What Are the Best Team Collaboration Tools?

Everyone has heard of Slack and Zoom. You probably use them both every day.
But what are the other, lesser known — but as equally effective — team collaboration tools?

And, more importantly, how do they help?


We’re big fans of Notion at Cronofy. It allows us to collaborate on all kinds of documents in real time.

We can create Kanban boards, tables, to-do lists…you name it, Notion can do it. You can set pages to public, company-wide, team-wide, or keep them private.

Having a centralized tool like Notion means that all information is stored in one place and we can collaborate easily on things like copy, or see what each other is working on. It’s also been invaluable for me in the learning phase of my onboarding.  — Laura, Product Marketer

It’s completely flexible, which makes it super useful. We’ve been using it for a few months now, and we have no idea how we coped without it.
As our CTO Garry puts it:

If you’re not in the same office you have to be able to look at the same thing, even with a basic tool you’d be able to share documents, source code, etc.

It also has a desktop version, which means you can even use it offline.


We’re all about calendars and connectivity here at Cronofy.

We can all see each others’ calendars, which makes it easier for us to know who’s in the office and who isn’t.

It reinforces our culture of transparency while also making it easier to schedule meetings with each other.

Calendars can be taken to the next level when they connect to the software we use every day:

It’s useful when our calendars connect with the software we use such as Slack and Zoom. We can schedule meetings with each other without flitting between multiple programs. — Kristina, Content Marketer

The time spent flitting between programs when scheduling meetings is time that gets wasted. Syncing calendars with software we use every day saves us hours every week.


As our Senior Developer Tom puts it:

Solid version control is a key part of any code-based workflow, but we literally could not be as effective team without being able to branch and merge our code. It allows us to work independently and safely combine all our efforts. As a bonus, the ability to review works-in-progress and collaborate on the same code at the same time makes all our work better.


This one seems obvious, but you don’t realize just how important it is until yours breaks. This happened to one of our team members a couple of weeks ago.

Luckily we had a spare that she could use while hers was being repaired, but what if we hadn’t? It would’ve made it difficult for her to get her work done. We’re so reliant on the hardware that we use that we often forget how important it is to our day-to-day activities.

You should also ensure that the laptop you use is fit for the job. A salesperson will need something portable, for example, while a developer needs something with more processing power.

The right laptop means that you can connect with your coworkers easily, wherever you are in the world.

Of course, a good laptop is nothing without an internet connection when you’re talking to your colleagues, so make sure you have a speed that can handle video conferencing, too.


Giving your team the right tools to collaborate with is vital to their success in their role. It also plays a major role in the success of your company.

The easier it is for employees to connect and collaborate, the more likely they are to do so. This improves communication between teams, which can be reflected in communication with customers, and therefore their experience and opinion of your brand.

Better communication also leads to happier employees and a more productive working environment.

Find out more about our favorite team collaboration tools over on the Cronofy blog.
The hospitality industry is just one of the industries that could benefit from calendar sync

The Benefits of Calendar Sync for Employee Scheduling Software

According to the Financial Times:

Three-quarters of the world’s workers are temporary, casual or self-employed and this sort of employment is likely to become more prevalent.

This means businesses that require temporary, casual, or contract employees need to do more to keep attracting the best talent.

The more temporary and contract employees there are, the more businesses will offer these kinds of roles. It’s therefore important for businesses that need temporary and contract workers to stay ahead of the competition by offering better employee experiences – no matter how long someone works for them.

The better the employee experience is, the happier employees will be, and the more productive they’ll be. This means they’ll provide a better level of customer service to customers, which helps to increase customer referrals and improve reviews.

One thing companies can do to ensure that their temporary employees have a great experience is to use an employee scheduling software with calendar sync. These makes it easier for companies and employees to manage shifts around pre-existing commitments.

Hire people when they’re needed

In industries such as retail, there’s an inevitable surge in the need for staff in the run up to the holidays.

Employee scheduling tools that can see employees’ real-time availability make it easier for businesses to fill shifts.

Instead of needing to manage an Excel spreadsheet (which 59% of call centers still use for managing shifts!), they can tap into workers’ availability. They can then offer employees shifts that work around their schedules, making them more likely to accept.

It’s also easier for businesses to find last-minute cover for employees that have called in sick or are no longer available, because they don’t waste time contacting people who already have plans.

Work around people’s schedules

Having a work/life balance is becoming increasingly important in the modern world. Offering employees the opportunity to choose their shifts based on their availability makes it an easier, faster process to schedule their work.

If their calendar is connected to shift management software, the software can suggest shifts that work around their already existing schedule. They don’t need to rearrange family commitments or healthcare appointments to be able to work – their work fits seamlessly around their lives.

Alternatively, employees without calendar connectivity can search the database for shifts and choose the ones that best suit their schedules.

Shifts can be set up to automatically close once a set number of employees have chosen it. This means there won’t be too many people signed up for the Tuesday afternoon shift but nobody around on Tuesday morning. If someone cancels, the slot will re-open for someone else to select.

This flexibility helps to build a better employee experience, showing employees that their lives outside of work are valued, too.

Automatically add shifts to employees’ calendars

When dealing with temporary employees, there’s always a risk of no-shows. This then leaves the team short-staffed and makes it harder to deal with everything that comes their way.

Automatically adding shifts to employees’ calendars helps to prevent no-shows. It ensures that the shift sits in their calendar alongside their other commitments. They can also receive time-to-leave notifications based on their location, or reminders to make sure they don’t forget.

For casual workers that don’t need full calendar connectivity, they can be sent Smart Invites. These help businesses to track if an employee has confirmed their shift, ensuring every shift is filled in plenty of time.

Create a better experience for everyone

Syncing your shift management software with employees’ schedules makes it quicker and easier for your users to fill shifts.

