Microsoft is bringing meditation and mindfulness app Headspace to its Teams platform. The move aims to prevent the seeming collapse between home life and work life and increased burnout because of work from home due to pandemics.
According to Kamal Janardhan, GM of Microsoft Viva Insights, “The future of work has completely shifted, and the direction and signal from all of our customers from the industry, from the market, and from all of the employees out there is that hybrid work and remote work is here to stay. And while people love the flexibility, they need some of the cognitive structures or the variation that they got from commuting or going to work that are completely lost.”
Microsoft introduced its Viva app as part of Teams in February. To help overcome the loss of things like commuting and walking to grab lunch, that helps break up the day, and the employees get an opportunity to prepare for work or get ready to go home mentally.
Now Microsoft is adding guided mindfulness exercises and meditations from Headspace so that employees can clear their, well, heads while working from home. The new tool will help the employees who have taken permanent work from home or hybrid working environment stave off burnout.
Kamal explained that many people are taken and put into a cage with modern work, and then the feeling comes why they are so stressed out. And of course, they’re stressed out because they do not remember to get up, listen to music, walk around, interact more humanly. And the pandemic, while it allows the employees to stay at home, exacerbated that part of it.
In a survey conducted by Headspace of 5,000 workers across 21 industries in the US according to and four countries, the number of employees experiencing burnout has increased by 10% year-over-year from 42% in 2020. The WHO recognizes burnout as an occupational phenomenon characterized by “feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion; increased mental distance from one’s job, or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one’s job; and reduced professional efficacy.”