Not only were they less stressed, but the breaks gave them time to reset and enabled them to be more engaged in the next meeting. The research offers a simple solution for people leaders struggling to galvanise exhausted teams. By prioritising breaks and communicating the importance of resetting between commitments, employees will feel more confident in saying no to back-to-back meetings.
Read more: The real reasons employees are ‘burned out’
Kathleen Hogan, Microsoft’s chief people officer, told HRD: “In today’s world of remote and hybrid work, it’s not sufficient to only encourage self-care. We need to innovate and leverage technology to help employees operationalize much-needed breaks into their daily routines.”
Microsoft’s study comes as the company announced a new Outlook feature which automatically carves out time at the start or end of Teams meetings. Businesses, teams, or individuals can choose to switch the function on, utilising technology to enforce breaks. When used as an organisation-wide tool, it takes the onus away from employees having to prioritise breaks themselves.
“The back-to-back meetings that have become the norm over the last 12 months just aren’t sustainable,” said Jared Spataro, CVP, Microsoft 365. “Outlook and Microsoft Teams are used by millions of people around the world, and this small change can help customers develop new cultural norms and improve wellbeing for everyone.”
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