Microsoft Outlook now comes with the option to automatically start or end meetings ahead of time. This feature has been introduced so that employees can take short breaks between return meetings. Microsoft gives companies and individuals the opportunity to customize meeting times in Outlook.
Microsoft has announced a feature highlighting its latest Work Trend Index study that has shown that “much of this digital workload is due to back-up meetings without breaks.” These breaks, Microsoft says, should give employees time to “refresh, take a glass of water, or simply switch peacefully from one meeting to another.” Microsoft conducted a survey of 14 participants in two separate meetings. A detailed report on the findings of the study can be found here.
This feature is open to both individuals and companies. It can be customized from the Outlook settings menu. Users can choose whether they want a break before or after the meeting, and choose the length of the break. Microsoft has provided an example of setting a five-minute break before long 30-minute meetings or a 15-minute break after an hour-long meeting. Once scheduled breaks have been added to Outlook, all meetings will be adjusted according to break time, either start or end time.
Companies may also offer customized vacation breaks that can be customized later by people at certain meetings or at all meetings. If the organization makes changes, Microsoft will notify users when they schedule meetings.
The new feature can help employees with back-to-back meetings throughout the day. And since the feature will be usable after it is enabled it makes it easy to use.