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Virtual meetings

Updated: 13 July 2020

An interim framework for King's

King’s Virtual Meetings Framework was first introduced in April 2020. It was developed in response to feedback from colleagues across King’s who reported a marked increase in the number of internal meetings after we moved to remote working in March 2020.

The framework aims to create some consistency on the timing of meetings across the university, so everyone can benefit from some structure to our working days that always includes a one-hour meeting-free break for lunch.

By moving formal committee and other large meetings to mornings, afternoons can be dedicated to completing education, research and administrative work.

From July 2020, we also aim to keep Fridays as free of formal meetings as possible or practical, again so that colleagues can set aside more time to focus on completing work. 

These guidelines – endorsed by King’s Senior Management Team – provide an overarching framework that aims to minimise the potential negative impact of excessive meetings on wellbeing and productivity. However, local flexibility and discretion need to be applied to accommodate staff members, including parents and carers, with non-standard working patterns. For example, staff who work part-time or compressed hours should be encouraged and supported to set up a ‘meeting-free’ day which suits their work pattern.

The Virtual Meetings Framework

The following schedule for meetings is suggested for implementation wherever possible across King’s.

While all teams should aim to have meeting-free and limited meeting periods, the schedule may need to be adapted to accommodate non-standard and flexible working patterns. 

Mondays to Thursdays

09.00 - 13.00
Formal meetings including university-wide and faculty-level committees; BCP groups; staff engagement events; one-to-ones; local project and team meetings

13.00 - 14.00
No meetings in any capacity 

14.00 - 17.00
One-to-ones, local project and small team meetings only


09.00 – 17.00
Meeting-free day, as far as possible or practical, with a focus on reducing formal meetings.

Where possible, meetings should start on the hour or half hour, to facilitate scheduling across King's.

Meetings should also end at least five minutes before the half hour or hour (e.g. 10.00 to 10.25 or 10.30 to 11.25). This allows colleagues with consecutive meetings to take a short break between sessions and prepare for the next one. 

Virtual meeting etiquette

Some colleagues will already be familiar with our existing meeting etiquette guidelines.

As the guidelines were developed with face-to-face meetings in mind, they have now been supplemented with some suggestions for virtual meetings.

You may like to discuss these guidelines with your teams and adapt them for your area of work.

Come prepared, be on time and stay fully present

  • Be mindful not to multi-task: close email accounts and turn off pop-up notifications 

Let everyone participate and don't interrupt others

  • Try to minimise background noise
  • Remember to mute your mic when you're not speaking

Think  before speaking: don't react in the moment

  • Ask questions and make comments using the chat box, rather than interrupting the speaker
Listen attentively, with an open mind Practice empathy for colleagues and assume their good intent Say 'I', not 'we' or 'people': you can't truly speak for others
Challenge the issue, not the person Speak up if you feel time is not being used productively Reflect on your contributions and note your action