It’s simple and stress-free to add calendar sync to your software using the Cronofy Calendar API.

To find out more about what features you could add to your software, check out our features page.

This post was originally published on the Cronofy blog.

3 Secrets to Reducing Your Employee Churn Rate

Reduce your employee churn rate with these tips.

Replacing an employee can cost as much as 20% of their yearly salary. The higher up their position is, the more expensive it is. That’s because you need to factor in paying recruitment agencies, covering for the vacant position, and the time lost to those responsible for hiring.

A low employee churn rate is key to maximizing your potential and growth.

When you have a lower employee turnover, you can focus your resources on researching and launching new products and services, improving the working environment, and investing in employees’ development instead.

It also boosts your employer brand, which is crucial if you want to win the war for talent. Brands with a strong employer brand lower their cost to hire by 43%.

But how do you reduce your churn rate?

It starts by looking at the employee journey. How can you improve it? What steps can you make to create a more inviting atmosphere for employees whether they’ve been there five weeks or five years?

Let’s take a look at three important parts of an employee’s journey, and how small changes to them can reduce your employee turnover rate.

Plan your onboarding process for early success

Happy employees are loyal employees. To create this sense of loyalty, you need to make them feel valued. This starts from their very first day.

However, not every company manages this – 42% of employees have no computer or device to work from on their first day. Worse, some employees don’t even have a desk on their first day! While this is only part of the onboarding process, it’s an important part of setting your employee up for success, especially when 20% of employees leave within the first 45 days.

Contrast that to the 69% that will still be with a company three years later if they go through a positive onboarding process, and you can see why a good onboarding process is so important.

A negative experience reflects badly on you: it makes you look disorganized, and like you don’t value your employees.

It’s therefore imperative that you you spend time planning the onboarding process for your new employee before they start. Don’t leave it all until the last minute, as you may find that there are some issues – like purchasing new equipment – that will take days, maybe even weeks, to sort.

Also ensure that their company account and logins for any relevant software are set up before they begin. That way, all they need to do on their first day is click to activate their new account. They can then start using the software straight away.

Once they’re all set up, don’t just sit them down and present them with a list of objectives. Include them in the decision-making process. Have some projects ready for them to work on, but listen to them and ask them what they’d most like to work on, too. That way, they immediately feel like their thoughts and opinions are valued.

The objective of an onboarding process is to help the employee get to know the company, its products, and mostly importantly, the culture and their colleagues.

Everyone in the team should be involved in making the new team member feel welcome. This could include scheduling introduction meetings with the new starter, or assigning them a buddy to give them a tour and answer any day-to-day questions.

Group inductions can be intimidating for new starters, so focus on one-to-one sessions instead. This creates more space for the new hire to ask questions.

Efficient scheduling solutions make organizing these one-to-one meetings a breeze, and avoids the risk of two member scheduling a meeting at the same time. Scheduling meetings before someone starts also reduces any awkwardness over the new hire having to approach people to schedule meetings – it’s all there ready for them when they first start.

Invest in training and mentorship

Training and mentorship are crucial parts of an employee’s progress. They can boost their skills and help them to work out which career path is for them.

For mentors and those conducting training, it reinforces their skills. They can even learn from those that they teach. It’s also great networking for everyone – you never know where your next great opportunity will come from.

Despite this, only 44% of companies offer a mentorship scheme.

Mentorship benefits employees at every stage of their journey. Don’t let the fact that someone is already a manager convince you that they already know everything they need to know. No matter how long someone has been managing for, there’s always a new strategy or technique they can try to motivate their team.

Training can be both internal and external, so be open-minded about the best place(s) for employees to build their skills. The best person to train your marketing team may not be someone who’s been there for years – it may be someone who can offer a fresh perspective on your strategy and help you to keep it relevant as algorithms continue to change.

Conduct exit interviews

Exit interviews are an often overlooked but incredibly valuable part of an employee’s journey. They give you the opportunity to examine why employees leave, and identify areas where your company may be failing them. Without this information, you can’t make positive changes to improve the working environment.

Conducting exit interviews using a framework makes it easier for you to quantify results. You can then pick up on reoccurring problems or praise. The more often something is raised, the more important it is to address.

Some questions you could ask include:

  • How employees feel about the working environment
  • What their commute is like
  • What their relationship is like with their manager
  • How well they get on/work with their team

Using this information, you can start discussions with remaining team members about any common threads. You can then make informed decisions about how to better suit employees’ needs and (hopefully) prevent more from leaving for the same or similar reasons.

You can also home in on positive comments that are made, finding ways to further enhance these experiences. For instance, if employees benefit from flexible working hours, you could look into allowing them to work from home if they can’t already. If they like how the team encourages self-development, you could look into courses or events for the team to further develop their skills.

Employees are your business’s biggest – and best – advocates. If they share negative experiences with their social circle it reflects badly on you and may even cause you to lose customers. Leaving them with a positive overall feeling is therefore crucial. Exit interviews are just one part of this. Others include how the rest of the team reacts to their departure, handover periods, and anything else that happens on their final day. While you can’t control all of this, exit interviews help to cement your positive employer brand by showing employees that you care about their wellbeing from the start of their journey with you right through to the end.

When an employee speaks highly of you when they leave, they’re more likely to return for a future position, or even to recommend roles to their friends and family. Since referrals are one of the best ways to hire the right person for the job, this can make a huge difference to your hiring process, and further improving your employer brand.


It’s your responsibility to offer employees opportunities to learn, grow, and be more efficient in their role. Employees will then be more loyal and motivated, and turnover will decrease.

It’s also important to remember that there are many other elements that can impact employee satisfaction. Internal promotions, 360 feedback, and open communications are also key to reducing employee turnover. And don’t forget to make the technology that they need available to them!

These investments and changes to company culture make a big difference. After all, reducing your employee churn rate can be the difference between business growth and stagnation.

