Microsoft has unveiled a raft of latest options designed to advertise a renewed concentrate on worker wellbeing, made all of the extra essential by the pandemic and rise of distant working.
At Microsoft Ignite, Corporate VP Jared Spataro challenged the view that the function of expertise is just to drive better effectivity and squeeze out each ounce of worth from workers.
“Up to this point, technology has been focused on efficiency – and I think that’s a fallacy. Sustainable productivity isn’t just about efficiency, because people need cycles of performance and cycles of recovery,” Spataro stated.
“This second – and our future – is about getting one of the best out of our most essential asset: our individuals. In this new digital age, [technology should be about] amplifying human ingenuity and balancing the wants of individuals.”
Although traumatic for a lot of companies, the pandemic hasn’t been all dangerous information the place worker wellbeing is anxious. Greater flexibility is usually cited as a bonus, whereas 62% of distant staff say they really feel extra empathetic in direction of colleagues, Microsoft claims.
However, based on the agency, the pandemic has additionally led to a major enhance in working hours and emotions of isolation, which could possibly be having a unfavorable affect on psychological well being.
Work day size is claimed to have elevated by 17% in Japan, 25% within the US and 45% in Australia. The most dramatic spike in Microsoft Teams utilization, in the meantime, has been outdoors of working hours and at weekends, which paints a transparent image of the brand new working norm.
In a bid to safeguard worker wellbeing on this new context, Microsoft is making a number of modifications to its Teams collaboration platform designed to prioritize psychological well being over productiveness.
We’re admittedly just a little skeptical concerning the new Together Mode, which does away with the standard video convention grid in favor of a shared auditorium background, which Microsoft claims extra carefully replicates the sensation of in-person conferences.
However, extra substantial enhancements have been made to the service, together with an integration with meditation app Headspace that may permit workers to carve out all-important moments to gather their ideas.
Microsoft Teams can be getting an emotional check-in characteristic, to be used by managers, and a digital commute possibility that workers can use to bookend their day, creating a transparent distinction between work and play.
From October, in the meantime, line managers and enterprise leaders will acquire entry to a dashboard – powered by MyAnalytics and Workplace Analytics – that may assist establish unfavorable tendencies, comparable to assembly overload or burnout.
In principle, the brand new options ought to assist companies nip points within the bud earlier than they spiral uncontrolled – and defend worker wellbeing within the course of.