If you are missing your daily commute to and from your office, Microsoft Teams is coming to your rescue. According to the Wall Street Journal, Microsoft Teams is developing an update to Teams that will give you and your colleagues a virtual commute. The Teams update launching next year will let you schedule virtual commutes at the beginning and end of each workday. The idea is to bring back definition to your workday for those that are working remotely, where there is a beginning and an end to work.
This feature is designed to bring a sense of healthiness and balance to your life for those that find themselves always connected to work. “Enterprises across the world right now are coming to us and saying, ‘I don’t think we will have organizational resilience if we don’t make well-being a priority,’” said Kamal Janardhan, General Manager, Workplace Intelligence, Microsoft 365, which runs Teams. “I think we at Microsoft have a role, almost a responsibility, to give enterprises the capabilities to create these better daily structures and help people be their best.”
Half of the chat volume on Teams occurred between 5 p.m. and midnight in the past six months, up 48% from the months before the pandemic, according to Microsoft.Source: WSJ
With many offices still closed throughout the world workers are feeling like their work life never ends.
“I don’t miss my commute per se,” said Adam Clenton, a London-based lawyer who spent 80 minutes commuting each day before his office closed during the pandemic. “But it did give me the chance to switch off on the way home. It helped demarcate the day in a way that isn’t possible now.”Source: WSJ
Some Teams users don’t see the point of this feature:
“Right…people will start their day earlier and end it later for goal setting and reflection. What planet does Microsoft live on?” says Stephen Johnson.
“In a work from home setup, adding *more* time sitting in front of your computer isn’t helping the separation of work and home,” notes Anne Jackson.
“The people who came up with this clearly have no idea what the commute is for most people,” said David Weingart. “If you’re driving, you’re not thinking about the day ahead or the day just past. You’re listening to the radio, drinking your coffee, maybe talking to your carpool if you have one. If you’re on the train, you’re either sleeping or talking to the people you ride with every day. Coffee in the morning, beer in the evening.”
“This is a meaningless update,” adds Weingart. “The best way to deal with the “virtual commute” is to not turn your computer on in the morning until it’s time to be “at the office” and to turn it off at night when you leave.”