Getting Started with Microsoft Teams Shifts


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Microsoft Teams is a chat-focused collaboration tool that integrates with other Microsoft products. It’s designed to bring together the best of Office 365 and Skype into one application, so you can work seamlessly wherever you’re at. The new app has been released as an update to existing tools like Skype for Business Private Channels and Microsoft Teams Meetings while also serving as a platform independent solution if your organization hasn’t made the jump yet.

The “microsoft teams shifts user guide pdf” is a helpful resource for those who are new to Microsoft Teams. The guide can be found on the Microsoft Teams website.

Getting Started with Microsoft Teams Shifts

Do you have control over your team’s schedule? What is the name of the program you’re using? Are you familiar with Microsoft Teams Shifts? I’m sure you’ve used Excel spreadsheets as a scheduling tool at some time. There’s no shame in it, and I’m sure it’s something everyone who’s worked with schedules has done.

Excel is too manual for managing shifts since it was not built for that purpose. And, to be honest, you should avoid using Excel as a scheduling tool whenever feasible, particularly if a better tool is available.

If your company pays for an Office 365 subscription that includes Microsoft Teams, you’re in luck since the Microsoft Teams Shifts app is now available.

You’ll learn the fundamentals of utilizing Shifts in Microsoft Teams to build, publish, and manage your team’s schedule in this post.

What Is the Microsoft Teams Shifts App and Who Should Use It?

Shifts, in a nutshell, is a schedule management application that comes pre-installed in Microsoft Teams. Shifts is a streamlined interface that enables team owners to create, publish, and manage frontline worker shifts and shift assignments.

Frontline workers are those who are directly involved in a company’s day-to-day operations. They are usually the first point of contact for a client with your company.

Before You Get Started

Before you proceed any further, you may use the examples in this page as a guide. These instances necessitate:

  • Microsoft Teams access (non-free). You may get an Office 365 trial subscription if you don’t have it yet or if you want to check things out in a test environment.
  • Access to Microsoft Teams desktop, online, and mobile client apps.

How to Find the Shifts App

You may be perplexed as to where to locate the Shifts app if this is your first time using it. The examples below demonstrate how to use mobile and desktop applications, as well as the Teams online app, to start the Microsoft Teams Shifts App.

The process for bringing up Shifts is the same whether you’re using the desktop client or the browser. To begin, use the Teams desktop or online app. Then, in the left pane, hit the ellipsis-shaped More added applications icon. When the fly-out menu appears, choose Shifts.

Using the desktop or web interface to locate the shiftsUsing the desktop or web interface to locate the shifts

The graphic below explains how to use the Teams mobile app to access the Shifts app on a mobile device. You must first choose the More option, then the Shifts app.

Using the smartphone app to locate the ShiftsUsing the smartphone app to locate the Shifts

The positioning of the buttons in both the desktop and mobile applications is pretty similar, as you can see in the picture above. There is, however, a difference in orientation. Microsoft Teams’ engineers and designers did an outstanding job of ensuring that the desktop and mobile experiences were as similar as possible.

Putting Together a Team Schedule

The key prerequisite for creating a schedule for a team is that you must be the club’s owner. If you do not yet have a Team, you must either establish one or join an existing team and request to be included as an owner.

You may start constructing a schedule for your squad after you’ve squared up your team ownership.

To begin, open the Shifts app. You’ll be shown a list of the teams that you presently own. Next to the team name, click the Create button. The Engineering team is chosen in the scenario below.

To make a schedule, choose a team.To make a schedule, choose a team.

After you’ve clicked the Create button, you’ll need to check that the time zone you’ve chosen is acceptable for the team for whom you’re generating the schedule. It is up to you to decide which time zone should be utilized if the team members are located in various time zones.

The time zone is set to UTC+8, and the nearest city is Manila in the example below. Click the Confirm button after you’ve made your decision.

Confirm the team's time zoneConfirm the time zone of the team.

After then, wait for the team’s schedule to be completed. A welcome tour message will appear after the schedule has been created. You may choose to start the tour or skip it, depending on your desire. The tour will be skipped in the case below.

The welcoming tour may be skipped.The welcoming tour may be skipped.

Adding a Group Name and Members to a Group

After you’ve made a Team schedule, you’ll need to add people to the group and create a group inside the schedule. Please see the graphic below for a better understanding of the team scheduling structure.

The tree of team schedulesThe tree of team schedules

A team schedule may contain one or more groups, as shown in the figure above. Each group may have a number of members.

After Putting Together a Team Schedule, one group is automatically created. The group that was created does not have a name. So it only makes sense to add a name that is descriptive of the group.

The first group formed in the example below will be called Developers, suggesting that the members of the group are Engineering team developers.

