Microsoft Delve: An App to Track Your Work-Life Balance
Identifying that a problem exists is the first step in finding a solution to it. There is no doubt that work-life balance is a huge issue right now. In light of this, a lot of companies are trying to find ways to help us track and improve our time management habits and skills. The new Microsoft app, Delve, is one such tool. It can help you track your work-life balance. Let’s take a closer look.
(Photo Credit: Microsoft)
1. Analytics for emails and meetings.
Delve, like many time-management geared apps, is all about analyzing data. And, it would be pretty difficult to not learn something about how you work from checking out these kinds of findings. For starters, it tracks whom you email, when you email them, and from where. For example, the app might show that you send 30 percent of your emails when you’re not at work, and it will also compare that information to the company’s average. It also analyzes the time spent in meetings, and contrasts that with the rest of the company.
2. Teamwork maps.
The teamwork maps are visual representations of the people you interact with and how often you communicate with each of them. The thickness of lines connecting individuals increases with the rate of your contact. This could be a valuable tool for helping you understand how you’re relating to members of your team, and it could help you make adjustments to improve your communications. However, this is where the app starts to blur the lines between a data/time tracker and a social media application.
3. Dashboard view.
The dashboard view is the latest feature to be added to the Delve app. It’s pretty simple, but the information it provides could make a big impact. It will allow you to track your own work performance, and compare it to the company average.
Julia White, general manager of the Office team, said, “Essentially, think of it as your health tracker for your work. And, I can tap into all that information in the Office Graph – all those signals – to understand my time, the interactions and that of my team, as well… I can even see a trend line where my meeting time compares to the broader organization.”
4. Delve, or similar apps, could make you more productive.
The idea is to work smarter not harder. If we maximize the time we spend at work, then, presumably, we’ll have more time to do other things. Through understanding exactly how you’re spending your time, you might be able to make adjustments that will help you reduce the hours you’re putting in at work. And, that’s a great step toward better work-life balance.
However, few people feel that social media helps us be more productive, and there are elements of the latest update of Delve that feel a little bit like a corporate Facebook. Furthermore, like social media, it only works if people on your team use it. Other time management apps, such as Evernote or Mind42, might be a better fit if you’re looking to maximize your time management strategies without getting hung up adjusting your profile, or skimming through the profiles of your associates – or if your team members aren’t likely to adopt Delve as well.
Tell Us What You Think
Have you tried Microsoft Delve? What did you think? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.
Gina Belli works as a teacher, freelance writer, and educational consultant, and lives in her beloved home state, Connecticut. She likes to write about education, work-life balance, and the economy. Given her arresting capacity to over-analyze anything interpersonal, her writing often tends to focus on some of the more emotional aspects of workplace connections and disconnections, as they relate to partnerships and teams, personality and communication styles, and leadership. In her free time, she likes to putter around her renovated one-room schoolhouse home, take walks in the woods, and eat as much guacamole as she can get her hands on.