Shifts in Microsoft Teams

The impact of Covid-19 on organisations of all shapes and sizes around the world has caused a seismic shift in how we conduct our work.

Most organisations have essentially hit the fast forward button on many technologies that were already in place or were being considered. From enabling remote working and providing access to on-premises systems, to delivering digital events, these technologies have now become an essential part of our day to day working life and are here to stay.

A return to the workplace means taking proactive steps to manage social distancing and reduce physical contact in the workplace. This presents significant challenges for many organisations. Changing internal spaces and access to communal areas while maintaining a full complement of staff is likely to be very challenging for many. So how can you ensure you are supporting social distancing in the workplace? The answer is Shifts in Microsoft Teams.

What is Shifts in Microsoft Teams?

Shifts in Microsoft Teams is a schedule management tool that helps you remotely create, update, and manage schedules for your team.

How does Shifts in Teams work?

In many situations, apps like Shifts for Teams can provide the ideal solution to help you manage this transition. The Shifts functionality uses a schedule or rota based system to ensure people that need to be in the office can work safely and to allow teams and working groups to book time in a shared space to get their work done.

Shifts for Teams is already commonly used to manage first-line staff in retail and clinical scenarios, or workshop settings and factory floors. However, it is equally powerful for managing rotas for the office-based worker, to support new ways of sharing spaces.

What are the features in Shifts?

Schedules – Create a schedule from scratch or import an existing one from Excel. A Shifts schedule displays days at the top while team members appear on the left. And if you’re an owner of multiple teams, toggle between different Shifts schedules to manage them.

Day notes – Add notes to share important news and reminders for a specific day.

Groups – Name a group like a job function or location to keep your groups organised. Then, add people to a group.

Shifts – Choose a slot to assign a shift. Create it from scratch, or copy from an existing one — and don’t forget to add activities like training or a specific task. Add open shifts to your schedule that anyone can request. If you need to review shift coverage, view your schedule by people or shift type.

Requests – Review requests for time-off, shift swaps or offers.

Share – As you edit a schedule, it’ll save automatically but your team only sees the updates when you’ve shared it out.

Export or copy – Look at your schedule in a spreadsheet by exporting it to excel. If you need to re-use a Shifts schedule, copy it to the date range you want.

How can I use Shifts to manage workplace distancing?

  • Booking days or times to work from office spaces
  • Booking meeting spaces on specific days for face to face team collaboration while maintaining social distancing
  • Reserving times for communal spaces for group lunches, informal training sessions or check-ins with reduced numbers
  • Streamlined and targeted messaging on a shift by shift basis, without having to send blanket emails.

Does Shifts work across mobile devices?

Shifts works across all devices and allows workers to flexibly book their own times, swap shifts and rearrange schedules while managers or facilities staff have visibility of who is on-site.
Shifts can also manage group task lists, activities, and responsibilities, making it easier to communicate everyone’s responsibilities for social distancing, hygiene and space-sharing.

To find out more about Shifts in Microsoft Teams, discover our new Digital Workplace of the Future guide, which delves into the key challenges facing organisations in setting up a safe, flexible working environment. Discover the digital tools and technologies that will enable your employees to work collaboratively and safely, whether in the workplace or at home.