Users demand improvements to Microsoft Teams calendar

Users must sometimes toggle between Microsoft Teams and Outlook to get work done because of features missing from the calendar in Teams.

Microsoft advertises its Teams collaboration app as a one-stop hub for workplace communications. But users say they can't get all their work done in Teams because the product lacks essential calendar features.

Users have been seeking a better calendar in Microsoft Teams for years. Without the requested upgrades, users must sometimes toggle between Teams and Outlook to collaborate with colleagues.

Most urgently, customers want the tech giant to add more information about their co-workers' schedules to Teams. Thousands of people have requested an easy way to view Office 365 group calendars in Teams.

Also, users want the ability to create recurring reminders in Teams. Slack, for example, lets users set group reminders for meetings, project deadlines and tasks. Similarly, users wish they could get notifications in Teams, rather than in Outlook, of all scheduled events.

Other calendar requests from users are as simple as being able to view the calendar by month, not by week.

The missing calendar features demonstrate that Teams is still maturing, said Russ Basiura, a consultant at Accel365, which helps companies implement Office 365.

Microsoft designed Teams as an interface for interacting with every Office 365 app in one place, he said. But Microsoft has yet to surface all those apps' features within Teams.

The calendar's deficiencies undercut Microsoft's attempts to market Teams as an all-in-one collaboration app. They demonstrate how users must still rely on other apps like Outlook for now. Users have been tweaking Microsoft over the issue on the vendor's online forum, Microsoft Teams UserVoice.

What's more, the calendar features are among numerous improvements to Teams that users have been seeking for years. Other highly demanded features include an Outlook tab and the ability to log in to multiple accounts at once.

Because of the coronavirus pandemic, millions of workers have no choice but to rely on Teams for essential communications. The shift to remote working has made the app's shortcomings even more disruptive to productivity.

The pandemic has also changed the competitive landscape, with Zoom emerging as a threat to Teams. The situation has put pressure on Microsoft to match Zoom's most popular features. Microsoft recently added virtual backgrounds to Teams and will soon expand the app's group video display.

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