Create a better employee experience with calendar sync

Simple, repetitive tasks quickly add up to days wasted every month. This means employees achieve less and businesses don’t grow as quickly as they could.

Discover how automation and calendar sync could save you and your team time (and money!) in our new white paper. Download your copy today!

Source: 3 Secrets to Reducing Your Employee Churn Rate | The Cronofy Blog

How to Build an Effective Employee Onboarding Process


Many employers make the mistake of thinking that hiring is the hardest part of an employee’s journey. While it is important, it’s only the beginning.

The onboarding process is as equally important as the hiring process, if not more so. It’s the start of their (hopefully long and enjoyable) career working for you, meaning that it’s crucial that you get it right.

A poor onboarding process leads to a higher employee churn rate and a poor employer brand. In fact, up to 20% of employee churn happens in the first 45 days. That really doesn’t give you very long to make a great impression.

On the other hand, if an employee experiences a great onboarding process, they’re 69% more likely to still be there three years later.

So how do you create an effective employee onboarding process?

Get all the hardware ready

More than 42% of employees have started a job only to find that they don’t have the relevant equipment to work on. This includes a phone, a computer, and even a desk!

Be sure that you have all the equipment ready for your new hire before they start at your company. Even if they borrow someone else’s equipment while theirs is on its way, at least ensure that they have something to work on.

Set them up with the right software

There are lots of programs and applications that we use on a daily basis. Make sure there’s a company-wide list of what software different roles require, and if there are any licenses that need updating when new people take over the role.

If any new licences need acquiring, try to do this in advance. If this isn’t isn’t possible, at least invite the new hire to the software so that they can activate it themselves on their first day.

Ensure that your new hire is set up on the most important programs before they start. It’s important that things like email addresses, calendars, and other day-to-day programs are ready and waiting for them so that they can get started right away.

Give them time to train

There’s a lot to learn and a lot to take in when you first start a new job, so give them time to learn everything. Schedule training sessions into their calendar in advance, but don’t overwhelm them.

For training sessions that will take longer – for instance, using a complicated software – get different people to do each stage of the training process. This gives them the opportunity to meet other members of the team. It’s also a good chance for other team members to reinforce their knowledge.

You could even set them up with a mentor. This gives you more time to spend with the rest of the team and helps employees who may want to move to a more managerial role in the future get some experience.

Don’t overwhelm them

First days can be overwhelming. There’s a lot to take in, and your new employee may not remember everything straight away.

Don’t throw a ton of information at them as soon as they walk through the doors. Let them process it, and, if needs be, give them company policies and documents to take home and read at their own pace. They’ll be much more likely to take it in if they can read and process it at their own pace, not someone else’s.

Set clear objectives

Don’t just sit them down at a desk and tell them to get to work. Make it clear from the start what you expect.

Ask what they need from you to be successful in their new role, too. Continuous improvement is a key part of a successful onboarding process.

The sooner you set out these objectives, the sooner your new employee can start to work toward them.

Setting clear objectives sets them – and you – up for success.

Communicate company values

A company’s culture is one of the core elements that makes us stick around. It’s therefore important that you communicate your company’s core values.

This can be done with policies and documents, as well as including them in regular team meetings from the start. While they may not contribute at first, they will get a feel for how the team interacts and may be able to offer a fresh perspective on old problems.

Continuous improvement, embracing feedback, and learning from failure are just some of our values at Cronofy.

Use their fresh perspective

Your new employee will only be new for so long. Use this to your advantage.

Get them to look at pages and processes that you think need an overhaul. Their fresh pair of eyes will help you to see what’s wrong much faster and can suggest new ways to fix it that you may not have thought of.

Make them feel welcome

On average, it takes a new hire eight months to reach their full productivity. That’s why a well-organized, well-thought out onboarding process is so important. The more organized your onboarding process is, the faster your employees can begin to contribute to your team.

A disorganized onboarding process reflects badly on you and your company. It will lead new hires to think that that’s the kind of experience they can expect during their time there. First impressions matter, so be sure to make a good one.

Ultimately, you want to create a warm, welcoming environment for your new employee. The more comfortable you make them feel, the faster they’ll get settled and can get to work.

What are your top tips for a successful employee onboarding process? Let us know over on Twitter or LinkedIn!

Source: How to Build an Effective Employee Onboarding Process | The Cronofy Blog

How to Motivate Your Employees


Motivated employees are more productive, they’re happier, and they’re more loyal. All these things add up to a stronger employer brand image, a lower employee turnover, and faster business growth.

However, it’s easy for employees to become unmotivated. Too heavy a workload, micromanagement, or even external pressures can lead to disengaged and unhappy employees.

So how do you prevent this from happening? How do you keep your employees motivated and engaged so that they turn up happy and ready to work?

Offer incentives

Incentives – such as commission for salespeople – can be an effective way to encourage staff to reach (and surpass) their goals.

Other examples could be staff discounts, company days out or retreats, or pay rises.

However, if you have an unhealthy working environment, no incentive can counteract this.

Incentives can also cause a competitive (and potentially unhealthy) working environment, so be wary of that if it’s clear that one person regularly outperforms the rest of the team.


Communication is everything.

From managers clearly explaining what they expect from employees, to employees telling managers what they want, to CEOs telling everyone within the company what the plan is for the business, the more informed employees are, the happier they are.

Not only that, but because they know what is expected of them and what direction the business is likely to go in, they can make more informed decisions that are more likely to help the business to grow faster.

Effective communication is 50% listening and 50% how you speak, so if an employee appears to be struggling, take the time to talk to them in private and find out what’s going on. It could be that they’re having personal issues and there isn’t anything you can do, but your willingness to listen shows that you value and support them.