Giving the group a nameGiving the group a name

The team schedule maker is immediately added as a member of the first group that was established automatically.

It’s time to add members to your group now that you’ve given it a proper name. By adding individuals to the group, you can guarantee that you have people to allocate shifts to.

Click the Add member to group button next to the group name to add people to the group.

After that, you’ll be able to add members to the group as seen below. You must first fill in the person’s name or email address, and then click Add. Click Close after you’ve finished adding users to the group.

Members are being added to the group.Members are being added to the group.

You will have established your first team schedule, a named group with group members, and vacant shifts at this time. Consider this a fresh blank canvas on which to plan your team’s shift coverage strategy.

Shift Scheduling: Creating and Assigning Shift Schedules

You may design and allocate shifts and time off in a variety of ways. You’ll learn more about these techniques in the next sections.

Assigning Shifts is a process that involves assigning shifts to people.

Open shifts are possible. Open shifts are those that haven’t been allocated yet and that your team may request. Otherwise, shifts are allotted to team members on a first-come, first-served basis.

Click the More options button on the day that is on the row of the person to whom the schedule will be allocated to create a shift schedule. Then choose Add shift.

The parameters of the open shift you’re generating must then be put up. You may alter items such as:

  • The color that will be used to signify the change.
  • How many available shift slots are you going to create?
  • The shift’s start and end dates and times.
  • Labels made to order. Instead of the shift time, this will be shown.
  • The duration of an unpaid break in minutes.
  • Up to 500 characters may be shifted.
  • Any extra shift activities you’d want to keep track of during this one.

Click Save after you’ve finished specifying the shift. How to create a shift schedule is shown in the example below.

The addition of a shiftThe addition of a shift

You’ve now successfully established and allocated shifts to your team members. You may repeat these steps to add additional persons to a calendar or to add more days to a plan.

Shift Copies

You may duplicate an existing schedule to another team member who can work on the same shift instead of manually adding shifts to your team.

To copy a shift, click the More options button on the shift you want to copy, then paste it into another position. You can see an example of how to copy and paste a shift in the video below.

A single shift schedule may be copied from one member to another.A single shift schedule may be copied from one member to another.

The preceding simply shows how to duplicate a single shift schedule from one team member to another. You may, however, copy and paste several shifts over many days.

The members in the example below will be working the same shifts for the whole week. The same routine may be replicated throughout the remainder of the week to save time on manual work.

Multiple shifts may be copiedMultiple shifts may be copied

The copy schedule tool may also be used to copy a week’s worth of shift schedules to future dates.

Simply click the Copy schedule icon in the top right corner. Then decide whether to add the Microsoft Teams Shifts notes, Time off, Activities, and Open shifts. Finally, choose the duplicated schedule’s destination date. To begin the copying procedure, click the Copy button.

To copy shifts, use the Copy schedule tool.To copy shifts, use the Copy schedule tool.

Schedules for Publication

Assume you’ve already generated and finalized your team’s schedule at this stage. However, since the schedule has not yet been published, these schedules will not appear in your team member’s perspective.

To share the schedule, go to the upper-right corner of the screen and click the Share with team icon. Then, choose the date range for the schedule you wish to publish. Then you can decide whether to notify the whole team or only those who are impacted by the published schedule.

The publication of the timetableThe publication of the timetable

Once the schedule is published, team members will get a message in their mobile app about the new work schedule. The image below shows an example notice and published schedule.

In the Teams mobile app, a new schedule has been issued.In the Teams mobile app, a new schedule has been issued.

The worker may now view the next shifts from the published schedule, as seen in the image above.

Importing Routines

Aside from creating and Shift Copies, schedules can also be imported using a file into the Shifts app. This option enables you to create schedules offline using Excel, save the file and later on, import the schedule to Shifts.

The Shifts app uses a standard template for Importing Routines. This template can be downloaded from Shifts directly.

Click the More options icons in the top right corner of the Shifts app to download the schedule template. Then, under Import Schedule, choose Download template from the drop-down menu.

Template for a timetable may be downloadedTemplate for a timetable may be downloaded

Once the template file has been downloaded, open it. As seen in the picture below, you must carefully follow the set of instructions provided in the template. Following these steps will assist guarantee that the schedule upload goes well.

In the schedule template, there are instructions on how to use it.In the schedule template, there are instructions on how to use it.

Then change the Shifts spreadsheet to establish a shift schedule for your team. The schedule being prepared in the example below is for the period of May 4 to May 8. The Shift Notes column is the only one that is optional.

The template was used to generate the schedule.The template was used to generate the schedule.

Save the file with a name of your choosing when you’ve completed the schedule. The file is named c:demoschedule-may4-to-may8.xlsx in this example.

