Microsoft Is Developing A Productivity-enhancing Feature For Outlook

The upcoming “Focus Time” feature will allow you to schedule quiet times directly from Outlook’s calendar.

Microsoft has added some useful features to its newer versions of Windows that disable notifications and allow you to work uninterrupted. The company is now working on incorporating the same concept into Outlook, allowing you to set quiet times within the email client.

Outlook’s New “Focus Time”

Neowin discovered a new entry on the Microsoft 365 Roadmap titled “Outlook: Focus Time in Outlook Calendar.” It was also recently added, with an expiration date of October 28, 2022.

The entry description is unequivocal about the feature’s functionality:

Focus events can be scheduled directly from the Outlook calendar, and Outlook and Teams notifications can be muted during this time.

The Roadmap is Microsoft’s way of keeping people up to date on upcoming features, which means you won’t be able to mute notifications within the Outlook calendar for a while. However, the company has set a tentative release date of January 20, 2023.

Giving Work-from-Home Employees Attention

This isn’t the first time Microsoft has introduced new focus-related features to its products. Microsoft improved Windows 11’s Focus Assist tool in April 2022 to help people get more done.

But why is Microsoft so focused on these focus-related features? The answer could be found in the recent surge in people working from home. Office PCs typically come with little more than what is required to get the job done. As a result, notifications are typically work-related and critical.

Things are becoming more distracting now that many people work from home. If you use the same computer for work and play, you’ve probably been inundated with notifications from both sides; work emails arriving alongside Facebook messages, for example.

As a result, it’s critical that users can control which apps can send notifications and when. People who work from home can better manage when it’s time to do business and when it’s time to chat this way.

Microsoft is probably aware of this, which is why its apps and software are now getting improved focus-related tools. It’s also possible that the company will introduce new focus-based tools or improve existing ones in the near future.

Concentrating on Productivity

Microsoft appears to be developing better tools to help people stay focused while working from home. We’ll have to wait until January 2023 to see how the tool works for us.

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