Start with why

Even if you haven’t read Simon Sinek’s book (where have you been?!) you’ll have heard the phrase ‘start with why’.

Explaining to employees why something is done, not just what needs to be done, helps them to see the bigger picture.

As Garry puts it, “everyone wants to do something that feels worthwhile and sometimes the dots aren’t obvious to connect.”

Don’t assume that just because something makes perfect sense to you, that the connections are obvious to your employees, too. Sometimes the boring, tedious tasks are necessary as part of the wider picture, but the value isn’t always clear if you’re not aware of what that wider picture is.

Ask yourself how you can help your employees

When you’re in charge of a team, it can be easy to fall into the trap of wanting employees to help you, but in order for them to help you, you must first help them.

Ask your employees regularly how you can help them and what they need to do to succeed in their role.

Inspire them to learn

The longer we go without learning something new, the easier it is to get bored. That’s why it’s important to always encourage your employees to learn new skills both inside and outside of their area of expertise, and inside and outside their job.

You never know what skills will come in handy – especially when you work for a startup – so the more skills you and your team have, the better.

Encourage debates

Healthy debate avoids groupthink and prevents the team from falling into a comfort zone. There’s often one person in a team who’s more vocal than the rest – make it clear to everyone that their opinions are just as valid, even if they disagree.

Give them their own projects and hold them accountable

As a manager, you can’t do everything. And you know what? You shouldn’t.

Giving employees control over their own projects empowers them. It also takes the pressure off you, as a manager, because that’s one less thing you have to worry about.

Play to your team’s strengths but don’t be afraid to challenge them, too. Giving them tasks outside of their comfort zone helps them to grow in skills and confidence.

Get regular updates on the project and make it clear to your team that you’re always happy to help if they get stuck.

Make everyone a part of the team

No matter how long someone has been a part of the team, they should be made to feel valued. This value comes from gratitude, communication, and including everyone in the goings on within the company.

It shouldn’t matter how long an employee has worked there – their ideas could be just as beneficial, maybe even more so because they can approach everything with a fresh perspective.

Say ‘thank you’

There are two words in the English language that hold more power than any others. They’re simple words. Ones you’ve probably used today without even thinking about it. And, as you’ve probably guessed, those two words are ‘thank you’.

When you say thank you to your team for their hard work, it makes them feel appreciated. This triggers oxytocin – the warm and fuzzy hormone.

This feeling not only makes employees happier, but also creates a sense of loyalty that means they’re more likely to stick around.

We all want to feel like we’re making a difference. Thanking your employees reminds them that their efforts are worthwhile, even if the reasons why aren’t immediately obvious.


Sometimes it’s the little gestures – like saying thank you or taking the time to listen – that make the biggest difference. Incentives and pay rises can help, too, but these aren’t what breed loyalty – making someone feel appreciated is. Appreciation comes in many forms, from investing in employees’ skills to taking the time to listen to them. Never underestimate how a small gesture can make a big difference.

Source: How to Motivate Your Employees | The Cronofy Blog

About Cronofy

Cronofy helps HR software providers to connect their software to their users’ calendars. To find out more, book your demo today.

11 Office Tasks You Need to Automate


We all have tasks at work that we don’t want to do. Sometimes we can bribe our co-workers with burritos to do them for us, and other times we have to suck it up and get on with things. But, for some things, there is a third option. You can always automate them.

Failing to automate repetitive tasks can cost businesses as much as $13,000 per year per employee. That’s a whole lot of burritos.

Automating repetitive tasks, meanwhile, makes for happier employees and less workplace stress.

Here’s a look at some of the office tasks you can automate.

Organizing meetings

Meetings can be huge time sinks. It doesn’t take much to go off on a tangent that turns a ten-minute meeting into an hour-long one. While I can’t offer any advice on how to stop this from happening, I can offer you some advice on how to speed up the organizing of the meeting.

Coordinating schedules can be a huge hassle. When it’s done using calendar sync, that hassle is taken away. The process is quick and seamless. Everything from booking to cancelling to rescheduling meetings can be done instantly. Everyone gets notified as soon as any changes occur. If your HR software uses Smart Invites, even external attendees can be notified of any changes.

Software can even be set up so that bookable rooms and resources can be reserved for your required meeting, and you can organize meetings around the availability of the equipment that you need. Now that’s a time-saver.

Sending meeting reminders

When a meeting is booked weeks or even months in advance, it’s easy to forget about it. That’s why adding appointments to your calendar is so important. It prevents double-bookings and means you have all your appointments in one place. Setting up meeting reminders means that you won’t be late even if there’s traffic – calendar services such as Apple Calendar can factor in traffic when sending you time to leave notifications.

Booking paid time off

Everyone loves time off. Booking it should be a seamless process. It should also be easy for staff who have time off to notify their colleagues about when they’re out of the office. Syncing paid time off management software to employees’ calendars allows managers to cross-reference who’s off and when. This helps them to make more informed decisions and ensure that there’s always someone around should there need to be.


Reporting can be a tedious part of any job. Automating data entry makes it a faster and less tedious process.

Excel macros, for example, can save employees from needing to enter the same information hundreds or even thousands of times.

Replenishing supplies

From stationery to ink cartridges, offices get through a lot of equipment. Getting hold of suppliers to reorder equipment can mean sitting on the phone twiddling your thumbs while you sit on hold. With modern technology you shouldn’t need to do this. Printers can connect to suppliers and automatically order new equipment when ink or toner is close to running out. Other supplies, such as pens and notebooks, can be set up as a subscription so that there’s always a fresh supply around the office.

Hiring contractors

From a broken toilet to a leaky roof, there’s always a need for contractors. The fastest way to find one is online. When contractors connect their calendars to a booking software, businesses can book someone in seconds. This appointment can then be added to the contractors’ calendar automatically.

