Microsoft Outlook is getting a new feature that lets users automate breaks between back-to-back meetings. Users can now tweak settings inside Outlook that will allow individuals or organisations to set defaults that shave five, 10, or 15 minutes off Microsoft Teams meetings to carve out breaks between conversations. This new feature of scheduling meetings with a break looks to reduce the digital overload on users who have been working remotely over the past year due to the ongoing pandemic and subsequent lockdowns.
The company says that new settings in Microsoft Outlook have started rolling out. It gives customers the ability to set organisation-wide scheduling defaults that shorten meetings and create space for breaks for everyone involved. The settings are heavily customisable, and it lets you choose if the break is to be taken at the beginning or the end of meetings. You can also choose the length of the break. It can be found under Outlook settings on the Windows desktop app or the Web browser. You can click on Calendar > Events and Invitation, check the box that says “Shorten duration of all events” and select the duration of the breaks from a dropdown that appears, to enable the new feature.
“For instance, it could be a five-minute break ahead of all 30-minute meetings or 15-minute break after all hour-long meetings. Once the setting is enabled, when employees schedule meetings, the meeting start- or end-time will automatically be adjusted based on the individual or company-wide setting,” Microsoft explains on its blog.
When this new feature is enabled in Outlook by the company, employees will see a notification when they schedule meetings, letting them know of the organisation-wide changes. Employees can also change or personalise this new setting to their convenience once the feature is enabled. It will let you end your events a few minutes early or start them a few minutes late. Once you tweak these settings, they will be honoured across Outlook for Windows, Outlook for Mac, Outlook on the Web, Outlook for iOS, and Outlook for Android.
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