breaks between meetings

Gyöngyvér Borgula explains how to create automatic breaks between meetings with a simple Outlook calendar setting

Executives have faced enormous pressure in the past year. With the virtual help of their Assistants, they have almost the same number of meetings when working from home as they did in the office. Some have more! These executives do not have time for a 5- or 10-minute break between meetings. They are fully booked from the morning to the afternoon.

So, how do you create automatic breaks between meetings for your executives?

If you use Outlook, there is good news! Outlook has a feature which allows you to set the end time of meetings.

Why is it important to have the right setup?

Technology such as online calendars, email, text messages, Viber, Skype, and WhatsApp has allowed managers and other staff to operate with a greater degree of self-sufficiency.

It is possible to make these timings the default setting. In this way, new meeting durations can be spread across the whole organization as part of the meeting culture. Everybody will have the same privileges and can enjoy the same advantages.

Setting up the calendar

In Outlook Inbox, choose File, then Options. 

1. Choose Calendar

2. On the next screen, go to “Calendar options.”

There is a setting for the default duration of new appointments and meetings. There are options from 30 minutes to 2 hours.

Here comes the trick: 

3. Tick the box “End appointments and meetings early.”

4. Choose the meeting duration “Less than one hour: 5 minutes early.” This way, a 30-minute meeting will be scheduled for only 25 minutes, creating a 5-minute gap until the next half hour or hour.

5. Choose the meeting duration “One hour or longer: 10 minutes early.” This way, the meeting will be scheduled for 50 minutes, leaving a 10-minute gap until the next half hour or hour.

6. Then press OK and you are all set.

Of course, for both settings, you have different options that you can choose.

How does this support wellbeing at work?

If this becomes part of the meeting culture, it gives everyone the ability to be prepared for the next meeting, to fetch a cup of tea or simply to step outside and enjoy the fresh air or do some stretching exercises in their room.

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Gyöngyvér Borgula joined Henkel Magyarország Kft. in 1999 as an Assistant after completing her studies in Hungary and the UK in English language and Foreign Trade. In 2006, she moved to Budapest and worked as an Executive Assistant in the Eastern European ... (Read More)

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