Microsoft patents tech to combat employee stress

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

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

2021 Thales cloud security study

The challenges of cloud data protection and access management in a hybrid and multi cloud world

Free download

IDC agility assessment

The competitive advantage in adaptability

Free Download

Digital transformation insights from CIOs for CIOs

Transformation pilotes, co-pilots, and engineers

Free download

What ITDMs did next - and what they should be doing now

Enable continued collaboration and communication for hybrid workers

Recommended

Chrome vs Firefox vs Microsoft Edge
web browser

Chrome vs Firefox vs Microsoft Edge

8 Dec 2021
Microsoft launches Secured-core servers to combat ransomware
cyber security

Microsoft launches Secured-core servers to combat ransomware

8 Dec 2021
Microsoft to overhaul hiring practises following DoJ settlement
Careers & training

Microsoft to overhaul hiring practises following DoJ settlement

8 Dec 2021
Microsoft 365 prices to soar by 20% for pay monthly subscribers
Managed service provider (MSP)

Microsoft 365 prices to soar by 20% for pay monthly subscribers

7 Dec 2021

Most Popular

Microsoft 365 prices to soar by 20% for pay monthly subscribers
Managed service provider (MSP)

Microsoft 365 prices to soar by 20% for pay monthly subscribers

7 Dec 2021
What are the pros and cons of AI?
machine learning

What are the pros and cons of AI?

30 Nov 2021
What is single sign-on (SSO)?
single sign-on (SSO)

What is single sign-on (SSO)?

2 Dec 2021