Everything You Need to Know About Shifts in Microsoft Teams

Early out of the 2019 gate Microsoft announced that the Shifts feature was coming to Microsoft Teams—a new functionality targeted at firstline/frontline workers.

In Shifts, managers create and manage employee schedules, and employees can update their availability, submit shift requests, and request time off. These capabilities come right of from Microsoft Staffhub, but now available from within the Microsoft Teams application on all devices.

Teams will encompass the same functionality as StaffHub, with Office 365 Groups providing the membership service, SharePoint as the file repository, and the Azure-based Microsoft Teams chat service for communication. Shifts for Teams will also include much more, including:

  • A customisable mobile experience

  • Location sharing

  • Camera integration

  • Configuration policy template specifically for firstline workers

  • Recording and sharing audio messages (i.e.. voice notes)

On mobile devices the Microsoft Teams application will also get a new Home tab. With Home, workers can clock in and out, find out about their schedules, information for their day and who is working.

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Also being made available soon is the Graph API for Shifts, allowing organisations to integrate with existing scheduling and reporting systems. This is especially useful for those organisations that have invested in industry-specific or even agnostic-yet-comprehensive platforms for managing staff. In those scenarios, organisations don’t want to have to choose between using Microsoft Teams and their existing solution because they already know who’s going to win.

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Finally, the tool now includes a new Praise feature, designed to let managers recognize good work by their employees by issuing badges with messages like “Thank you” and “Problem solver.”

The company wants Teams to be more than a tool for knowledge workers. These new features provide a way to include workers that are sometimes left out of these kinds of collaboration tools.

Here are a few Frequently Asked Questions:

Can I add a schedule to an existing team?

Yes! Just click the Shifts button in Microsoft Teams and it will show you the teams you’re a member of. Only owners can create schedules, so only those teams you own will have a pressable button. The others (where you are just a member) will be greyed out.

What is going to happen to StaffHub?

As of April 1st, 2019 the app will be removed from mobile app stores and the service itself won’t be available for new Office 365 customers. It will continue to operate until October 1st, 2019 and users will be notified about its impending retirement and “encouraged” to use Microsoft Teams.

Can schedules in StaffHub be moved to Microsoft Teams?

Microsoft has indicated that they plan to perform some form of data migration, though further details aren’t available yet.

Contact us to learn more on Shifts for Microsoft Teams, and book your free demo!

Brittany LeMaro