Paying bills

Paying bills is necessary for any business. When it’s automated, not only do you not need to worry about it, but you can assure your suppliers that payment will come out on a particular date. This gives both you and them peace of mind.


Signatures are difficult online. When you’re responsible for a large team or company, it can feel like you’re always signing this or that. If you need to email a contract to someone, you have to print the paperwork out, sign it, scan it back in, then email it across. This process isn’t necessary any more, though. Some programs now allow you to generate an e-signature that allows you to sign something electronically. You get to save some trees and it’s minimum effort. Perfect.

Email responses

Automated email responses can be used for many things. They’re handy to notify customers that you’re not ignoring your emails, you’re just topping up your tan in Cyprus; they can confirm that a customer has filled in a form on your website or signed up to your mailing list, or they can acknowledge a customer query about a particular topic.

Customers appreciate that you’ve acknowledged their email – even if it’s an auto-response – and you can reply to their email properly when you have the relevant information to share with them, or you’ve finished topping up your tan.

Collecting customer information

It’s important to keep an up-to-date record of your customers’ details. It’s also important for a customer to not feel like they have to repeat the same information each time they speak to a different department. That’s why CRMs are so useful – every team member has access to the latest customer information. They can also track the last time a customer was spoken to or contacted, and all of the previous points of contact you’ve had with the customer in question.

Filtering candidates

Applicant tracking systems (ATS) allow you to automate parts of the hiring process to make it easier, faster, and better-organized. One of the key ways an ATS can do this is by filtering candidates based on the requirements for the role. The ATS can be set up to search for keywords or phrases in a candidate’s CV, then filter out anyone that doesn’t match the criteria. The hiring manager then has a smaller pool of applicants to shortlist for interview.


These are just some of the office tasks you can automate to make your average day easier and more productive.

While many of the office tasks that can be automated are often simple, they also tend to be repetitive and boring. Getting rid of them – or in the very least making them easier – makes for happier employees.

Saving just a few minutes every day adds up over the course of a year. This makes a huge difference to an employees’ productivity, and therefore the business’s yearly outcome, too.

What office tasks do you automate, and what difference has it made to your work life? Let us know on Twitter!

Source: 11 Office Tasks You Need to Automate | The Cronofy Blog

About Cronofy

Cronofy helps HR software providers to connect their software to their users’ calendars. To find out more, book your demo today.

9 Ways Calendar Connectivity Saves Employees Time

We’re big fans of finding ways to help you save time. That’s why we’ve combined some of our customer success stories and case studies to create a fictional account of the different ways employees can save time using calendar sync.

In it, our protagonist discusses the different ways her company uses calendar sync, and the ways in which it’s saved her and her colleagues time. She also breaks down how much time they save in an average day, week, or month, just by adopting calendar sync. It’s a great example of how micro-moments can add up to make a big difference.

calendar-connectivity-day-life9am: Check schedule for the day
I get to the office, make a cup of tea, and sit down at my desk. Once my computer is booted up, I check my schedule for the day and find that Barry has added me to a meeting this afternoon. We’ve got a leak in the ceiling and need to discuss our options to get it fixed ASAP. Barry gets in about 7:30am, so he’s around to pick up on things when it’s quiet. It’s useful to him that he can still schedule meetings with us even when we’re not around as it means he can organize everything while it’s fresh in his mind.

Time saved: Me, 5 minutes; Barry, 5 minutes

9:30am: Meet new employee
We’ve just had a new employee join our department, and she’s the first one to be calendar connected from the get-go. Our HR software scheduled meetings in with everyone on our team so that she can meet us and ask us any questions. She didn’t need to do any of the work, and it was minimal effort for the rest of us too.

Time saved: Me, 5 minutes; new employee, at least half an hour

10am: Team catch up
We have a monthly team catch up to find out what everyone’s been working on and to try and solve any problems. There’s 10 of us, so scheduling that can be a nightmare. When we got our new calendar synced software, I set up a recurring meeting at a time that works for everyone. The software even found an available meeting room and has reserved it indefinitely at 10am once a month. That means I don’t need to hunt around for a meeting room each month, and nobody risks getting double-booked.

Time saved: 15 minutes

11am: Leaky ceiling meeting
Met with Barry about the leak. He wants me to find someone to come look at it. Instead of consulting search engines or the phonebook like I usually do, I used our new booking software to find someone who can come out today. I clicked the top search result, typed in our problem, and hit submit. The software pushed our request to his calendar straight away. He received a notification about the job with all the information he needed.

Time saved: Me, 30 minutes; handyman, 5 minutes

11:30am: Book Christmas vacation
I’ve decided I want to spend Christmas at home eating cake and watching bad TV. I open my calendar and use my leftover vacation days for the Christmas holidays. My request is then pushed to my line manager to accept or decline. He can even see who else has booked the time off from his calendar to help him make a better-informed decision.

Time saved: 5 minutes

12pm: Lunchtime
Being calendar synced, I can block out times when I don’t want meetings organized for. Like lunchtime, when I like to go for a walk, have something to eat, or read a book.

1pm: Automate scheduling of yearly appraisals
It’s the end of the year, so time to start organizing yearly appraisals. I’m in charge of that, and it used to take forever because there are so many people in the company. Our new calendar sync software makes it so much easier. All I need to do is enter who needs to attend, then it works out a mutually convenient time when a meeting room is also available. The appraisals are then automatically added to the calendars of everyone involved.

Time saved: An hour

2pm: Organize training session
I want to set up a training session about stress awareness. We’ve had the session before and it proved popular, so I’m using the same speaker again. The employees that want to attend are in a list I’ve already curated, so I put their names into the booking system, along with the name of the speaker. The software suggests January 10 as a date when everyone is free, there’s a big enough meeting room available, and there’s a screen they can use. Perfect. I accept the meeting. It’s automatically pushed to the calendars of the employees, the speaker, the meeting room, and the screen. That ensures that there are no overlaps or double-bookings.

