By | Published On: 14 December 2022 |

Managing schedules for you and your staff can get pretty confusing, especially when you all have different roles and projects within the company! Microsoft Bookings, Approvals, Tasks & Shifts (BATS) is a suite of accessible apps to help streamline and simplify your management process.


What is Microsoft Shifts? 

image displaying microsoft shifts

Microsoft shifts is a tool within Microsoft Teams to help manage schedules for you and your team.

Microsoft Shifts was created for first-line workers; people who operate in a company’s customer-facing role, for example, shop assistants, restaurant and bar servers, and communication operatives.

This schedule management tool can help you and your team organise your day, week, or month. Microsoft Shifts enables scheduling processes and time-tracking solutions to manage team and department schedules in one place.  


How does Microsoft Shifts work?  

Microsoft Shifts is a mobile-first tool, enabling it to manage time and communication effectively.

Heads of departments and managers can create, manage, and update shift schedules. They can also send direct or group messages and documents to their team members. Employees can view their shift schedules, change shifts between team members, book time off and communicate with members of the team.  

Microsoft Shifts is a tool used on Microsoft Teams that can be viewed on a navigation bar within Teams.   


How to use Microsoft Shifts  

Within the Microsoft Teams navigation bar, you will be able to include Microsoft Shifts. If you’re a Manager or head of a department, you will be able to create a schedule for your team. From there, you can add your team members to the schedule if they have a Microsoft 365 account.  

When creating shifts, you can add start and finish times, include notes for your team members to explain any particulars regarding their shifts, and include any breaks and/or lunches.  

If you’re an employee using Shifts, you can keep on top of your monthly shift schedule and request time off, shift swaps and additional shifts.  


Microsoft Shifts cost 

Microsoft Shifts isn’t a sole tool you can purchase; having a Microsoft 365 plan will include Microsoft Teams, and from there, you can use Shifts. If your company has a Microsoft 365 plan, you can log in with company credentials and have access Microsoft Teams app and Shifts on your computer and mobile.  


What is Microsoft Bookings?  

Microsoft Bookings enables you to organise your team’s calendars and appointments within Microsoft Teams. With Bookings and Microsoft Teams, you can track, manage and create virtual and in-person visits in one place. This appointment scheduling tool helps businesses keep track of their bookings, staff and customers. 


How does Microsoft Bookings work?  

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With Bookings and Microsoft Teams, you can view your team’s calendars and view availability when creating a booking calendar. When scheduling appointments, you can choose an appointment type, whether virtual or in-person, how your attendee will join the meeting via a browser or text message confirmation, and email reminders to both your staff and attendees about the appointment.  


How to use Microsoft Bookings 

When creating a booking, you can include your business or department name, which will be displayed in emails and used as the email address to send the booking invites. Once the booking calendar is created, you can add staff members and allocate them a role, whether they’re an admin, scheduler, team member or viewer.

If you’re a staff member, you will receive an email to accept the appointment invitation and can view the meeting information in the Bookings calendar.

To join a Bookings appointment, whether through your confirmation email, reminder email or text message, you will join via the Teams app, if you have it, or via your web browser.  


Microsoft Bookings cost  

If you have a Microsoft 365 business premium account, you will be able to use Bookings within Microsoft Teams.  


What is Microsoft Tasks? 

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Microsoft Tasks is a user-friendly task management tool that combines To Do personal tasks with Planner team tasks. All within Microsoft Teams, Tasks makes collaborating and organising within projects more accessible to team members. 

Its suitability to small and large businesses using Microsoft 365 and Teams enhances their productivity.  


How does Microsoft Tasks work?  

The Tasks app within Teams allows you to plan and organise personal and team tasks. Departments can use the Tasks app to create plans for processes and projects they’re involved in so that all team members can have access to share, collaborate and stay organised within deadlines.

If you’re in a group channel in Microsoft Teams, that group can also access a shared plan to improve efficiency, productivity and collaboration within the company, its departments and employees.  


How to use Microsoft tasks 

Tasks can be found within Microsoft Teams, currently called Tasks by Planner and To Do. Whether you create task lists or have tasks assigned to you, you can view them under ‘My Tasks’.  

You can view shared plans if you’ve been added to particular channels in Microsoft Teams, and update the status of a task, its priority, and its due date.

You will also get notifications from other team members, for example, if you’ve had additional tasks assigned to you, if a task is urgent, or if you’ve been removed from an allocated task.  


Microsoft Tasks cost 

Microsoft Tasks is included in the Microsoft 365 premium business subscription. If your company already has a Microsoft 365 plan, you should have everything you need to start using Microsoft Tasks with Teams.  


What is Microsoft Approvals?  

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Microsoft Approvals streamlines all of your requests with your team, departments and partners in Microsoft Teams. Whether it’s budget requests, demo requests, or absence requests, you can send or receive them to or from people in your team to approve.  


How does Microsoft Approvals work?  

All approvals you send or receive can be seen in the Approvals hub. Approvals can be sent through chats, channels or directly. There’s no limit to the type of approval request you can make, and it’s all within Microsoft Teams for easy access.  

There are pre-set templates available to suit different approval requests. If you’re an admin, you can customise these templates, with the option to send them to specific people, organisation-wide or team-wide. If you’re a team owner, you will only be able to create templates as a team-wide template.   


How to use Microsoft Approvals  

When creating an approval request, you can state the name of the request, select who you need approval from, and add any additional info or attachments. Once sent, your submitted approver will be notified and can review and act on the request.  

Sending an approval through a chat or channel, your request can get lost in the amount of back-and-forth communication. With the Approvals hub, all approval requests can be viewed and actioned from there, saving you from losing any requests. 


Microsoft Approvals cost?  

You can get Microsoft Approvals with the Microsoft 365 business premium package. This will include Teams and will have everything you need to add the Microsoft Approvals app to Teams. 


Our Service  

Our Microsoft Teams training can give you an in-depth understanding of the Microsoft Teams platform, its components and capabilities. We can get you and your team working collaboratively and efficiently, improving your company’s productivity whilst understanding the features and benefits of all the applications above.


Click here to learn more about our Microsoft teams training and get your team training today. 


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