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Microsoft Develops a 'Virtual Commute' for Remote Workers


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rush-hour traffic in California

Credit: Jonathan Alcorn

Microsoft is adding the ability to schedule a "virtual commute" to its Teams collaboration software. The intent is to remind users about the end of the work day, suggest tasks to help them wind down, and create a little mental space before kids' homework, dinner, laundry, and other obligations arise.

Pandemic-related burnout and difficulty separating work and personal life has become a surprisingly common concern among Microsoft's corporate customers, says Chief Marketing Officer Chris Capossela. Companies initially worried about employees having the right technology to work from home. Now there's more concern about how well-being. "All of the things around the emotional well-being or the mental health of employees has risen to the top faster in a way that we didn't really predict," Capossela says. 

The software looks at things like after-hours collaboration by an entire team and how that compares with similar teams. New features coming next year will let employers run programs that remind team members to avoid undue overtime.

From Bloomberg
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