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How to split your working hours in Google Calendar

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The working day developed in 2020 and the tools are being adapted to adapt it. Google ads a few fine tweaks to Google Calendar. The main thing: you can segment your work day into several pieces.

Google Calendar Hours feature, with MF split between 6-10 a.m. and 1 p.m. every day

The business hours feature allows you to specify which hours are part of your work day, which is important when someone else is trying to make an appointment with you. For example: my manager, Deb in Zapier, works from 8:30 to 17:00 east. This is what she looks like when I try to make an appointment with her.

Deb's business hours are white and the rest of the calendar is gray

Until this change, it was only possible to set one time block, as shown above. You can now add multiple segments.

In the first screenshot in this article, you can see that I segmented my time into two blocks: 6:00 to 10:00, followed by 13:00 to 17:00. This is what Deb looks like when she tries to make an appointment with me.

Google Calendar with a gray background during Justin's non-business hours

As you can see, the middle of the day is already gray. That’s fine, but Google does it more specifically. I don’t work if Deb tries to save me time.

When trying to schedule a meeting, purple

This is important for remote teams because unusual schedules are part of what makes remote work great. For example, some people on my team work an early morning shift and a late afternoon shift so that they can spend the middle of the day distance learning with their children. Others work on a non-traditional schedule because it helps them focus.

The change in Google means that people who work multiple shifts each day will be able to show this on their calendar.

There is another related change: you can now schedule periodic meetings outside the office. Google Calendar feature outside the office allows you to block a piece of time during which you will not work, then automatically denies all current and future appointments during that time. The repeating an out-of-office feature means that you can, for example, set the fourth Friday of each month as a day when you will not be working.

Again, this is a small change, but one that reflects how remote work is changing the way we all work. 9 to 5, five days a week is a thing of the past – the tools we use increasingly reflect this.

Zapier was a completely remote team for a decade, so these are issues we’ve been thinking about a lot. See ours the best guide to working remotely for more.

This article by Justin Pott was originally published on Zapier’s blog and republished here with permission. You can read the original article here.

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