Building on the hype of Facebook introducing a dating feature, as well as its own subsidiary LinkedIn adding corporate dating functionality, the Microsoft Teams team has announced their plans to introduce similar functionality.
Kathy Helsted, Program Manager said of the new functionality: “We see dating apps and services bringing people together. Facebook and LinkedIn are now connecting people through their consolidated data points to make good matches, however these people are still outside of your immediate world being the workplace. Our aim by introducing dating functionality into Microsoft Teams is to allow people to go fishing from the company pier.”
“Research has shown us that many couples already spend time talking about work, but partners will often simply feign interest in the ‘she said this, then I sent an email that said this’ style of banal storytelling because it’s all one-sided. Our belief is that by connecting people to each other in the workplace, we can enhance the level of discussion between partners as they can save time talking about work, and instead just get on with their lives.”
One customer involved in early testing said the functionality worked well for their largely millennial workforce. “We saw quite a shift in work style, because while they were distracted with each other during the day – they had no issues working late. When we spoke to a few of our coupled-up staff they said it was a relief to be able to work on the couch or in bed with their partner next to them and not be judged. From an output perspective what we are seeing is a moderate increase in performance, however our staff retention has increased.”
Asked if Microsoft would open this up to allow inter-organization dating, Helsted commented that it may be possible with future integration between the ‘LinkedIn Connections with Benefits’ functionality as the two companies continue connecting their Graph data sources with each other.
It is understood that Slack is looking to also introduce this feature because they don’t want to be left behind, while Atlassian already introduced Teamder – however this is aimed at building teams by matchmaking, not romantic relationships.