The "Background task activation is spurious" error message is known bug with Microsoft Office 2016 products that are integrated with Office 365. Microsoft has not released an official fix, but we have found that signing out and signing back in to a Microsoft product normally resolves this issue.
Before starting, close all Microsoft Office products except Microsoft Word.
In Microsoft Word:
1.) Click File and then click Account located on the left hand side
2.) Click Sign Out located under your name
3.) You will be prompted to Remove your account. Click Yes
This will not remove any files.
4.) Click Sign In
5.) Enter your full Queens e-mail account
6.) If you receive this message, please select Yes and proceed to enter your Queens full e-mail and password in the blue box. Once sign-in has completed, close Microsoft Word and re-open. You may also open other Office products as well. The error message should have ended.