Time saved: 30 minutes

2:30pm: Exit interview scheduling
One of our team members is leaving us in a couple of weeks, so I want to arrange an exit interview with her to find out more about why she’s leaving. She’s calendar synced, so I can just enter our names into the HR software and it will work out the rest for us. Next Friday at 2pm is perfect. Minimal effort for me, no effort at all for her.

Time saved: Me, 5 minutes; her, also 5 minutes

3pm: Virtual meeting with New York office
Some of our team are based in our New York offices. It makes a huge difference to be able to have a virtual meeting once a week. Even though we don’t see each other very often, we still get to know one another and we know that our weekly meetings won’t clash with any other appointments. Our software also factors in time differences, so it doesn’t matter which part of the world people conference in from.

Time saved: 5 minutes for everyone

3:30pm: Handyman arrives
The handyman has come to look into the leak. Apparently there’s a hole in the roof. The one thing calendar connectivity can’t fix…

5pm: Home time
Time to go home and watch Stranger Things 2.

Total time saved thanks to calendar sync: Me, 2 hours 40 minutes; other people, 50 minutes

It still amazes me how much time I save each day just from using calendar sync. In some cases it may only be a few minutes here or there, but those minutes add up and can make a huge difference. Saving five minutes a day organizing meetings results in a 25-minute saving each week, or a 100-minute saving each month! I could do so much with that extra time. But it doesn’t just affect me, it affects my co-workers, too. There’s 10 of us, so we save at least 50 minutes a day by using calendar sync. In a week, we save a whole working day between us! I’m really pleased we made invested in calendar sync.

How much time will you save?

Continue reading “9 Ways Calendar Connectivity Saves Employees Time”

Cronofy Interview Scheduling Survey Results 2017


We recently polled 33 HR professionals to find out more about their interview scheduling experiences, and to understand how calendar sync can help them save time and acquire talent faster. They range from HR managers to internal and external recruiters; some work for SMEs, while others work for large organizations.

We were surprised to discover that many of the main issues our respondents faced were the same whether they worked for a small or large company. From conflicting appointments to waiting to hear back from someone, there are just some issues that are universal.

Key findings

  • 60% of companies take over 1 month to hire a candidate to fill a vacancy
  • 56% of recruiters spend more than a full working day scheduling interviews for a vacancy
  • 61% of respondents said interviews regularly clash with other commitments

Time to hire

The average time to hire varied greatly. One person said that their time to hire is less than a week (nicely done – what’s your secret?), 36% said it takes them 2-4 weeks, and a further 36% said that it takes them 1-2 months. 24% said that it takes them more than two months to hire.

It took larger organizations a little longer to hire than SMEs, which is to be expected. Bigger companies usually have more people involved in the recruitment process and this can translate into more interviews.

However, there were some SMEs that took over two months to hire for a new role, too. This is a reflection of how important it is for smaller companies to find the right fit. When you have a small team, one person can make a huge difference.

The longer a company takes to hire, the more likely the best candidates are to go to a competitor or to pull out because the process is taking too long. When a business doesn’t hire the best talent, it can slow its growth, too.

A drawn out hiring process can make a company look disorganized and impact the employer’s brand. The faster and more straightforward your hiring process is, the more attractive you are to new hires and the stronger your employer brand will be. If you have a positive candidate experience, even unsuccessful candidates may share their experiences on sites like Glassdoor.

Interview scheduling

When it came to the average time to schedule interviews, the difference between answers was even more pronounced.

The fastest time to schedule interviews was 1-2 hours, with 22% of people saying that’s how long it took them. 19% said it took them 2-6 hours, and 25% said it took between 6-10 hours, which is a full working day!

A further 25% said it took them a whole two days to schedule interviews.

It doesn’t stop there, either.

6% of people said it took them a week to schedule interviews, and one person said it took them over two weeks to get everyone’s schedules synced! Two weeks to schedule interviews! Just think what you could achieve with all that time if you weren’t constantly chasing people.

Calendar sync helps to speed up this process by letting candidates book their interview in their own time. An interview panel can block out times when they are available to meet candidates, and candidates can then choose from the list in their own time. Once a candidate has chosen a time, it’s removed from the list of options offered to other candidates to prevent any double-bookings. The interview panel’s calendars are then updated with the new interview, and candidates can add the booking to their own calendar, too.

Commitment clashes

One thing we didn’t expect was the number of people that said that interviews often clash with other events or commitments. 60% said that this happens on a regular basis.

This is why so many businesses are now embracing calendar sync. Calendar sync ensures that when you schedule an interview, it won’t clash with another calendar appointment, either in your calendar or in your colleagues’ schedules. Everyone’s real-time availability is visible from the start so that you know when everyone is available for interview.

Candidate no-shows

72% said that it was uncommon for candidates to not show up for an interview. 21% said that candidates sometimes don’t show up, and 6% said that it’s a regular occurrence.

This shows that – most of the time – recruiters are great at filtering CVs and finding candidates who are not only qualified, but also genuinely interested in, the role they applied for.

However, if 25% of recruiters have experienced a no-show, that’s something that also need to be addressed. Real-time calendar sync allows businesses to be notified when calendar invites are accepted, deleted, or moved. This can be integrated into workflows to prevent miscommunications. For example, if a candidate doesn’t accept a calendar invite, an email or text can be sent automatically to confirm their availability.

Other scheduling issues

We also asked if there were any other interview scheduling issues you faced. There were many. Listed below are the three most common. Other issues highlighted include trying to fit interviews in around office hours when candidates request an early/late interview, and finding alternative start dates when a candidate is on holiday.

