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Keep firstline workers connected and in sync with shifts

Microsoft Shifts

Firstline Workers are the face and heartbeat of an Organization, and almost any industry has firstline workers. That is why Microsoft is empowering them with solutions specially created for them.

In today’s post, I will talk about the features and benefits of integrating Microsoft Shifts into your business to keep frontline workers connected and in sync while increasing productivity.

What is Microsoft Shifts?

Microsoft Shifts is a schedule management tool that helps you create, update, and manage schedules for your team. Shifts offer a refined interface that allows team owners to create, publish, manage shifts and shift assignments of frontline workers. Also, team owners can use shifts to manage work schedules for members of a team including, but not limited to:

  • Student workers
  • Staff volunteers
  • Lab technicians

Also, Shifts provides a way for frontline workers to request time off. Any type of time off requests can be easily configured considering that every organization has different types of them.

In practice, several industries such as hospitals, factories, construction businesses or IT companies where customer service personnel is required, can use Microsoft Shifts as a schedule management tool.

Shifts options

You have the following options when creating shifts:

  • Start and end date and time of the shift
  • If you are creating an open shift, you can choose the number of slots. This means multiple copies of the same shift are created for the same time slot, and those can be assigned to different people who are working at the same time, doing the same kind of a shift.
  • A custom label/title to be shown in the schedule view (if left empty, the shift time is shown)
  • The length of an optional unpaid break
  • A note field for any information you might want to include on the shift.
  • A list of sub-activities during the shift
  • Select and assign a colour for each type of shift and you will get a nice color-coded schedule for easy viewing.

There is also a new time clocking feature in Shifts that allows members to track their hours. The feature is not enabled by default, so you’d need to set it up through the schedule settings. With that, in addition to tracking the time, you can also enable location detection, which requires the user to be at certain coordinates when starting and stopping their timer. This feature can be used via the mobile app only. You can also start additional break timers, and manually edit the logged hours after stopping the main timer.

In addition to that, IT administrators can now configure Teams to limit employee access to the app on their personal device outside of working hours. This feature helps ensure employees are not involuntarily working while not on shift and helps employers comply with labor regulations.

If you need to go deeper enabling or disabling Shifts in your organization, you can check out the official documentation here.

License

Regarding Licensing, be aware that Shifts is available in all Enterprise SKUs where Teams is available.

Important to know

  • Shifts currently do not support guest users.
  • The limit for a group in Shifts is the same as the limit for a Team.
  • With Power Automate, you can leverage the Shifts connectors to manipulate and send out notifications periodically for shift owners.
  • If you choose to turn on location tracking, you must enter the coordinates from which you expect employees to be clocking in and out.

Shifts in Microsoft Teams can help you reduce the time you spend managing your schedule, assigning shifts or work hours so that employees and firstline workers can focus on what matters the most: their work.

If you are interested in learning more, you can get started using Microsoft shifts here, or  you can contact VNEXT IQ experts that will help you implement or respond to any question you may have about Microsoft products and solutions.

 

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