Microsoft was embroiled in a controversy last year when they unveiled their new Productivity Score feature, an element of their new Microsoft Workplace Analytics tool, which would assign a number to how well an employee was engaging with their work and colleagues using electronic communication, with many calling the micro-managing surveillance dystopian.
Microsoft responded to the criticisms by anonymising the data, and making other changes, but the truth is that the data is still being collected – it is simply no longer being packaged up as neatly for the use of managers.
It turns out Microsoft Teams still collects extremely detailed per-user usage data, according to ZDNet, and that this data remains available to managers.
Here is a small sample:
The personalized data is still available to those with the Microsoft Teams Administrator role, and can easily be used to see which employees are most and least engaged in each channel for example.
The concern, of course, is that these analytics does not actually tell you how productive an employee is, merely how much they are using a product and that such micro-surveillance is not good for the health of employees and companies.
With more employees now working from home, and Microsoft intent to make Teams the centre of our workday workflow, it seems many more of us will need to get used to working with the boss breathing over your shoulder.