Learn about Microsoft Shifts, the company’s newest feature that helps coordinate schedules and time reporting, for its Teams collaboration application.
Microsoft Teams users already can take advantage of the platform that integrates meetings, chats, notes and attachments. Whether in the same office or located elsewhere, team members can use the tool to improve collaboration, communication and productivity.
In early 2019, Microsoft added a new feature — Shifts — that adds a new service to Teams.
What Is Microsoft Teams?
Microsoft Teams is a cloud-based software app that incorporates business messages, calling, video conferencing and file sharing. Local and remote team members can collaborate and communicate in real time, no matter what device they’re using.
The platform launched in March 2017. In September of that year, Microsoft announced that Teams would replace the Skype for Business Online feature in Office 365.
What Is Shifts for Microsoft Teams?
Shifts will replace a similar Microsoft product, StaffHub, effective October 1, 2019. Shifts incorporates many of the features available today in StaffHub.
“It’s built mobile first for fast and effective time management and communication for teams,” notes a Microsoft site. “Shifts lets Firstline Workers and their managers use their mobile devices to manage schedules and keep in touch.”
With Shifts, managers can create, manage and update schedules for team members. It allows managers to send messages to one team member or all members simultaneously. It’s an effective way for managers to share information in documents or videos widely and quickly. It also lets workers enter time and managers to export time reports.
Shifts also can be integrated with other third-party scheduling and time reporting systems via an API. It’s available on the Teams desktop, web-based, iOS and Android clients, and on Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge and Mozilla Firefox browsers.
Employees who are members of teams can see their upcoming work schedules, learn who else is working at the same time, ask to swap a shift, offer to swap a shift and ask for time off.
One important note: Shifts does not support guest users at present, although guests can be added to Teams.
When Is Shifts Available for Microsoft Teams?
Shifts is available now for those organizations with an active Office 365 subscription. The only exceptions are members of the U.S, Government Cloud Community and those with free Teams accounts.
It’s an optional feature within Microsoft Teams that can be turned on or off via the administrative center.
What Happens If My Team Uses StaffHub?
Current Staffhub users will be able to use the service until October 1, when it will cease to work. Users trying to open the app will receive a message encouraging them to download Shifts instead. If users are part of an organization with an active Office 365 license that includes Teams, their data and functionality will be available once they switch to Shifts.
For Firstline Workers using StaffHub, most features will continue to be available. In addition to the communication features noted earlier, the following functions are slated to roll out:
However, some functions were a part of the StaffHub tool that will not be available in Teams, including:
Microsoft has upped the ante with the latest integration into the Teams function. Use it to leverage all the capabilities to get your teams communicating and working better.