Worker Slammed for Wanting to Keep Work Calendar Private: 'I'd Rather Not'

An unhappy office worker has sparked a debate after expressing anger when a line manager demanded her personal work calendar be made public.

Writing in a Mumsnet post shared under the handle itsanofrommee, the disgruntled employee explained how, up until now, their Microsoft Outlook calendar had been set as "private," meaning "people can see when we have meetings/when we're busy," but not the details of the meetings themselves.

"In my calendar I've had regular meetings with HR and occupational health," the worker explained. "Whilst the names of the meetings don't delve into the nitty gritties of what has been discussed I'd rather not let colleagues see that I have these meetings."

Workers looking at a computer calendar.
A file photo of two workers looking at a computer calendar. An employee's refusal to share her private outlook calendar has sparked debate online. insta_photos/ NicoElNino/Getty

When it comes to using products or services online, privacy matters to the average American. A 2020 Pew Research Center Survey found 52 percent of U.S. adults had decided not to use a particular product or service due to concerns over how much of their personal information would be collected.

However, this particular worker's demands for privacy appear to have spilled over into a situation that has seen them accused of lacking professionalism.

According to the Mumsnet post, while her employer was previously happy for workers to keep their Microsoft Outlook Calendars set to private, things have changed.

"We have a new project lead and she wants us to change the settings on our calendars so she can see what meetings we have," she wrote. "So that when she is trying to put in meetings and is trying to find a slot that works for everyone she can see what meetings people can move/what are just placeholders or meetings that move."

Despite the request to make the calendar public, the worker remains on the fence about granting this request - and she is not alone in that respect, with experts similarly divided on the matter.

Dr. Contrecia T. Tharpe, Chief Storyteller & Strategist at FayeVaughn Creative, told Newsweek she could see little issue with making the calendar public, provided the matter was handled with care.

"In today's hybrid world, easy access to information on employees' calendars can decrease the time spent finding meeting times that work for everyone," she said. "It is not unreasonable for an employer to ask for access to a team member's schedule within reason. Understanding that many people want privacy, there are ways to access this information while giving thought to alternatives, the importance of privacy, misuse of information, and clear and transparent policies."

'Matter of Trust'

By contrast, Paul Davies, Founding Director of and, felt it remains "a matter of trust."

"If a business owner empowers their employees to exercise autonomy in their decision making, then it should not be necessary to share work calendars from an accountability point of view," he told Newsweek. "Open, regular dialogue is essential to ensure that the employee is in tune with the business priorities and standards."

Davies added: "This approach requires a high degree of trust, which usually has to be earnt over a period of time. Micromanaging by checking schedules can stifle the creativity and drive of your best staff."

The response on social media differed slightly with most in favor of transparency in all business dealings.

One Mumsnet user commented: "It's not unusual to have access to others' calendars. It can waste a lot of time toing and froing when you could just view it yourself."

A second said: "I think it's reasonable for your project manager to see your calendar and know what you're doing/which meetings you are at in work time. If there are particular meetings that are very confidential just mark those particular meetings as private."

A third added: "Technically your account belongs to the company, so yes she is reasonable to want to see your calendar."

Newsweek wasn't able to verify the details of the case.

Have you had a workplace dilemma? Let us know via We can ask experts for advice, and your story could be featured on Newsweek.