C4 boss initiates ‘meeting-free’ lunchtimes and Fridays

All staff told not to schedule screen meetings between 12.30pm and 2pm amid coronavirus lockdown.

Alex Mahon: has been CEO of Channel 4 since 2017
Alex Mahon: has been CEO of Channel 4 since 2017

The chief executive of Channel 4, Alex Mahon, has initiated a company-wide policy that gives staff a 90-minute communal daily break from “remote tinny screen meetings” and applies all day on Fridays.

Staff were told about the policy on Thursday 7 January, according to a LinkedIn post Mahon published later the same day, three days after the Prime Minster announced a new national coronavirus lockdown and school closures.

In the post, Mahon made it clear that she believes the policy is necessary because “pandemic fatigue” has been affecting all of Channel 4's staff and it is crucial that everyone has “meeting-free time to think, breathe, catch-up”.

“From now on, we will have an all C4 lunch break daily at 12.30-2pm. And we will stick company-wide to Meeting Free Fridays,” she wrote.

Mahon did not refer to any definite end point for the policy, which implies that it will be in effect for as long as working from home is the forced norm. Her post framed it as a way “get through this 3rd time [lockdown]” and to be able to do the “important work to get ready for the rebound”.

“We all need to look out for each other,” she concluded.