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Clocking in for work safely, using Microsoft Teams Shift Management

Hygiene in the workplace

The advice in the workplace for all hard surfaces is to clean, disinfect and clean again, and again, and again throughout the working day.

Employees who have been furloughed and are now being asked to return to the workplace, often have deep rooted concerns and fears about ‘coming in’ and returning to (new) normal.

Employers are under pressure to make the workplace as safe as possible to not only be compliant to reassure their workforce that the workplace is as safe as it can be.

It is essential to the well being of the UK economy and the businesses that contribute to it, that there is a return to the workplace where working from home is just not an option.

Who has the hardest task regarding hygiene in the workplace?

The businesses most affected include manufacturers and distributors whose firstline workers have to be in the workplace to be productive.  These workforces in the vast majority will be required to use time and attendance hardware to clock in and clock out  This hardware will need to be cleaned, disinfected and cleaned again, a process that takes time to complete and is yet one further responsibility for health and safety managers who are already under pressure to introduce rigorous hygiene protocols never seen before in the UK manufacturing sector.

Office 365 apps become increasingly relevant in the workplace

Office 365 is not a ‘new’ thing but the increasing number of apps that are available with it along with the Microsoft’s development of them to support the new normal – are.

Clock in and clock out with Office 365 Teams Shifts

An example of this is the retirement of Staff Hub within Teams with the extended app ‘Shifts’.  This app provides the ideal alternative to physical time and attendance hardware.

Reliant only on a mobile phone with Teams installed and a suitable licence, Shifts will automatically clock your workers in and out once they are on site.  Shift managers have a real time view of who has arrived for work and at what time and who has not.

How does Shifts support time and attendance?

Geo Fencing, ensures that if an employee ‘clocks in’ but then leaves the defined work area (which shift managers control) – this is recorded.  The app can produce time reports which are exportable for further analysis.  The level of Geo Fencing can be affected by the device a first line worker is using but all current mobiles (Android and iOS) are capable of reporting if staff have left the building and some can be set up with very specific Geo Fencing identifying if time is being spent away from a nominated work area.

Holiday requests can be made directly to shift managers via the app and because shift managers have a real time view of what requests have been made and approved, they have the ability to manage their teams’ absences.

How to licence firstline workers for Office 365

The ideal Office 365 licence for rolling this out around your workforce is specifically for first line workers and provides access to Teams, SharePoint, One Drive, and power apps. The cost is only £3.00 plus VAT per month, per user.  This licence will also support Teams Walkie Talkie (please see this article), in addition to voice calling and chat streams defined by group.

Thought For The Day

Using Shifts in Office 365 Teams requires minimal Office 365 licensing for firstline workers which will provide not only ‘hands free’ time and attendance management but also provide shift managers with the tools to communicate with their teams via Walkie Talkie push to talk voice broadcast, calling and chat streams.  Call Qi for advice on how to maximise your use of Office