Have you ever wondered how much time you spend in meetings, messaging coworkers, or on the phone? Webex started giving users access to People Insights back in March, detailing all of that information for individual users. On Monday, the company announced an entirely new feature for People Insights called Connections.
Connections tracks how often users talk to or interact with each other, providing more insights into your daily work habits.
Connections are grouped into three different categories: close, familiar and distant. Each category takes into account how frequently a user interacts with others in meetings, messages, and calls. Users can select other members of the group to indicate they want to interact with that person more often.
When viewing your Connections, you can see your current trends for individual contacts over recent days, weeks, and longer periods.
Connections combined with the rest of the data that's surfaced in People Insights is designed to help workers maintain a healthier work/life balance. From being able to see how many meetings are scheduled outside of normal work hours or how often meetings run over their scheduled time to seeing who they talk to most often, or not often enough -- it's all actionable information.
Insights as a whole remind me a lot of fitness trackers like Fitbit or the Apple Watch. We have all of this data about our fitness levels and health, but whether or not we take action – and what actions we take – is up to us. I wish there was a platform like Insights that broke down my daily workflow and habits across all apps and devices, and not just within a specific platform.
Privacy is naturally a concern for any platform, but especially for one that collects data on what would otherwise be private interactions. According to Jeetu Patel, an executive vice president and general manager at Webex, who spoke with ZDNet about Connections before the announcement, the company strongly believes its Insights feature shouldn't be used as a surveillance tool. None of the information that's linked to a user's account is accessible by anyone else at the company. For instance, a manager can't see an employees' Close connections are, or any of the other information that's available in Insights.
Eventually, Insights will expand beyond curating data at the user level to teams and the organization as a whole. Webex chose to start with the individual user to learn more about how Insights will be used and what information users care about. The company is still learning, according to Patel, and will make changes as the company learns more. It's for that same reason that Insights and Connections are only available in the desktop version of the app.
What do you think? Would you use a tool that details how much time you spend on certain tasks during and outside of work hours? Let me know in the comments below.