Is it appropriate to ask your directs to share their electronic calendar with you? or will it be perceived as micro-management?

When I started here 18 months ago, my boss asked me to share my outlook calendar. Of coarse, I did so. After all, he is the boss. He also shares his calendar with me.

He has only asked me once about my calendar. He told me I shouldn't block myself as "Busy" when I make appointments with myself to get work done.

I actually get value from his calendar sharing. I check every couple of weeks or when I have something I perceive as important to discuss. If he has a meeting with his boss or some other high priority item, I have a chance to decide weather I do need to interrupt him or not. It avoids interrupting your boss when they are "Available" but really working on their powerpoint for the huge presentation later today.

My question is really, should I ask my directs to share their calendar with me (I would do the same)? Is this too much micro-management? Should every manager do this?


Doris_O's picture

I usually share my calendar with my boss's admin, so s/he can find me quickly if needed and schedule appointments more easily. I ask my boss if they want my calendar, some do, some do not.

I always share my calendar with my directs, again so they can find me and so they know if I am available or not. Recently, I had to remind a direct that they had access to my calendar. They started our next O3 by saying, "Holy s#$* your calendar, your calendar, you have soooo much to do". Behavior and attitudes about their workload dramatically improved for a few weeks until the shock wore off.

I expect my directs to share their calendar of appointments with faculty and students with me, it's in a shared account so no big deal. Therefore I don't care if they share their individual work calendar with me, as all the info I need is in the shared account. If I had directs in different roles where this did not apply I would expect them to share their calendar.

GlennR's picture

I believe that everyone should be able to access everyone else's calendar throughout the entire organization. Exceptions might be HR (8:00 Fire Shirley) and those project managers working on sensitive or proprietary new projects.

But for the vast majority of us, when we want to reach out to a co-worker to see if they're available for a meeting in three weeks, it certainly is easy to be able to access their calendars. I have unlimited sharing on mine and have had it that way for nearly 15 years without a problem.

I do not keep notes or sensitive information on it. Personal appointments are marked private.


SuzanneB's picture

 I think calendar sharing within your direct relationships is an easy way to keep our group running more smoothly. 


I don't find it micromanaging to request calendar sharing. And if directs balk I would follow-up with an explanation on efficiency in communications. 

mdave's picture

 I share calendars with my leadership team(directs) and my boss. It is helpful for coordination, but my admin is very cautious about how private apps are entered entered such as HR. The real benefit is that I get to see my boss's calendar . Time is priorities and it gives me additional insight to his. Also, by surfing ahead on his calendar, I can see if there is something coming up that might involve my group that I can be certain ( at least indirectly) that he is prepared for. For instance, if he is meeting with person X next week and I happen to have business with the subordinates of constituents of person X then I can included it in my weekly update. I helps me, and my division, be an asset to my boss. I am surprised how few people in my organization see value to doing this. My 2 cents. Just be sure that you have a plan for how to "crypt" or hide anything that might be private.

lisas2's picture

 In my company it is normal to make your main calendar a shared calendar (Outlook). You have the option whether to show the titles/subjects of your appointments or only the type of time: busy, tentative or free.  Most people share the time but not the subjects. This makes it easy to schedule meetings as you can see when the person is free.  

I use a second calendar to block out time for task work but I make the appointments as Free Time.  I also use Categories to mark them and get some color coding. I view my two calendars in Overlay View so I can see both where meetings are scheduled and where my time is blocked out.  I use a third calendar which I don't keep open to hold daily appointments with reminders for things like email 3 times a day, for a lunch break and to go home. 

It's probably overkill, but what can I say. I'm 5137 for DISC :)