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Microsoft and Others Introduce Workplace Anxiety Solutions

by | May 28, 2021 | Best Practices, MyTek Blog

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Workplace stress is very common and has become a growing problem for businesses, which are also working on identifying issues and trying to limit stress as much as possible. There is a new published patent from Microsoft that aims to be a workplace anxiety solutions but it does beg the question: Do we really need technology to let us know when we start feeling stressed?

Microsoft’s Workplace Anxiety Solutions

Originally filed in October of 2019 and only recently published, Microsoft’s patent is described as “Emotion Detection From Contextual Signals For Surfacing Wellness Insights” tech. This technology uses fitness trackers, smartwatches, usage data and generates an employee’s “anxiety score” so the employee can be aware of their own emotional change. This is interesting because the system can then provide the employee recommendations so they can wind back down and relax.  

Anxiety can be shown through increased typos, or increased spelling errors, emails and compositions taking longer than usual, or other irregular behavior that the system can notice and categorize as anxiety or stress related. If it seems as though the employee is acting stressed, a notification can pop up to notify them, along with how it was calculated and recommendations based on his schedule so they can feel better.

This Technology May or May Not Be Implemented

This is just a patent, so there is no guarantee it will ever appear in Microsoft’s software solutions. However, it could be a valuable asset as employees are beginning to take stress and anxiety levels into higher account. 

This Isn’t All Microsoft Has Done, Either (Along With Other Software Developers)

There are many other solutions arising from Microsoft and other software developers that focus on promoting wellbeing of employees. 

This includes the introduction of Microsoft’s MyAnalytics, which is a productivity and wellness tool. Another example is Viva, which is a Teams-based tool that uses MyAnalytics within Workplace Analytics, which can deliver certain insights to managers and business leaders. Cisco has recently implemented People Insights into their Webex collaboration platform, so there is data broken down by employees, and also data for the entire team and workplace as a whole. Google is making plans to use similar data soon.

Do People Really Need An Application to Tell Them That They’re Stressed?

This can sound really silly because will a notification really change anything when someone is feeling anxious? Won’t they already be aware?

While we aren’t saying people can’t feel their own emotions, it may be a push in the right direction when it comes to handling them in a timely manner. If there is a notification urging you to take a moment away for your mental health, you may be more inclined to do so rather than if you were dealing with your emotions by yourself. It may also be a step in the direction of your needs feeling important while you are in the workplace, instead of feeling overworked and used. 

What are your thoughts on this? Is this a positive step in the right direction or a silly ploy that just won’t work? MyTek has solutions of our own to help your team remain productive and give them access to everything they need to limit workplace stress and anxiety. Give us a call today to learn more at 623-312-2440.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Tim Tiller, LMSW

 
Tim Tiller, MSW brings a deep service background to his role at Mytek, having graduated from McDonald’s management training program, fresh out of high school, and working his way up through the ranks in the hospitality industry. He has led two prior companies – Multi-Systems Inc., an IT-focused organization providing technology to hospitality companies (where he was named President at age 36), and most recently, as Chief Operating Officer for Jewish Voice Ministries International.

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