Microsoft is bringing new wellness features to Microsoft Teams to help our mental health
Announced at Microsoft Ignite 2020, Microsoft is adding new features to Teams in reaction to the sudden changes made in 2020 that have resulted in many of us spending so much time in Microsoft Teams.
These address some of the problems that we’ve been seeing and experiencing, such as switching between home and work. In a previous episode of TalkingStuff, I mentioned that I’d found that “commuting” by going for a quick walk to separate work and home life made a huge difference. It turns out there’s science behind that. Microsoft Research studies have found that “the reflection typically done during that time can increase productivity by 12-15%.”
Here are the changes coming to Microsoft Teams to help us look after ourselves, disconnect when appropriate and ultimately be more productive in the long term.
Towards the end of the working day, Teams will remind you to wrap up tasks and start thinking about transitioning from work to home:
When you begin the “leave for the day” sequence, you’re prompted to close out any outstanding tasks. I like this – I find my brain won’t stop thinking about things which are still outstanding. Completing them, or adding them to a to-do list for the next day or week really helps me “clear my head”:
There’s also the opportunity to journal your day. This isn’t something I personally do, but I know people that do and who find it beneficial:
Integration with Headspace
Microsoft have guided with Headspace to offer guided meditation sessions, right with Microsoft Teams:
These experiences are coming in 2021, with Personal Insights in Teams coming next month. These will enable you to add focus time – this functionality currently exists but isn’t accessible within Teams today.
Microsoft have produced an overview video of these new features:
There is also a Microsoft Ignite 2020 session dedicated to Insights in Microsoft Teams: Bring harmony to work and life with productivity and wellbeing insights in Microsoft Teams and a landing page for more information: Insights for wellbeing and productivity.