Time zone conflicts

The issue that came up the most was factoring in multiple time zones when scheduling interviews. This can be difficult when hiring a new team overseas, especially if not all of the members of the interview panel are based in the same time zone. More and more interviews can be conducted remotely, but if the booking system doesn’t account for time zones it can turn a simple process into a complicated one fast.

Calendar sync through a Calendar API ensures that the booking system will be able to detect or specify the time zones the invites are sent from, meaning that nobody gets an interview scheduled for three o’clock in the morning.

Last-minute changes

Another issue was frequent or last-minute changes, either on the part of the candidate or the interview panel. This can cause huge inconveniences for everyone involved. It can result in delays, causing a longer time to hire. It’s frustrating for candidates who’ve booked paid time off to go to their interview, and it’s frustrating for interview panel members because it increases the cost of hiring and means the company has a vacancy for longer.

We can’t predict emergencies that get in the way, but some scheduling conflicts we’re aware of in advance. Using calendar sync to connect your booking software or Applicant Tracking Systems to internal and external calendars becomes really useful in this situation. Candidates can be notified of changes in real-time and reschedule their interviews without having to call or start another email chain. Their previous interview slot can then be re-opened for other interviews or appointments.

Meeting rooms and resources

Getting the right meeting room in a busy building can require as much coordinating as the interview itself.

When you interview a candidate, the right meeting room is crucial. After all, a candidate interviews the company as much as you interview them. A poor experience puts them off and means you could lose out on your favorite candidate. A clean, modern, spacious meeting room, meanwhile, suggests a modern, welcoming working environment that any candidate would be lucky to be a part of.

Things are even more complicated if candidates are required to do a presentation as part of their interview. How can you guarantee a room with a screen will be available, or that there’ll be an external screen available as an alternative?

In a busy office building, if you don’t reserve a room in advance, you could end up with a candidate and nowhere to interview them. Creating calendars for your bookable rooms and resources makes it easier than ever for hiring managers to coordinate everyone and everything required for an interview.


Some of these are small – and seemingly simple – tasks, but when you put them together they create big problems. Each task needs to be completed for each interview, meaning that hiring managers can waste hours coordinating everyone and everything. It’s a huge time sink, and it’s impractical.

Calendar sync can solve all these problems and more. In the twenty first century, there’s really no good reason why interviews should clash with other events, or why you should struggle to find the right meeting room and equipment when you need it.

Get a full breakdown of the results here.

Source: Interview Scheduling Survey 2017 | Cronofy Calendar API

About Cronofy

Cronofy connects HR software to users’ calendars via a unified calendar API.

To discover how calendar sync can save you and your users time and money, and help to hire the best candidates, watch our Real-Time Scheduling video.

Creating the right learning environment for your employees is imperative. Here's how you can do just that.

How to Create a Better Learning Environment for Your Employees

Encouraging employees to always be developing their skills is good for their mood, career development, and even team bonding.

When you offer employees the chance to learn and grow, it shows that you value them. This makes them more effective in their role – both because they’re expanding their skills and because they don’t feel like just another cog in the machine – and therefore makes your business more successful, too.

From attending conferences online to making classes more interactive, technology makes staff training easier than ever. Here are just some of the ways technology helps you to create a better learning environment for your employees.

Make training part of company culture

Training should be seen as a key part of company culture. It’s only when employees are supported and guided in their growth strategies that they can really excel.

However, it can be difficult to for employees to find the time to work on their skills around their busy schedules. Automating certain tasks, such as speeding up data entry using Excel macros, gives them more time to spend on expanding their skills.

Other repetitive tasks, such as organizing meetings, can also be automated by adopting features such as calendar sync. When a team’s calendars are connected to a booking software, the meeting organizer can select the meeting attendees, then leave the software to work out the rest. It can even work out the most suitable meeting room and schedule the meeting around the availability of that room.

Give employees easy access to the training resources they need

Employees need the right equipment for their training session so that they can get the most out of it. This could involve laptops, projectors, screens, or even parking spaces.

In a large organization the availability of these resources can’t always be guaranteed. Connecting the calendars of these resources to a booking software allows them to be reserved in advance. Training sessions can even be scheduled based on the availability of the necessary resources.

The schedules of guest speakers can also be connected to your booking software, meaning that you can book a training session based around both their schedule and the schedules of everyone that needs to attend. Nobody needs to miss out because they’re on vacation or at another training event.

It’s not always necessary to attend training events in person anymore, though.

Many conferences now offer e-tickets, which allows employees to attend without the extra expenses of travel or hotel stays. This saves your business money while employees still get to develop their skills.

E-tickets often come with the chance to rewatch lectures after the conference is over, which can also be a valuable resource. It also means employees can watch talks at a time that is most convenient for them and don’t have to miss out on anything because of time differences.

Make learning more engaging

We’ve all had to sit in a cold, dank room surrounded by colleagues while someone talks at us all day. Sometimes what can be explained in an hour is dragged out into an all-day event to justify guest speakers or room rental.

This isn’t an effective, fun, or engaging training method.

When employees can use technology, learning instantly becomes more engaging. Training modules can be turned into games; meetings can be simulated or even attended in VR, and employees can get their questions answered instantaneously by a chatbot.

Chatbots can help employees both inside and outside of a training room – should a new hire have any questions, for example, they can ask the chatbot and get an answer straight away. This means they don’t have to disturb their colleagues to get answers, and they don’t have to wait around for their colleagues to be free, either. Your latest hire can get to grips with things and start helping the team faster.

In-house training can also be made more interactive with the use of virtual reality. Virtual reality can be particularly useful for dangerous jobs where on-the-job training isn’t always possible, but where it’s important for employees to develop their skills before completing their tasks for real.

It can also be beneficial for training sales teams or telemarketers in how to deal with difficult customers, or to teach pilots how to fly before they go up in the air.

