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Plan the Unplanned and 30 at 30

By now many people have been in lots and lots and lots of virtual meetings. It’s both great that technology has allowed many to continue their work without much interruption. It’s provided a new perspective on how we do our work and, in particular, where we do it from. It’s impacted how we schedule because there’s no need to physcially move from one meeting room to another – it’s just a click away!

I attended an online mediation training last fall and we had a visit from Harry Moseley, Zoom CIO, and he shared some ideas and a look at zooms latest update. First, he challenged the notion of “zoom” fatigue and; instead, suggested that we are getting tired because we are planning back, to back, to back meetings. He explained that while in pre-covid times one might indeed have multiple meetings in a row yet there was also a “natural” break between them. One had to move to a different location.

Additionally, there were unplanned “breaks” that happened in the physcial workplace. You ran into Sally and decided to have lunch or get a cup of coffee. You visited the break room and ran into Jai and caught up on family news. The list goes on. With this in mind Moseley suggested – plan the unplanned. Schedule breaks. Schedule shorter meetings – say 45 minutes instead of an hour.

Moseley also showed off the new zoom system that could support up to 49 tiles, that allowed you to move tiles, and his favorite, you could use your powerpoint slides as your virtual background that would change with each slide.

Connected to this idea of a break is the 30 at 30 idea. I serve on the International Ombuds Association Board of Directors and one of my colleagues directs the Chevron ombuds program. She shared that Chevron has a worldwide wellness program that includes, among many other items, what I’ve called the 30 at 30. Every 30 minutes you stand up for 30 seconds. (at Chevron facilities there is actually a chime to reminde you!) You keep working yet you stand. It’s good for your health and it also changes your visual field for a moment. I’m using a Time Out app on my desktop set for a micro break every 30 minutes for 30 seconds. It works!!

Give these two ideas a try – plan the unplanned and 30 at 30.