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Microsoft Announces New Teams Features for Staff Wellbeing

When the UK went into lockdown, collaboration tools were essential for staying in touch, with the adoption of MS Teams more than doubling.

Over the last few months, Microsoft has accelerated the development of new features in response to the need for a platform that enables effective home working. In their latest announcement, they revealed plans to introduce breakout rooms for better collaboration, new functionality to host webinars, and even the ability to utilise people-counting camera technology to alert in-room meeting participants if the room is over capacity.

In total, Microsoft announced over 40 new features and enhancements had been added to their roadmap. But it was the advancements and focus on wellbeing that caught our eye.

Staff burnout, isolation and anxiety are growing concerns for business leaders, who are keen to maintain the mental health of their teams, ensuring a long-term working arrangement that provides organisational resiliency within a constantly changing landscape.

MS Teams, with its rich functionality and integrations into the Office 365 suite, is a powerful tool for law firms. But the ‘always-on’ nature of instant messaging apps can contribute to stress.

In response to this issue, Microsoft has developed new features, and partnered with Headspace, to enrich the user experience and encourage healthy working practices. Some of the new additions over the next few months will include:

  • Wellbeing & productivity insights – providing individuals and managers with personalized insights and recommended actions to make changing habits and improving wellbeing easier
  • Virtual commute – designed to help users mark the start and end of their working day by reviewing priority tasks, checking their mood and offering 10 mins of meditation to unwind
  • Protect Time – helping users to set aside time for focused work, breaks and personal commitments by blocking out time in their calendars

Watch the below video from Microsoft to see what is on the horizon:

If your firm is considering MS Teams, or looking to optimise the tool to become better organised and more efficient, click here to download our ebook for law firms.

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