How Viva Insights Can Protect Employee Wellbeing and Why You Should Care

February 15, 2023
10 min read

How Viva Insights Can Protect Employee Wellbeing and Why You Should Care

The ongoing pandemic has highlighted that work involves much more than simply completing tasks. In today's digital age, employees are constantly connected and expected to process vast amounts of information while juggling multiple projects simultaneously. This has increased employee burnout, which has been a growing concern for several years. This "always-on" mode is not sustainable in the long term for both the individual and the organisation.

The consequences of burnout include decreased productivity and increased employee turnover, which can significantly impact a company's bottom line. Therefore, organisations must prioritise employee wellbeing and work-life balance, as it is vital for any business's sustainable growth and success.

And that’s where Viva Insights can help. In this article, we'll explore Viva Insights and how organisations can wield it to improve employees' happiness at work.

Employee wellbeing

With so many people working remotely and dealing with the stress and uncertainty of the pandemic, it's no surprise that many employees are feeling burnt out and struggling to maintain a healthy work-life balance.

One of the biggest challenges with remote work is the blurring of boundaries between work and home. The lack of social interaction and face-to-face communication can also contribute to feelings of isolation and loneliness. Microsoft reported a 48% increase in Teams chats per person overall and a 69% increase in Teams chats per person after-hours, showing that it's easy to get caught up in work and forget to take breaks or disconnect at the end of the day.

Another issue that has come up is the rise in "meeting fatigue" the exhaustion from being on video calls all day. It's tough to be "on" all the time, and it can take a toll on our mental and emotional wellbeing.

It's crucial for employers to find ways to support their teams and promote a positive and healthy work environment, whether that be through offering resources for stress management, encouraging regular breaks, or finding ways to build a sense of community and connection among remote workers.

Viva Insights is a cost-effective solution for addressing employee burnout and meeting fatigue within an organisation. By providing employees with the necessary tools and resources to manage their workload and take breaks as needed, Viva Insights can help promote a healthier work-life balance without incurring significant financial expenses. This can ultimately lead to an improvement in employee productivity and morale within the organisation.

What is Viva Insights?

Viva Insights is a cutting-edge technology that uses artificial intelligence to improve employee wellbeing in the workplace. It's designed to help you identify factors contributing to an employee's high or low productivity and insights such as manager effectiveness and meeting culture.

There are three levels to Viva Insights; personal, manager and leader. Personal insights is available in most Office 365 and Microsoft 365 plans, meaning that most organisations already have access to Viva Insights. The manager and organisation insights are available to purchase in either the Viva Suite license package or individually as an add-on.

Viva personal insights

Viva Insights offers a range of personal insights to help employees improve their wellbeing and productivity in the workplace. One of the critical features of personal insights is the "focus time" feature, which allows employees to track and optimise their work time. It works by showing employees a gap in their Outlook calendar where they can book some focused time. Viva Insights sends a calendar invite to Outlook and Teams, blocking that time out.

Screenshot shows the Viva Insights Book focus time form, which will book time in Teams to focus on work.
Figure 1: The protect time tab in the Viva Insights app in Teams. Image: Microsoft. View Full Size

While in focus time, Viva Insights changes the employee's Teams presence to "focusing," and they can mute notifications during this time.

Screenshot shows the Protect time tab in the Viva Insights app which will book ongoing focus time and mute notifications during focus time.
Figure 2: Settings in Viva Insights app in Teams. Image: Microsoft. View Full Size

The focus time feature reminds employees to take a break, reduce meeting hours and get some uninterrupted work done.

Another essential feature is the "quiet time" feature, which allows employees to set specific times during the day when they do not want to be interrupted. This includes the ability to silence notifications, block incoming calls and messages, and even hide their online presence. This feature can be handy for employees who need to focus on important tasks or who need to work in a distraction-free environment.

Screenshot shows the configure your quiet time settings which mutes mobile notifications on specific days of the week.
Figure 3: Quiet time settings in the Viva Insights app in Teams. Image: Microsoft. View Full Size

The quiet time feature allows employees to set specific times they don't want to be interrupted. Personalised recommendations for self-care and stress management are the key features of personal insights in Viva Insights.

Screenshot shows the Protect time tab in Viva Insights, which shows a calendar view of quiet days without interruption.
Figure 4: Quiet time report in Viva Insights app in Teams. Image Microsoft. View Full Size

In summary, personal insights provides employees with the tools to optimise their work time, manage distractions and take breaks.

Viva insights for managers

Microsoft Viva Insights for managers is a powerful tool that helps managers improve employee engagement and wellbeing in the workplace. It is an additional license that gives managers a range of features and insights to support their team and make better decisions.

One of the key features of Viva Insights for managers is the ability to schedule and manage 1-on-1 meetings with their team members. This allows managers to stay in touch with their team members and address any issues or concerns in a timely manner.

Screenshot shows the Teamwork habits tab where managers can book 1:1 meetings with their team members.
Figure 5: The teamwork habits tab showing 1:1 insights in Viva Insights. Image: Microsoft. View Full Size

Another important feature, "quiet time," shows managers when they contact their team outside work hours via calls, meetings or chats.

