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Putting meetings on Autopilot: 3 ways it boosts your productivity while working from home

Cathy Reisenwitz

by Cathy Reisenwitz on September 15, 2020

Nearly half of the U.S. labor force was working remotely full-time, as of June. Working remotely has many benefits, including being able to live where you want, more flexible hours, and no more daily commute. Yet those benefits have come with a cost. At home, workers are busier than ever. By the fifth week of March, we saw the average worker had spent:

  • 29% more time in team sync meetings
  • 24% more time in one-on-ones
  • 11% more fragmented time compared with pre-pandemic levels

Despite the drawbacks, most remote workers prefer this arrangement and experts expect WFH to remain popular even after COVID-19 restrictions are lifted.

How do you best manage your time in a remote-work environment? Here are three of the ways Clockwise’s Autopilot feature boosts your productivity as you work from home.

1. Carving out room to breathe and think

3 ways Autopilot can transform your calendar haeder

Lulu Tang

Autopilot automatically moves your meetings to better times. All else equal, the best time for a meeting is when it won’t get in the way of your Focus Time. We define “Focus Time” as chunks of two hours or more to really focus in on a task. This way, you get interrupted less and can get more real work done. Learn how Focus Time is changing outcomes for businesses like yours through our customer stories.

2. Set it and forget it meeting scheduling (no more calendar Tetris!)

Pre-pandemic, the average employee attended 62 meetings per month. The average employee spent 4.8 hours every week scheduling meetings! Our research shows that number has only risen. Now, you can’t stop by your teammate’s desk for a quick chat, or to ask them when they’re free for a longer discussion.

The back-and-forth of scheduling is time-consuming busywork which can lead to decision fatigue. As your brain tires, your critical thinking suffers. You discount the future and your thinking becomes more short-term.

Scheduling in Clockwise automates the manual processes of choosing a time to meet, meaning you make fewer decisions in a day. Plus, Clockwise selects the best time by taking every attendee’s calendar into account and suggesting times that don’t conflict with other meetings, while preserving the most Focus Time for everyone. When your whole team is on Clockwise, everyone gets to spend less time scheduling meetings.

No matter how you schedule meetings, Autopilot automatically resolves conflicts every afternoon so you don’t have to worry about it.

3. Fine-tuning your meeting schedule to your needs

Working from home has drastically changed not just how we work, but also when. It’s not unusual for workers to take time out of the day to take care of pets and children and handle other personal to-dos. Working remotely across time zones also throws a wrench in the old 9-5 paradigm. More of us than ever are finding ourselves scheduling meetings and catching up on work outside “normal” working hours.

That’s why we’ve recently enhanced Autopilot. Now, Autopilot gives you the control to flexibly change the time of day your meetings are scheduled at, based on your personal preferences, at any time.

gif showing Autopilot move ranges

Lulu Tang

If you prefer to meet in the afternoons so your mornings are free for heads-down work, we’ve got you. If you can meet until noon every day except for Wednesday, when you need to be done by 11:30, we’ve got you. Maybe your working hours are set from 9-5 to show when you’re available in Slack, but you’re okay with scheduling meetings after that window. We’ve got you.

The bottom line

Working from home is a massive change. For most of us, it’s worth the tradeoffs. While you can’t make your meetings disappear, you can cut down on the time you spend scheduling, schedule your meetings better through the power of AI, and give you fine control over when you meet.

Cathy Reisenwitz

Cathy Reisenwitz

Cathy Reisenwitz is Head of Content at Clockwise where she oversees the Clockwise Blog and The Minutes Newsletter. She has covered business software for six years and has been published in Newsweek, Forbes, the Daily Beast, VICE Motherboard, Reason magazine, Talking Points Memo and other publications.

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