Manchester University staff have been told to postpone non-essential online meetings and recharge their batteries after spending a combined 70 million minutes in Zoom calls over lockdown.
The University said employees should “take the opportunity to reduce their meeting commitments” for the next fortnight and use the time to learn something new and maintain wellbeing following a “challenging year”.
At least 500,000 Zoom meetings have taken place across the university since March, totalling over 70 million minutes. These figures are thought to include online meetings for all purposes such as virtual open days and student office hours.
In addition to the two-week ‘meeting light’ period, staff were granted an additional day of paid leave in recognition of their “exceptional efforts during these challenging times”.
The University said staff could use the additional time to watch ‘wellbeing lectures’ to unwind and launched ‘self-development’ platforms to help them “learn something new”.
The move is in line with a focus on increasing staff wellbeing as more staff work from home.
A post on the university’s staff system read: “We’d like to remind colleagues to take the opportunity to reduce their meetings commitments in the weeks beginning 27th of July and 3rd of August.
“In recognition of the exceptional efforts being made by our staff during these challenging times, an additional day of paid leave has been granted on Friday, 24th July.
“In the following two weeks, we are encouraging staff to postpone non-essential online meetings or calls that are planned during this time.
“We have a huge range of resources available if you’d like to maximise this time to learn something new, or maintain your wellbeing.”
Staff have been working from home since March, when face-to-face teaching was halted following the coronavirus outbreak.
It’s believed University and Students’ Union staff will continue working from home until the 1st of September with a phased return at the beginning of the academic year.