Google rolling out calendar feature

To summarize, as more individuals work from home, meetings are taking up an increasing portion of employees’ workdays. Google is introducing a “Time Insights” sidebar to the web version of Calendar. It will help customers keep track of how much time they spend on collaborative tasks.

According to Google, Time Insights provides customers with a summary of information based on their weekly meetings. This covers the amount of time spent in one-on-one conversations with others. Meetings with three or more guests, and the length of the sessions, all displayed in simple pie and bar charts.

The tool also displays the days of the week when meetings take up the majority of an employee’s working hours, as well as the frequency of meetings. Users may also discover which coworkers they spend the most time with in meetings. It will bookmark important contacts to ensure they stay in touch. Another useful feature is the ability to hover over a person on the calendar to highlight meetings that include that person.

After receiving flak over its Productivity Score function in Microsoft 365, which essentially allowed managers to track employees’ activity, Microsoft removed usernames from the service in December. It prevents organizations from getting information about people. Time Insights is only visible to users, not managers. Yet anyone who controls other people’s calendars and has “manages sharing access” permission can view Time Insights.

Users on the Google Workspace Business Standard, Business Plus, Enterprise Standard, Enterprise Plus, Education Plus, and Nonprofits membership tiers will be able to use Time Insights over the following few weeks. Some users may be unable to use the service, including G Suite Basic and Business clients. The functionality will only be available on desktop browsers; there is no hint on when it will be available on mobile.

During the peak of the lockdowns last year, Microsoft research revealed that those working from home spent more time in meetings each day, despite the fact that meeting lengths had reduced.

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