Are people chatting through your Microsoft Teams phone? Probably a good sign

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If you’re more into chatting than presenting in a Microsoft Teams video conference, you’re not alone. In fact, most of the people at Microsoft do the exact same thing and they like it.

Focusing on the chat window during a video conference can be awkward. In February, Microsoft released a setting for team hosts to prevent participants from using chat during video conferencing. Think of teachers and managers who don’t want their students or staff to share jokes at important meetings (kids probably during Teams video calls, games, TikTok, WhatsApp, etc. I’m chatting with another app).

While Microsoft’s team structure recognizes that chatting on the sidelines during meetings is fun, our own research into the practice has shown that it’s actually better from a social standpoint.

“Parallel chat gives groups the ability to communicate seamlessly in their main conversations, coordinate actions on shared resources, and improve inclusiveness,” Microsoft researchers said in a new headline: in the document. The promises and dangers of videoconferencing parallel chat for work.

However, the study also justifies Microsoft’s Teams control, which prevents participants from chatting when the meeting organizer is logged in to the meeting.

“Parallel chat can be distracting, overwhelming, and cause information asymmetry,” said staff at Microsoft Research, who presented their work at the CHI Human Factors Conference in Systems Expansion Summaries IT in May. Said.

The investigation looked at the logs of 849 Microsoft employees in the summer of 2020. In short, the pandemic has triggered a wide range of remote work and online meetings, creating a boom for Zoom and Teams users. The results also included a survey of 149 Microsoft employees asking how to use chat.

While Microsoft employees represent the world’s population, the number of employees who enjoy chatting on video calls is far greater than the number of distracted employees.

About 85.7% of Microsoft employees considered parallel chat to be “net positive,” but only 4.5% said it was negative. Just under 10% was neutral.

On the productivity side, Microsoft argues that chat messages can include non-work-related questions, links, documents, consents, praise, other topics, jokes, and chat threads. ..

“Many people have reported being distracted by the chat. It is difficult to focus on the audio / video (AV) of the meeting while attending the chat. People discuss methods and formal conflicts over various expectations regarding the need for good conversation. “Researchers point out.

Therefore, Microsoft Research claims that while chatting can be distracting, it actually benefits most people.

“The chat makes it possible to organize collaborations and actions related to documents and follow-up meetings. You can avoid issues like poor connectivity, technical glitches, language barriers, and mysterious jargon. It helps you manage your questions / answers, especially in large meetings. “

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