How a Shared Calendar is Integral to Running your Company Like a Well-Oiled Machine
Most companies rely on teamwork to get them through every working day.
If you belong to such a team, in a such a company, you realize that it is very easy to spiral into disorganization and inefficiency.
Companies are required to constantly run smoothly, like well-oiled machine, because every slip-up or organizational error can result in major setbacks and losses.
Companies everywhere have increasingly found that open shared calendars are a simple solution to ensuring efficiency, organization, and smooth teamwork.
Most companies rely on teamwork to get them through every working day
Caveat: Shared Calendars Can Go Terribly Awry
While I won’t deny that shared calendars are an easy solution to most organizational problems within companies (and we’ll delve more into this later), it is not without problems.
In January 2015, for instance, a flaw in the Google Calendar system was revealed when its users found birthdays of people they hardly know popping up on their calendar (Google Calendar’s Enforced Birthdays Show The Ugly Side Of Algorithms).
The option to unsubscribe from the Birthday option was buried where no one else would stumble upon it, and as you can imagine, users of the Google Calendar took to social media websites to express their frustration and disappointment.
“Salvation! Clicking that magic button will rid you of this stupid calendar forever (or until Google obnoxiously adds it manually again).”
— Natasha (@riptari) December 27, 2014
— TechCrunch (@TechCrunch) January 9, 2015
@mulligan I just tried to remove it this week and was appalled to find no way to remove the forced G+ integration cal.
— Jason Shellen (@shellen) January 8, 2015
Why am I starting with a story that highlights the disadvantages on using a shared calendar?
Because while every type of technology invariably comes with its own set of disadvantages, this is the only one you will have to worry about with shared calendars.
Having personal information of other users on your shared calendar pop up on your computer screen during work is unarguably annoying, but can be easily evaded with the right choice of app and learning to use it well.
And I promise you, learning to use a shared calendar does not require outstanding computer skills or too much effort.
The Good News? There are Amazing Benefits to Using a Shared Calendar
You always know what everyone is doing
While you don’t want details of what your coworkers do outside of the office, having easy access to their professional appointments can be an incredible advantage.
Arranging meeting and events, or distributing tasks to employees becomes easier when you know you can simply look up their schedule and availability on your calendar.
You never miss a meeting
You think you asked one of your co-workers to pick up a client from the airport, only to realize too late that you didn’t.
You think your team remembers the business dinner they all need to be there for, only to realize that a few invariably forgot. Overlooking details such as these can be disastrous, not to mention, embarrassing for a company.
If every employee had their appointments jotted on a shared calendar, as a manager or a coworker you can be assured that all appointments, tasks, events, and business dinners are accounted for.
You save time
Organizing group meetings with employees that are on a busy schedule can often be a herculean task.
With a shared calendar you cut down the time and effort such organizational tasks require to zero.
Balancing out the work
In smaller companies, and some larger ones, each employee typically juggles numerous roles.
With a shared calendar, managers are made aware of the obligations of their employees, the ones that have too much on their plate and the ones that haven’t yet had the opportunity to explore their full potential. This makes it easier to distribute tasks and new projects.
Shared Calendars are perfect for startups
Long hours and hectic schedules are characteristic of startup cultures, along with countless team meetings, working lunches, and out-of-office events.
Startups everywhere are increasingly adopting shared calendars to get them through their working days, and have found that it meshes perfectly with their work culture.
Making the Right Choice
With its countless benefits, you can be assured that a shared calendar, once adopted, will effortlessly fit into your company culture and will soon become an integral part of your company.
Choosing the right shared calendar app for your company therefore becomes an important decision.
Below are four shared calendar apps that are widely used and have proved to be extremely efficient.
A free iPhone app that syncs with Android and Windows phones as well, UpTo is a functional calendar that allows you to easily track the activity of others in real time. The main screen on UpTo shows your current week, an agenda view towards the bottom, and as an added benefit- the weather icon. All items on your calendar remain private until you choose to make them public, and you can also choose which group of friends, worker, or individual users you can share an item with. Building groups within the app- such as ‘work’, ‘family’, ‘editors’, ‘interns’- is easy and makes sharing simpler.
Another free, online shared calendar, Teamup is a simple app that you does not require its users to register or log-in. Each user can access the calendar with a link provided by the calendar administrator. The administrator also gets complete control over organization of sub-calendars, who in the group sees what and what can be modified by whom. Color- coded scheduling makes the whole calendar fun and efficient.
Another free, online toolkit, Wiggio is a lesser known app that has proven to be incredibly user friendly. The app allows you to create to-do lists, assign tasks, host virtual meetings and conference calls, and create, upload or manage files in a shared folder. Added advantages include the ability to sync different calendars and send automated email and text message reminders.
If your office uses the Ms Outlook application, sharing your calendar as an email with other coworkers is as simple and efficient as it gets. With The Outlook calendar, you can set the view to be whatever you like, including the option to view multiple days together- an it is all printable, in case you prefer to work with papers over computer apps. Notifications are easy to set, holiday greetings can be automatically included, and event invitations can be sent along with an option for responses from others.
Go ahead and explore your shared calendar choices and pick one that best suits your company culture.
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Looking for more advice on dealing with disorganization and inefficiency in your company? Visit CakeHR for useful bits of information on productivity, efficiency, and organization!