We often get asked the question: "Why do my attendees have to sign up for Reclaim just to schedule Smart 1:1s?" There are several reasons for why we require both users on a Smart 1:1 to sign up for Reclaim. Read below for more info on them.
Trust and transparency
Smart 1:1s might be more flexible, adaptive, and intelligent -- but the reality is that they're pretty different from normal recurring 1:1s. Rather than create surprise or embarrassment for you or your 1:1 guests by just hijacking events on the calendar, we want both parties to understand a bit about how the system works before Reclaim starts scheduling meetings.
This is why we send all attendees through a short onboarding process to familiarize them with the Smart 1:1s feature, let them set their own meeting hours for Reclaim to schedule around, and formally accept the 1:1. Once they've gone through this process, any subsequent 1:1 invites that are sent to them will only take a single step to accept them.
The long and short of it is this: by having both parties "opt in" to Smart 1:1s, we get an opportunity to ensure that you both have a clear picture of what to expect from them.
More reliable scheduling
More pragmatically, it's important for Reclaim to have access to both attendees' calendars so that meetings can be accurately and consistently scheduled across a variety of factors. While it's technically possible in some cases for Reclaim to detect things like timezone and availability for a user for whom we don't have calendar access, it's unreliable and far from guaranteed.
By having both attendees provide access to their calendars as part of scheduling a Smart 1:1, Reclaim can ensure that it has visibility into the following:
Timezone: Reclaim can accurately detect the timezones for both attendees, and update those timezones when they change.
Availability: Reclaim can definitively know the free/busy information for both attendees, and keep 1:1 meetings up-to-date with changes to the schedule in real time. Additionally, because both users have access to Calendar Sync in Reclaim, you can ensure that events from other calendars (e.g., a personal calendar) get reflected in that availability as well.
Meeting Hours: Reclaim lets both users set their own meeting hours so Reclaim knows when it's ok to schedule Smart 1:1s. This is something that is near-impossible to get from Google natively without having users set it in Reclaim, as Google Calendar doesn't offer any kind of API for its working hours feature.
Ultimately, we want Smart 1:1s to be a feature you use for many years to manage your one-on-one meetings, and we want it to be a more reliable and effortless method for you to stay in contact with your teammates. We believe that the only route to providing that user experience is ensuring that you can rely on Reclaim to schedule Smart 1:1 meetings, and that Reclaim never does weird things for you or your attendees' schedules. This is why we ask both parties to sign up for Reclaim.