Microsoft patents tech to combat employee stress

Based on biometric data, the patented technology computes an employee’s "anxiety score"

A young professional showing signs of stress at work

Microsoft’s new patented feature focuses on employee health and well-being and suggests a break when workers become stressed.

In its patent titled “Emotion Detection From Contextual Signals For Surfacing Wellness Insights,” the tech giant describes a “wellness insights service” that amasses biometric data from a range of wearable devices, including fitness trackers, digital assistants, and smartwatches.

Blood pressure and heart rate monitoring data obtained from wearables helps detect an employee’s stress levels during work tasks, like drafting and reviewing an email, attending meetings, and more.

If the system determines the anxiety level associated with a task is above a specific threshold, the wellness insight service may trigger a wellness insight related to the work event.

For example, if the service receives information from an email application indicating a user spent more time reading an email from a manager than a predefined threshold, the user's blood pressure and heart rate for that particular time will be evaluated.

The wellness insight solution may “additionally or alternatively include recommendations for increasing a user's wellbeing when experiencing stressful work events.”

For instance, if taking a long time to read an email is an anxiety cue, a wellness insight could be “Consider taking a break and coming back to it later." What’s more, insights can surface at set times and days.

Related Resource

The people factor: A critical ingredient for intelligent communications

How to engage employees in digital transformation

The people factor: A critical ingredient for intelligent communications - How to improve communication within your business - whitepaper from AudiocodesDownload now

Additionally, the service may include natural language processing models to categorize language inputs into angry, happy, and indifferent tones.

“It has become common for enterprises to make substantial investments in their employees' health and wellbeing,” said Subramanian Ramakrishnan, principal group engineering manager at Microsoft.

“Enterprises understand that such investments are worthwhile because they are better able to retain talent. Additionally, the work product from healthy and happy employees is generally better. In an enterprise workplace, emails are a primary mode of communication, and a great deal of employee time is spent interacting with email clients. Email-related anxiety is a pressing problem that impacts employee productivity and health,” Ramakrishnan added.

Featured Resources

How to be an MSP: Seven steps to success

Building your business from the ground up

Download now

The smart buyer’s guide to flash

Find out whether flash storage is right for your business

Download now

How MSPs build outperforming sales teams

The definitive guide to sales

Download now

The business guide to ransomware

Everything you need to know to keep your company afloat

Download now

Recommended

What is Microsoft Edge? Everything you need to know
web browser

What is Microsoft Edge? Everything you need to know

14 May 2021
Exchange Server zero-day among latest Microsoft Patch Tuesday fixes
vulnerability

Exchange Server zero-day among latest Microsoft Patch Tuesday fixes

12 May 2021
JEDI contract's future becomes murky after AWS court win
Policy & legislation

JEDI contract's future becomes murky after AWS court win

11 May 2021
Tech giants lobby US to fund chip production
Hardware

Tech giants lobby US to fund chip production

11 May 2021

Most Popular

KPMG offers staff 'four-day fortnight' in hybrid work plans
flexible working

KPMG offers staff 'four-day fortnight' in hybrid work plans

6 May 2021
16 ways to speed up your laptop
Laptops

16 ways to speed up your laptop

29 Apr 2021
How to move Windows 10 from your old hard drive to SSD
operating systems

How to move Windows 10 from your old hard drive to SSD

30 Apr 2021