When the COVID-19 pandemic hit the world, it stole a lot from everyone. One group that can very well attest to the thievery is nine-to-fivers.
Work went from a healthy nine to five to a toxic round the clock horror of tasks.
Workers have their phones buzzing at the dead of night to attend to clients. Worse, you can’t stop working even if you tried because your home is now “the office”.
Microsoft most likely thought of all these when they came up with “virtual commute”.
To curb our new normal of commuting from our beds to home desks and back again, a light bulb went on in Microsoft.
Microsoft calls it a virtual commute.
The name might not sound like much, but the motive behind it packs a punch.
Microsoft believes the daily commutes to work shapes how a workday is defined.
That is, once you’re home by 5, work isn’t until the next day, except you “have to” work.
To bring the old standard back, users of Microsoft Teams can schedule virtual commutes.
The feature allows workers to set definite opening and closing hours.
Also, workers can set goals in time frames and even input successes and losses.
The end goal is to ensure that workers put a clear cut between work and home.
Most importantly, the defined time frames can keep workers from working round the clock.
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Microsoft Teams will introduce Virtual Commute by next year as its features are in the developing stage.
Some of its features would need users to set daily tasks and goals they want to achieve for each day.
Once the goals are set, Microsoft lets you tick off those that you have and haven’t achieved.
If you have unachieved goals, the feature carries the over-time work till the next day.
Also, the feature asks about your general well-being at the start and close of business to encourage a user’s well-being.
Although it sounds like even more work than you’ll typically do, it is a strategic attempt to stop workers from overworking.
Microsoft is trying to move from selling productivity and connectivity to pushing employee wellness.
Kamal Janardhan, the General Manager for Workplace Analytics and MyAnalytics at Microsft 365, emphasised on employee well-being.
According to her, Microsoft has an obligation to organisations to make healthy work structures and keep workers at their best.
Furthermore, Microsoft Teams are making moves to stay relevant, especially with Zoom and Meet commanding the space.
For remote workers, the feature would come in handy in helping them define their day-to-day work.
Ultimately, taking a break never hurt anybody. In fact, a good ol’ movie in your free time is an excellent way to start.
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