working on something.

Consider sharing your calendar with colleagues you work closely with.  Anyone will be able to see your free/busy schedule, but knowing when you have a meeting about a specific topic might help colleagues to be more mindful of when a meeting might be more appropriate. You can still set any appointments that you do not wish to share as private.


Be Mindful Of Others

Arrange meetings allowing for natural breaks where possible.  mindful

Consider 50 minute or 25 minute meetings rather than 30 / 60 minute meetings if appropriate, to allow for natural breaks.

Use the schedule view when you are setting up meetings to ensure people are available. 





As meetings start to take place on campus, there will still be many colleagues working away from campus.  Arranging all meetings as MS Teams meetings where possible, and ensuring there will be a device in the chosen meeting location for remote participants to join will allow more inclusive meetings. 

Taking a laptop, or even an iPad to a meeting room will allow a remote participant to join.


Setting Up Your Audio, Video & Environment

audio and videoUse a headset with mic if possible. This provides the optimal audio experience for both you and other meeting attendees. If a headset isn't available, use your device's built-in audio/mic, or you can use a mobile device.

Avoid sitting with your back to a window or bright light source. This causes a silhouette appearance where others cannot see you or determine your identity.

Think about the background. Whatever is in the room behind you might not be appropriate for a meeting or could be distracting to others. Cameras pointed up at ceiling fans are also a visual distraction for some attendees. Consider using the blur my background feature in MS Teams.

Close doors to avoid unexpected visitors. Many of us are working in a home environment where others may pass by or inadvertently interrupt.


Joining A Meeting

Join a few minutes early if possible. This allows you to make sure everything is working and gives time to make any adjustments. Mute other devices and join meetingapps. Make sure to mute your mobile phone and close any other apps on your computer/laptop that might send distracting notifications.

Mute your microphone by default, and consider turning your camera off, depending on the nature of the meeting, until you wish to speak.  This will reduce interruption and background noise.

Have a moderator or convener for large meetings. This person can help bring forward any chat questions and provide meeting guidelines and reminders.


Attending & Participating In A Meeting

meetingKeep your Mic muted unless you need to speak, or if you are leading the meeting.

If your audio becomes distracting, anyone in the meeting can mute any attendee. You will need to unmute yourself to begin speaking when needed.

Avoid talking over others. Unlike an in-person meeting, its sometimes difficult to distinguish between multiple conversations leading to confusion.

Speak in a concise and clear manner and tone so that everyone can hear what you are saying.

Pause - Remember to pause occasionally to assure attendees have time to ask questions

Camera use. Using (or not using) your camera is up to you. A limited number of windows will show for attendees of the meeting. These automatically show/hide based on participation. Be sure to pause/turn off your camera if may be distracting to others. Don't walk around with your camera on (mobile device) – It is also distracting.

Use chat window. Consider, especially for large meetings, asking your questions in the chat window. Tag individuals in chat. Tag other attendees (using @name format) in the chat window when your comment is directed towards a specific attendee to distinguish between a general comment.

Meeting recording. All attendees can start a meeting recording. If recording a meeting is appropriate, announce that you will do so and confirm there is agreement. Meeting recordings become available shortly after the conclusion of the meeting.