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Empower your Firstline Workers with new capabilities in Microsoft Teams

Firstline Workers are more than two billion people worldwide who work in service- or task-oriented roles, across industries such as retail, hospitality, travel, and manufacturing. And today, we are announcing the general availability of Shifts, in addition to three new features in Microsoft Teams to help Firstline Workers achieve more. Read the full blog here.

 

  1. Plan and create schedules with Shifts
    With Shifts, your schedule management tool now available in Teams, managers can easily plan and create shift schedules, and team members can review schedules and make shift requests from their mobile devices, all in real time. Check out support documentation here.

Availability: Shifts is available today.

distribute schedules.pngFor managers, create and distribute schedules to your team. And for team members, easily review your schedule, and day or shift notes, directly from your mobile device.

  1. Customize your mobile Teams experience and leverage new mobile features
    With the new customizable mobile experience available today, Firstline Workers can customize their navigation menu to have the features most important to them at their fingertips. In addition, Firstline Workers can leverage new mobile features such as: location sharing (mobile only), record and share audio messages (mobile-first) and smart camera (mobile only). The Smart camera experience has been built with Microsoft's Office Lens functionality. Smart camera can interpret different image types such as a document, whiteboard or business card, and utilizes auto crop for easy consumption. Firstline Workers handle a lot of tasks that are image heavy. And they’ll begin a task by taking a picture and then posting it into a chat. Smart camera is valuable because images taken from smart camera are not stored on the device. Lastly, IT administrators can now also give each employee role-based access to the primary Teams features they need. Check out support documentation here.

Availability: The customizable mobile experience and new mobile features are available starting today. Location sharing-GA; smart camera- GA; record and share audio messages- this quarter.

 

NRF img - 1-new.pngView all conversations in one place (left), share location and record audio messages (middle), and customize your navigation menu (right) to make Teams relevant to your role. 

  1. Integrate your workforce management system with Teams using a Graph API for Shifts
    The Graph API for Shifts, the schedule management tool in Teams, is the first of a set of new APIs that enable organizations to integrate their existing workforce management systems with Teams. Available in public preview, the new API makes integration between Shifts and enterprise scheduling systems possible, enabling seamless access to workforce management systems for managers and employees, right from Teams.

 

Availability: The Graph API for Shifts will be in public preview this quarter.

 

  1. Celebrate your team with Praise
    The new Praise tool, rolling out this quarter, gives managers and employees a simple way to recognize co-workers, right in the Teams app where the whole team can see it. Taking steps to engage and recognize employees can go a long way to improving their satisfaction, and reducing turnover.

 

Availability: Praise is rolling out this quarter.

 

Share badges.pngShare badges to celebrate success, increase employee engagement and foster greater comradery.

Please visit our Teams for Firstline Workers page to learn more about how Teams can empower your Firstline Workforce. Also, check out support documentation here.

 

Let us know what you think!

Try the new features and provide feedback using the feedback link in the lower left corner of Microsoft Teams. If you have suggestions on how to make Teams better, please submit your idea via User Voice or vote for existing ideas to help us prioritize the requests. We read every piece of feedback that we receive to make sure that Microsoft Teams meets your needs.

 

—Keara James, product marketing manager Microsoft Teams

13 Comments
Frequent Contributor

Hi, @Keara James.

It is nice there are Availability sections in each feature/announcement.

 

It will be great if we can know which app version when things gets released especially for items stating starting today or have something similar of a release notes. This way we can manage the roll out of changes better. 

 

Availability: The customizable mobile experience and new mobile features are available starting today. Starting on version 1416/1.0.0.xxxx. 

Availability: Shifts is rolling out this month.

 

Fred

 

Contributor

I agree with Fred (features not available nor any update), also what is "smart camera"?

 

When will this be available for the desktop client?

 

Does this mean we will get location added to user profiles (not a share location button) soon as well ( https://microsoftteams.uservoice.com/forums/555103-public/suggestions/16926214-add-location-function )?

New Contributor

I think all of this is fine stuff that I'm never going to use and I guess I'll just have to keep waiting on private channels.

Microsoft

@Fred Y That is a great insight, thanks for the feedback!

Microsoft

Hi @Andreas Thuresson - at this time I do not have information on the availability for the desktop client or location being added for user profiles.

 

The Smart camera experience has been built with Microsoft's Office Lens functionality. Smart camera can interpret different image types such as a document, whiteboard or business card, and utilizes auto crop for easy consumption.

 

Firstline Workers handle a lot of tasks that are image heavy. And they’ll begin a task by taking a picture and then posting it into a chat. Smart camera is valuable because images taken from smart camera are not stored on the device.

Contributor

Hi @Keara James,

 

Does this mean that Shifts is currently available on the mobile app for Teams but there isn't any info on when the desktop client will support it? It is possible its still be rolled out so may not be visible yet in our Teams.

 

Thanks,

James. 

Microsoft

@James Brennan - Hi James. Shifts is supported on the desktop client. Feel free to check out the support documentation here. And correct, Shifts will appear for you soon.

Occasional Contributor

Nice that this is now in preview but when investigating it, we cannot select Teams that were created in StaffHub. Back when we started using StaffHub and Teams, we created our departments as StaffHub teams which provisioned the Microsoft Team, Group, Calendar, etc. to go with it. It appears that when creating Shifts in Microsoft Teams, these teams are not available (or even visible) as options.

Can yo speak to this or point to resources that might address this issue?

Occasional Visitor

@Keara James

 

Hi Keara! I was just wondering when the Home part of the app is going to be available? We'd love to integrate everything solely into Teams, but we still need the clocking in and out capabilities of StaffHub and don't really want to move the full system over until we can do it all in one place. I was just curious if there is a timeline for that?

 

Thanks!

Occasional Visitor

@Keara James

 

Hi Keara! Is there an import tool between StaffHub and Shifts? I have a lot of shifts already created in StaffHub and I don't want to recreate these 'one by one' in Shifts... Thanks!

Occasional Visitor

@Keara James Congrats!  I think it is fabulous that Microsoft is addressing some of the needs of first line workers.  Can you be specific as to which workforce management systems integrations to API's exist today?

 

Can the camera feature be disabled? Some shift worker environments do to not allow cameras in their manufacturing or store environments, to prevent sharing proprietary information externally.  

 

And, where can we see a roadmap to future Teams apps and initiatives? 

 

Thank you!

Occasional Contributor

I love the Integration of Shifts into Teams. Due to GDPR, customers in the EU face a major hurdle in adopting it though: The reasons for time-off must not be visible to everyone in the team but only their managers. E.g. another employee could track why a colleague is not in the office that day and draw conclusions about personal matters such as their health from it. This would require consent from every employee; this consent is freely withdrawable under GDPR. One employee alone could therefore block the use of Shifts in Teams even after rollout.

 

Shifts.pngFor GDPR-compliance this must not be visible.

Desired Outcome: When employees request time off, give Managers the option to not display the reason given to the rest of the team. I.e. Make the reason (= color and icon) for the absence visible to Managers only. Please support this idea (link to uservoice).

Contributor

@Keara James, how will shifts and information currently in Staffhub be migrated to Shifts?  Will that migration of shifts and schedules be migrated automatically?