Office|Office 365|Outlook

Outlook’s New Scheduling Feature Targets Meeting Burnout

When you look at your calendar before having a cup of coffee and all you see are meetings back-to-back for the day, you already know it’s going to be a marathon to make it to 5 P.M. Not only is this physically and mentally exhausting, at least in my experience, but it can also have a pretty significant and negative outlook on your day.

Microsoft is publishing a new Work Trend Index report today that emphasizes how digital overload is an actual problem that needs to be addressed. In the report, the company cites research that back-to-back meetings are a primary cause of this overload.

With this in mind, Microsoft is rolling out a new feature for scheduling meetings in Outlook that will provide you with a bit of breathing room during your day. Available starting today, users have the ability to automatically shorten the meetings that they schedule either on the front-end or back-end.

New meeting options in Outlook to create breaks in-between meetings

Meaning, you can select the option to start meetings later, so that you have a mental break after your previous meeting, or end your meetings early so that you can relax before the next meeting begins. But it’s also context-aware, as you can set a five-minute break before a 30-minute meeting or a 15-minute break before an hour-long meeting.

Sponsored Content

Passwords Haven’t Disappeared Yet

123456. Qwerty. Iloveyou. No, these are not exercises for people who are brand new to typing. Shockingly, they are among the most common passwords that end users choose in 2021. Research has found that the average business user must manually type out, or copy/paste, the credentials to 154 websites per month. We repeatedly got one question that surprised us: “Why would I ever trust a third party with control of my network?

Once enabled, all future meetings will align to these rules and these rules can be applied at the individual level or across the entire org. Keep in mind that if you do enable this in your tenant, a notification will be shown to users when they schedule their next meeting.

New notification if you enable org-wide setting to shorten events.

In addition to the new Outlook feature, the Viva app for Teams will offer the following new wellbeing experiences:

  • A reflection feature that will help you become more aware of how you’re feeling and identify patterns over time. These insights are personal and private to the individual.
  • A send praise feature that will enable you to express appreciation for your colleagues and schedule praise reminders to build a habit of sharing gratitude.
  • A virtual commute feature that will help you wrap up your tasks at the end of the workday, prepare for tomorrow, and transition into your personal time with peace of mind.

But the one thing that AI, ML, or fancy metrics can’t control is what actually happens in meetings. If you set buffer space for your meetings and then steamroll them when the time for the meeting to end arises, then this feature will be useless for helping you decompress between events.

Meetings and collaboration are only worthwhile if all of the participates are focused and aligned which starts with being relaxed and ready to work. These new Outlook features are a step to helping you and your employees stay focused in meetings but like all technology, it’s only useful if supported by management.


Related Topics:


Don't have a login but want to join the conversation? Sign up for a Petri Account

Comments (0)

Leave a Reply

Brad Sams has more than a decade of writing and publishing experience under his belt including helping to establish new and seasoned publications From breaking news about upcoming Microsoft products to telling the story of how a billion dollar brand was birthed in his book, Beneath a Surface, Brad is a well-rounded journalist who has established himself as a trusted name in the industry.
Don't leave your business open to attack! Come learn how to protect your AD in this FREE masterclass!REGISTER NOW - Thursday, December 2, 2021 @ 1 pm ET

Active Directory (AD) is leveraged by over 90% of enterprises worldwide as the authentication and authorization hub of their IT infrastructure—but its inherent complexity leaves it prone to misconfigurations that can allow attackers to slip into your network and wreak havoc. 

Join this session with Microsoft MVP and MCT Sander Berkouwer, who will explore:

  • Whether you should upgrade your domain controllers to Windows Server
    2019 and beyond
  • Achieving mission impossible: updating DCs within 48 hours
  • How to disable legacy protocols and outdated compatibility options in
    Active Directory

Sponsored by: