Feb 17, 2021 - Economy

It's about time for calendar management


Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The rise of remote employment and the general erasure of work-life boundaries by the pandemic has led to a boom in calendar-management platforms.

Driving the news: Late last month, Calendly, a cloud-based service that can be used to automatically set up and confirm meeting times, closed a $350 million venture investment that values the Atlanta-based startup at over $3 billion.

  • The 8-year-old company now has more than 10 million monthly users, a number that grew by 1,180% last year.
  • Clockwise, another calendar-management startup, closed $18 million in funding over the summer and has over 100,000 active business users.

The big picture: Whether or not we're taking on more meetings than in the pre-pandemic days, the reality of remote work means that even what would have been quick in-person check-ins now often need to be formally scheduled.

  • As a result, says Clockwise CEO Matt Martin, employees can end up as victims of a kind of calendar tragedy of the commons.
  • "Time is this really valuable asset, and everybody is pulling from it, but nobody's coordinating or regulating in any meaningful way."

How it works: Clockwise uses AI tools to help workers organize their calendars in a way that optimizes focus time — blocked-out chunks of two or more hours of individual, uninterrupted work time — by automatically moving around meetings to the least-interrupted slot for all attendees.

  • The company's approach is informed by research that frequent distractions — hold on, I have to check a Slack message — eat up as much as 40% of a worker's productive time.

The bottom line: In the age of remote work, you are your own assistant — and it's up to you to protect your most valuable resource: time.

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