A common pitfall is that the unproductive Zoom calls are simply pushed to either side of the meeting-free day. Worse, time-stretched managers sometimes ignore company policy: they see a yawning gap in workers’ schedules on a no-meeting day and set up an hour-long call. Employees, meanwhile, presume the meeting must be important and feel obliged to attend.
There can be other unintended consequences, too. Meetings can be a surprisingly efficient way of exchanging information. Without alternatives in place, a quick question during a morning catch-up can be replaced by email ping-pong.
Saying "go ahead" when you're overlapping with someone. Going out of your way to let other people speak is a good thing, and so is following up to make sure everyone’s been heard.
Schedule time for socializing. People should be encouraged to show up a few minutes early for a meeting, maybe, or there could be time for conversation on the agenda.
Accept multitasking. Maybe workers in the office should have the option to call in to auditoriums and conference rooms, or maybe we should just normalize people who aren’t core to a conversation working on their laptops during meetings.
Maybe have fewer meetings. Meetings can eat up a lot of time, and it’s worth considering whether that time is well invested—or if you could accomplish the same thing without a meeting.