Boost Your Mental Well-being at Work with Microsoft Viva: Our Expert Tips

Over 8 million people experience anxiety in the UK, and 23% of adults attribute their stress to work. What’s more, 13.7 million working days are lost each year in the UK due to stress and anxiety.  

So, for this Mental Health Awareness week, ComputerWorld wants to help!   

Microsoft is passionate about ensuring wellbeing at work. So much so, they released Microsoft Viva – an employee experience platform that unites communications, knowledge and learning, empowering people to succeed while prioritising their mental health.  

So we’ve compiled a list of some ways you can use it…

Join the Virtual Commute!

Before the work from home commute (aka, rolling out of bed to your home office, then to the living room at 5pm), we had the physical commute. Although many of us don’t have the fondest memories of the office commute, it did give us time to decompress and shut off before we got home.

The Viva Insights Virtual Commute allows you to schedule in time to wrap up the day and plan for the next. So, your free time can remain your time without thoughts of tomorrow’s workload.

Create a Focus Plan

‘9 am- 12 pm meeting, 12 pm-3 pm meeting, 3 pm – 5 pm meeting’… not the best thing to see on your Team’s calendar. Yes, meetings are essential – but sometimes you need time to breathe, reflect and focus on other work areas. So how to do this? Use the Viva Insights Focus Plan feature to pre-schedule focus time each day, so you can catch up or take a breather and not be overwhelmed by meetings.

Zone out office distractions

Right, you’ve got work to crack on with and a looming deadline. You’re typing away, but Jerry from accounts keeps messaging your Team Chats about last night’s Eurovision. On top of that, you have Sandra from HR emailing you about the latest news about the office kitchen. So how are you supposed to concentrate with all of these virtual distractions? Microsoft has your back – within Viva Insights, there is a way to configure quiet time so you are no longer distracted and can be in the right headspace to crack on.

Take control of your schedule

Let’s talk straight – your workload will always be there. But you need to make sure your wellbeing is not affected. Viva Insight has simple tools to track your wellbeing. Whether monitoring your feelings via reflections, scheduling your lunch break (6/10 of us don’t take enough breaks during the working day), incorporating no meeting days, setting office hours, and more… you can easily take control of your time and wellbeing.

Find answers in the Inspiration Library

We bet you’ve typed ‘tips to manage anxiety’ into your search engine before now. But yoga or green shakes may not be for you. Your Viva Engage suite has an Inspiration Library full of useful articles and advice from others that could give you the answers you need.

Keep wellbeing tabs on your team

One for the managers out there… Viva Insights can help you keep tabs on how your team is doing. And not in a ‘crack the whip’ way! For example, it will show if a team member is working out of hours or clocking up too many hours…highlighting that they may be stressed with their workload. It will also show you how you, as their manager, impact their time. Are you spending enough time with them? Or too much?

Give your phone working hours too

The joy of flexible working is that you can work anywhere at any time… the downside is learning to clock off, especially when your work is connected to your phone. Microsoft Viva allows you to configure your devices to match your working hours, so no work emails disturb you in the evening while you’re kicking back with a bag of Maltesers!

Respect your colleagues’ downtime

It happens to us all… you’re making dinner and something work-related pops into your head. You want to message your colleague about it, but that could interrupt their downtime – indirectly adding to their stress. With Viva, not only can you schedule your messages to go out at an appropriate time, but it will jump in and remind you if it can see you’re working out of hours. This is great for wellbeing, because you get it out of your head by writing the message, but it won’t interrupt your teammate. A win-win!

Be mindful of meeting etiquette

Do you leave it to the last minute to RSVP to a meeting? Or do you often look away from the camera in a Teams meeting? After all, the view from your window is lovely! Both these examples can happen, but they aren’t great meeting etiquette. They can add to the host’s stress, leaving them wondering if you’re attending or interested even if you are there. But how to check in with these habits? Viva Insight showcases your meeting habits in the ‘Effective Meeting’ tab. You can take a look at your stronger points and see how you can address areas that could use some improvement.

So why not start using Microsoft Viva?! You’ll find it easier to manage your stress and anxiety levels at work, leaving you much more relaxed once you’ve clocked off too!