You may now import the schedule file that has been saved. Return to the import schedule page and choose Upload file from the drop-down menu.

Then, find and pick the schedule file you saved earlier. Then press the Open button. The import procedure for the schedule should begin. All you have to do now is wait for the import to complete.

Using a file to import a scheduleUsing a file to import a schedule

The schedule will be automatically published when it has been imported, and the team members will be alerted.

Managing Shift Schedules

So far, you’ve learned how to use Shifts to construct a team schedule and have it published for your team’s consumption. You’ll learn the fundamentals of managing your team’s schedule in this part.

Request Approval and Rejection

Team members may request time off, shift swaps, or even volunteer their shift to another team member. These requests are placed in the queue of the team owner for approval.

Jane Porter, for example, asks time off in the case below. The request will be placed on hold awaiting final approval.

requesting a leave of absencerequesting a leave of absence

You may go to the Requests queue in your view as the owner of the team schedule to accept or reject the request. The request for time off is accepted in the case below.

approving requests for time offapproving requests for time off

Viewing Timetables

Your team schedule may be seen in two ways. These views enable you to observe changes in terms of persons or shifts.

The People view, which you’ve been viewing in this tutorial, is the default view. This view displays a list of persons who are members of the groups, along with their allotted shifts.

The Shift view displays a list of shifts as well as the number of personnel allocated to each shift. This is helpful when you need to double-check whether shifts are covered.

Click the View menu in the upper right corner of the schedule to switch between People and Shift views. To switch between the two perspectives, click either the People or Shift menu item. Switching between the People and Shift views is seen in the video below.

Changing the perspective to People and ShiftChanging the perspective to People and Shift

Schedules are exported.

You may need to access, review, or analyze the team schedule offline from time to time. Shifts, thankfully, has a feature that allows you to export the schedule to a file that can be seen in Excel.

To export a schedule, go to the top-right corner of the schedule and choose More options, then Export schedule. When the export dialog appears, choose the date range for the schedule you wish to export.

You may also alter the export by enabling or deleting items such as include shift notes, daily hours, and time off. When you’ve finished making your choices, click the Export option.

Creating a Schedule for ExportCreating a Schedule for Export

Activating the Time Clock

Another excellent feature of Shifts is the Time Clock. Activating the Time Clock allows for a more granular view of the shift and break times consumed by a team member.

Additionally, the time clock function may be utilized to enable employees to clock in only at specified locations that have been permitted. (For example, a workplace).

To turn on the time clock, go to the team schedule’s Settings page and scroll down to the Time clock section. Then click Next after selecting Begin setup.

Include location detection is an option available on the Time clock setting page. You’ll need to add an approved location if you activate location detection (including GPS and coordinates). Leave it unchecked if you don’t wish to use this option, then click Turn on.

Activating the ClockActivating the Clock

After Activating the Clock, the members of the team will have access to the time clock and start tracking their shift and break times using their mobile devices.

The Time Clock option is now accessible for this team member, as seen in the picture below.

The option of using a time clock is offered.The option of using a time clock is offered.

When a team member is on the clock, the time clock appears as seen in the image below.

When the employee is working, he or she is considered to be on the clock.When the employee is working, he or she is considered to be on the clock.

The following screenshot depicts what the time clock looks like when a team member is taking a break.

When the employee is taking a breakWhen the employee is taking a break

The Time Clock Report may be exported.

After Activating the Clock and team members started using it, it is only logical that you, as a team owner would want to view the clock in/out report.

Return to the team schedule settings and click on Export to export the time tracking report.

The time tracking report may be exported.The time tracking report may be exported.

After that, you may access the exported time tracking report in Excel. The screenshot below shows a section of the time tracking report.

An example of a time tracking reportAn example of a time tracking report


You’ve learned the fundamentals of using the Shifts tool in Microsoft Teams to create and manage team schedules in this post. You may assign shifts to members of your team and have them alerted when changes are made using the shifts app.

The Shifts app allows team owners or managers to quickly accept or reject requests for schedule modifications. The adjustments are then reflected in Shifts without the need for human intervention.

You’ve also discovered that using the time clock tool allows you to monitor employees’ hours more precisely. Shifts may also serve as your team’s time in/out app if location detection is enabled.

This post isn’t meant to be a comprehensive introduction to using the Shifts app; rather, it’s meant to stimulate your curiosity and introduce you to the Shifts app. I hope that the information in this post will assist you in making the switch to Microsoft Teams Shifts as your primary scheduling tool.

Additional Reading

Microsoft Teams is a chat platform that allows users to collaborate on projects and share information. The “microsoft teams shifts app” is an introduction to Microsoft Teams.

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