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The newest addition to Office 365 – Microsoft StaffHub – was launched today.

It’s aimed at companies that have large shift workers and shift management, basically targeting those that don’t tend to work from desktop computers and have different schedules from week to week. Eg, those in Retail, Hospitality, Restaurants, etc.

Bryan Goode, Office 365 General Manager feels it addresses the needs of a previous, seemingly untapped market:

“There’s half a billion frontline staff workers in the world,” he says. “Most companies, though, haven’t actually provided digital tools for these folks…but companies are starting to recognize the benefits of moving some of these offline processes and taking them online.”

Untapped? Almost certainly, yet Microsoft StaffHub will still have competition – the more traditional paper-based approach. Getting organisations to ‘dump’ their existing (tried and tested) methods might prove tough, but not unachievable. Office 365 is adding so much functionality in its existing and forthcoming apps that it’ll prove hard to ignore or resist.

staffhub

Microsoft Staffhub takes its functionality beyond a simple ‘calendar application’.

  • Custom labelling for shifts: Managers will be able to take advantage of a variety of features to differentiate the types of shifts, ranging from custom labels (like “day,” “opening,” “night,” etc.) to colour coding. They can even add notes about the work that needs to be done during the shift in question
  • Ease of updating shifts: StaffHub makes it simple to update shifts from week to week, by offering a “Copy last schedule” feature that lets managers use the prior week’s shift as a starting point before making changes
  • Views: Schedules can be viewed by day, week or month, as needed, and the program has tools for handling common requests, like time off, annual leave, etc
  • Messaging: staff can privately chat, one on one, with one another in the app, and the app can host multiple group chats, too. The chats support photo sharing, as well, which could be useful for showing the manager something out on the floor that needs their input
  • Sharing: the app can be used for sharing internal resources — like an employee handbook hosted on SharePoint, a file uploaded from a computer, a video or a file stored on another cloud service like Dropbox

 

The software is available starting now as a part of Office 365 commercial plans.

 

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