To hold online office hours using Zoom, you will want to do two things:

  1. Schedule recurring meetings
  2. Turn on the Zoom Waiting Room

Note: To maintain student privacy, do not record office hour meetings.

Schedule a recurring meeting

Follow the steps in this Zoom guide to schedule a recurring meeting during your appointed office hours.

Following these steps will allow you to use a single link and meeting ID across all of your office hours sessions. You would then share the same set of instructions with students across multiple sections and making it easier for students to find their way to online office hours.

Turn on the Waiting Room

The Zoom Waiting Room feature allows you to control when a participant joins the meeting. With Waiting Room, you can admit attendees one by one to protect student privacy. The Waiting Room needs to be enabled first in your Settings, then turned on when scheduling office hours.

First, turn on the Waiting Room feature in your user settings:

  1. Go to to sign into your Zoom account online.
  2. In the left sidebar, click Settings and then click In Meeting (Advanced).
  3. Scroll down to find Waiting Room. Toggle the switch to turn on the Waiting Room. The Waiting Room is now enabled for your meetings.

When scheduling the meeting or editing meeting settings, scroll down to Meeting Option and make sure the checkbox next to Enable Waiting Room is checked.

Add Participants

When the Waiting Room is enabled, participants will see the following screen when joining the meeting:

Waiting Room Message

Once you have started the meeting as the host, at the bottom of the Zoom window, click Participants to see the full list of participants in the meeting, including the list of people waiting to join the meeting in the Waiting Room.

To add a participant from the Waiting Room, hover your cursor over their name in the Participant list and click Admit.

Move student into meeting

To move a participant from your meeting back into the Waiting Room

  1. Hover your cursor over their name in the Participant list.
  2. Click More >.
  3. Select the menu option Put in Waiting Room.
Move back into waiting room

For more information on how to set up, use, and customize your Waiting Room, see Zoom’s guide for Waiting Rooms.