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Microsoft Teams to integrate Headspace and Focus mode to help meeting anxiety

You’re likely spending more time in online meetings, and it can be quite a stressful experience. Microsoft is here to help with some new updates to the Viva Insights experience in Teams that should be coming later this month.

The first of those updates is a Headspace integration. It is designed to help decrease stress and stay focused after meetings. Coming at the end of June, you will be able to check through a list of guided meditations and mindfulness exercises from Headspace in Viva Insights in Teams. You can do things like jot down what you are feeling, relax before a presentation, or even disconnect from work before heading off for the evening.

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A dashboard showing Focus Mode and Headspace integration in Viva Insights in Microsoft Teams.

The second new addition is Focus mode. This feature in Viva Insights with Headspace is designed to help you schedule a daily focus time through Teams. It even comes complete with music, and timers. Microsoft says it is also working to also port some of those features into the Viva Insights app itself, with the goal of helping you make progress on important tasks in regular intervals, with breaks planned in between.

Other than Focus Mode and the integration with Headspace, Microsoft is also planning on rolling out some updates for Viva Insights that will help you create a stronger boundary between work and personal time. Later in this year, you’ll be able to use Viva Insights in Teams to set a specific time to silence mobile notifications from both Outlook and Teams, outside of your working hours. There even will be some statistics on how well you are disconnecting.

The features are all part of Microsoft’s initiative to support what it calls the hybrid workforce — the mix of those in a company who are working from home, as well as in person.  The company notes that weekly meeting time in Teams has doubled since the start of the pandemic. Additionally, in a study of over 31,000 people in 31 countries, Microsoft says over half of the respondents reported feeling overworked.

Features in Viva Insights, the ability to pin and reply to specific messages in Teams desktop, and a “Front Row” feature in Teams Rooms all seek out to solve those pains. Microsoft also hopes it can build new ways for people to connect and collaborate from wherever they are working.

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