Microsoft is to add two new features – Workplace Analytics and MyAnalytics nudges – to its Office 365 enterprise collaboration and productivity suite to help turn organisation-wide insights into action plans for individuals and teams.
Workplace Analytics will help teams build better collaboration habits by using data from everyday work in Office 365 – such as e-mails and meetings – to pinpoint challenges that are reducing collaboration and productivity. For example, it will identify instances of meeting overload, minimal time for focused work, or high after-hours workload and combine this data with results from employee engagement surveys to find connections between work patterns and indicators of team health. Once these issues have been identified, companies can enrol their teams in change programmes to help them improve collaboration practices and provide each employee with personal productivity insights and action plans powered by MyAnalytics. Workplace Analytics will also measure progress to ensure that these change programmes are successful.
Set to debut this summer, there are four types of MyAnalytics nudges that have been developed to provide individuals with data-driven tips on how they can improve collaboration and productivity when they are reading and composing e-mails and meeting invites.
One type of nudge will remind users to set aside specific times for focused work before they accept new meeting invites and it will also send a notification when a meeting invite conflicts with a prescheduled block of focus time. Meanwhile, another nudge will prompt users to delegate co-workers to cover them in meetings if they already have a busy schedule.
MyAnalytics, which already uses artificial intelligence to remind users of tasks they have promised to complete for co-workers in e-mail, will also now surface these reminders whenever a user receives an email from these co-workers. This will enable employees to complete important tasks before agreeing to take on new ones. It will also remind users about unread e-mail for their important contacts.
The final nudge service will help users to reduce the impact they have on their colleagues outside of working hours. MyAnalytics will track the after-hours impact each user has on their co-workers’ leisure time and when they’re drafting an e-mail, actively suggest that they do not send it if they have recently contacted them outside of working hours.
“When people run efficient meetings, create time for focused work, and respect work/life boundaries their teams thrive,” said Natalie McCullough, general manager of Workplace Analytics and MyAnalytics, and Noelle Beaujon, product manager for MyAnalytics, in a Microsoft blog post. “Putting these habits in place is difficult and takes the support of the entire team. Data can create a common language to help members build consensus on important teamwork norms. By shedding light on how work actually gets done, organisations can build more efficient, creative, and engaged teams.”