Screenshot shows the Teamwork habits tab with a calendar view of impacted quiet days.
Figure 6: Quiet hours impact in Viva Insights in Teams. Image: Microsoft. View Full Size

This feature can be particularly useful for managers who must focus on completing important tasks within work hours or who need to improve how much they contact their team after work hours.

Viva Insights for leaders

Microsoft Viva Insights for leaders is an additional license that provides leaders with a holistic view of the organisation's engagement and productivity. It allows leaders to gain insights into the entire organisation, such as how many people work late or how much time is spent in meetings.

Screenshot shows Organisation trends tab in Viva Insights highlighting meeting effectiveness across the organisation.
Figure 7: Organisation trends showing meeting data in Viva Insights. Image: Microsoft. View Full Size

One of the key features of Viva Insights for leaders is access to the Workplace Analytics portal, where leaders can query the data to suit their business outcomes. This portal provides a wide range of data and analytics, such as employee engagement, productivity, communication patterns, etc. With these insights, leaders can identify areas of improvement and take proactive steps to improve the overall wellbeing of the organisation.

Screenshot shows the home tab in Workplace Analytics which shows business cases organisations can use to improve their collaboration and behaviours.
Figure 8: Workplace Analytics portal. Image: Microsoft. View Full Size

Viva Insights not only surfaces data and metrics but also gives leaders the help and support they need to act and address any issues that may arise. Whether it's identifying areas of improvement, tracking progress over time, or providing guidance on best practices, Viva Insights helps leaders make the most of their data and drive positive results. It is not just a tool that surfaces data but also gives actionable insights and support to leaders to fix the problem.

Screenshot shows the actions organisations can try to improve their meeting effectiveness including scheduling shorter meetings.
Figure 9: More actions in Organisational Insights in Viva Insights . Image: Microsoft. View Full Size

Viva Insights is designed to protect employee privacy

Microsoft Viva Insights is designed with privacy in mind. It does not provide any personally identifiable information, and all data is aggregated and anonymised to protect the privacy of individual employees.

The data used by Viva Insights comes from Teams and Outlook usage, which is then analysed and presented in an aggregated form. The most granular data available is on a departmental level, and no names are mentioned in manager or leader insights.

In terms of personal insights, only the end-user can access these; no one else. This means that employees have complete control over their data and can choose to opt out of the service at any time.

To protect employee privacy, Viva Insights has strict data security and privacy protocols to ensure that all data is handled securely and complies with applicable laws and regulations.

Deploy the Viva Insights app in Microsoft Teams

Deploying the Viva Insights app is easy; you'll be up and running in no time. It's on by default in Teams, so you don't have to worry about any extra setup or technical deployment.

Consider pinning the app in your Teams admin setup policies so users can find it easily, but it's already running in the background and ready to go. And the best part is that there is no technical deployment required for personal insights, making this a quick win for your team.

Screenshot shows the setup policies in the Teams admin center which pins apps to the Teams taskbar for all employees.
Figure 10: Setup policies in Microsoft Teams admin center. Image: Microsoft. View Full Size

You don't have to worry about any complicated setup procedures; just let your team know that it's there, and they can start using it immediately.

Change management

Getting people to use Personal Insights in Viva doesn't have to be complicated, but it does require a bit of communication and sponsorship from the organisation. The first step is ensuring people know the benefits and why they should use it. Once they understand how it can help them improve their work-life balance and overall wellbeing, they'll be more likely to try it.

One way to get buy-in from employees is by communicating the benefits and how it can help them in their daily work. Share success stories from other teams or individuals using Personal Insights in Viva and their positive impact on their work and life.

Another important aspect is sponsorship. A leader or manager actively promoting and using Personal Insights in Viva can make a big difference in encouraging others to try it. It's always more convincing when you see someone you admire using it.

It's important to note that you don't need a heavy-duty change management program to get people to use Personal Insights in Viva. Still, it would help if you focused on communication and sponsorship to get buy-in from employees. With a little effort, you'll get your team on board and start seeing the benefits of improved employee engagement and productivity.

Why is Viva Insights important?

Personal insights in Viva are so important because it helps to improve employee wellbeing and happiness. We all know how tough it can be to maintain a healthy work-life balance, especially when so many of us are working remotely. Personal insights in Viva helps employees manage their time and energy more efficiently, focusing on what's most important and finding ways to take care of themselves.

In summary, Personal insights in Viva is so important because it helps to improve employee wellbeing and happiness. When employees feel good about their work, they are more engaged and productive, and when they are happy and healthy, they are more likely to stick around. This is why organisations prioritising employee wellbeing tend to have better retention rates and overall productivity.

Kathleen Beedim

Kathleen Beedim

Kat Beedim is an Office 365 Apps and Services MVP with a focus on collaboration tools in Microsoft 365 such as Teams, Viva, and SharePoint. She is an active blogger and speaker at conferences around the world, sharing her knowledge and expertise on these platforms. Additionally, she hosts a podcast called Cloud Conversations where she discusses the latest trends and developments in the Microsoft 365 ecosystem.