11 Dec 2019 by Mike Weaver
Integration: The Final Step in Change Management
The final step in successful change management is the Integration stage. Here’s how to bring everything together. Watch now.
Back in 2013, we posted a blog on company-wide shared calendars, and time and time again we see it appear amongst our most popular posts. The blog explained how to set up a company-wide shared calendar in Office 365.
Three years have passed since then, and the platform has changed a lot, so we figured it was time to refresh this post, to reflect the updates that have been made to the platform.
Many businesses require an accessible, shared calendar that can be used to coordinate employee shifts or group schedules. Our original post showed you how to create a shared calendar in an Office 365 tenant that could be accessible by all staff members with an Office 365 mailbox.
We showed you how to create the calendar using a public folder, however, there are a handful of other options available – it just depends on your needs, and group size. The table below has been created by Microsoft support to help you decide which tool is right for your purposes.
In this blog, we’re going to take a look at how to create a shared calendar leveraging the functionality available in Office 365 Groups. If you need to ensure that all of your organisation can access the shared calendar by default, you may still prefer to use public folders for the task. However, as we will see, the accessibility available in Groups is extremely flexible, and you may find that you can achieve what you need using the tool.
If you have encountered Groups before, you will know that when you create a group, you also automatically receive:
We’ve written about Office 365 Groups in the past, covering some more basic features. Here, we will be focusing on the calendar option, but it is still important to note how interconnected the Group work space is, and that it is almost impossible to approach or configure one area, without creating some impact on another.
First things first – create your group. The easiest way to access Office 365 Groups is through Outlook or the OWA app, the other option is through the people tile in the portal.
Now you’re all set up, let’s take a look at the calendar.
As you can see above, the Group calendar will be placed alongside any other calendars the user has. It can be accessed through OWA in the portal or directly through the user’s Outlook. Your users will be able to tab between the different calendars they have, or see an integrated view of all occurring events. It is also possible to share group events with other groups or non-members too.
If you have lots of calendars, you can use colour-coding to help organise and identify different ones, and it is also possible to overlay your personal calendar – so that it’s always in clear view. Find out more about this functionality here.
There are a couple of group size limits to be aware of.
*In larger groups users may notice delays when trying to access the calendars and conversations.
When you join a group, you can also choose to ‘subscribe’ to it, which means that you will receive a copy of all Group emails in your personal inbox, as well as the Group inbox. If you decide that this is too much, then you can unsubscribe, and the emails will no longer go to your own inbox – you will remain part of the group, and will still be able to access communications in the group inbox.
To unsubscribe, or completely leave a group, you can click the ‘subscribed’ option at the top and make your choice. If you want to easy access to a specific group, you can ‘favourite’ it by right-clicking on the group and selecting ‘Add to Favourites’.
If you think Office 365 Groups could work for your shared calendar needs – why not give it a try?
If Groups isn’t the right fit for you, make sure you check back on the blog in the coming weeks. We will also be exploring other options for shared calendar creation, including SharePoint Online Calendars and the new collaborative team calendars available in Microsoft Teams.