Virtual reality can also benefit remote-working employees as they can feel just as much of a part of team meetings as those who are there in person. They can also be more immersed in client meetings.

Growth is important for people and businesses

Retaining highly skilled employees is one of the most difficult tasks that a business faces. Finding a way to keep them is important if your business is to grow, though.

One of the ways in which businesses can help to attract and retain the best employees is by offering them the opportunity to constantly learn and expand their knowledge. The most successful people are always learning new things, so it makes sense that these people, in turn, help to build a successful company.

Investing in employees’ skills is a win-win situation, it prevents staff from going to the competition and helps to build a business’s employer brand. The more advanced and interesting the development package, the more attractive it is to employees. One of the ways employers can make this attractive to employees is to invest in the right technology for the job. The better the technology available to employees, the more control they have over their schedule and the faster they can develop their skills.

Source: How to Create a Better Learning Environment for Your Employees | Cronofy Calendar API

About the Author

Kristina is a writer, digital marketer, and social media addict. She spends her days working as a content marketer for Cronofy, and her nights writing novels.

About Cronofy

Cronofy connects HR software to users’ calendars via a unified calendar API.

To discover how calendar sync can save you and your users time and money, and help to hire the best candidates, watch our Real-Time Scheduling video.

How Technology Can Help to Prevent Workplace Stress

We spend over eight hours a day, five days a week at work.

Some of us may even spend more of our waking hours with our colleagues than our families.

It’s therefore important that our working lives leave us happy and fulfilled.

Sadly, studies show that one in four of us will suffer from a mental health condition in our lifetime.

Spending so much of our waking time at work, it’s inevitable that work will affect our mental health.

Too much pressure or long-term stress can cause employees to burn out, leaving them with less energy to function in and out of work.

Too little work – or a lack of stimulation – can also lead to stress. Employees feel under-fulfilled, like they’re wasting their time, and want to be anywhere but at work.

The more stressed employees are, the less work they get done, and the more businesses suffer.

Embracing technological innovations puts employees back in control of how they spend their time at work and greatly reduces the risks of stress and burnout.

Here are four ways technology can make employees feel more fulfilled, and help to prevent workplace stress.

Organize and coordinate schedules

Trying to find a time when a team can meet to discuss something important can often take as long – sometimes even longer – than the meeting itself.

If it’s an important or last-minute meeting, trying to get everyone together can cause employees huge amounts of stress.

There’s always a risk of someone being double-booked because they didn’t check their calendar before agreeing to a suggested time.

This then causes more stress because the meeting needs to be rescheduled.

Calendar connectivity means that this process can be automated, preventing double-bookings and avoiding any stress the process could cause.

Instead of long email chains or back-and-forth phone calls, the person organizing the meeting can tell the software whom they need in the meeting. It can then suggest a list of times when everyone is free to meet. If calendars are set up for bookable resources such as meeting rooms or parking spaces, it can incorporate this into its calculations too.

Connecting an employees’ calendar to HR software also means that they don’t need to switch between applications to keep track of their schedules.

Speed up and streamline complicated processes

On the surface, organizing interviews seems like an easy process, but with so many candidates and interview panellists to coordinate, it quickly becomes laborious.

Hiring managers can spend as many as 20 hours a month organizing interviews.

Automating this process gives hiring managers more time to spend on other tasks, saves interview panellists from having to constantly flit between their calendar and emails, and allows candidates to book their interviews discreetly.

Another process that can be automated is the organization of staff appraisals. In large organizations, this process can be particularly time-consuming.

However, when employees are calendar connected, software can work out the best times for an employee to meet their manager and automatically add the appointments to their calendar. No matter what size their team is, the process is instant.

Offering training programs for employees to expand their skills further breaks up the tedium of the daily routine.

Training programs don’t just have to take place at work, either.

There are thousands of online courses out there, and many of them are free.

Many industries also have their own courses or week-long events that employees can attend to network and get a change of scenery.

Giving employees new ways to learn and grow helps to spark new ideas that they can bring back to the workplace.

Learning new skills is also an effective way to prevent stagnation and keep employees interested in their work.

Monitor employee wellbeing

Looking after employees is a key part of HR.

New technology means HR teams can track how employees feel and gain an insight into how different teams work.

They can also encourage employees to get up and get moving by offering incentives such as fitness trackers.

Communication tools such as Slack give employees the opportunity to keep in touch whether they work in the same building or different parts of the country.

Tools like this can be key for managers and HR staff to keep informed of how employees are getting along, particularly if they work remotely full- or part-time.

Let employees take control of their schedules

The more things a person has floating around in their mind, the more difficult it is for them to organize their thoughts.

When employees have a lot to do and nowhere to organize their time, it’s inevitable that something will be forgotten.

Taking advantage of technology allows them to use it for everything from creating to-do lists in Trello to tracking customer queries in Zendesk.

Giving employees somewhere they can make a note of everything they have to do means that they spend less time trying to remember everything and more time getting things done.

The technology you provide for your employees matters

Richard Branson once said that if you “look after your staff. They’ll look after your customers. It’s that simple.”

When employees feel overwhelmed or overworked, they’re less productive and less able to help a business to grow.

Employees are what make a business a success.

Choosing the right people is crucial, but that’s only part of it.

If you don’t look after them, they won’t be as good to your business as they could be.

By nurturing employees, making them feel appreciated, and giving them opportunities to learn and grow, it not only benefits them, but the business, too.

The more knowledge employees acquire in their industry, the more they can use this to create a better customer experience and increase company revenue.

This then means the company can grow and increase its profits faster.

Everyone wins.

Source: How Technology Can Help to Prevent Workplace Stress | Cronofy Calendar API

About Cronofy

Cronofy connects HR software to users’ calendars via a unified calendar API.

To discover how calendar sync can save you and your users time and money, and help to hire the best candidates, watch our Real-Time Scheduling video.