Office 365 groups in Outlook are a single collaboration solution for people who want a place to share discussions, files, calendars and notes in a unified way that is easy to find. Probably the single-best feature is that the Inbox for the group maintains a history of the discussions, making it easy to search previous discussions.
Managers who have 2-20 direct reports, do not already have a direct reports group, and have permissions to create groups in Outlook, will automatically have a private group created for them with their direct reports. The manager will be added as an owner, and the direct reports of the manager will be added as members by default. The group will be named "<Managers Name>'s direct reports", but that can be edited.
When the group is created the manager and their direct reports will receive a welcome email letting them know that it's ready.
Note: This feature will not impact Office 365 tenants with over 50,000 cloud mailbox users.
If you're an Office 365 administrator looking for admin controls on this topic please see Manage automatic creation of direct reports group - Admin help. Note that any policies you have set for Office 365 groups will apply to these groups as well.
How will this new group benefit my team?
One of our most used scenarios for groups in Outlook is for team collaboration. Team members can discuss topics, share notes and files, schedule meetings, plan projects, and more with these groups. Any new member that joins the team gets instant access to the previous history, conversations, calendar, and files.
Once the group is created, the manager and the members will receive a welcome email indicating the group has been created and the different ways to use the group. All the existing tools used for communication and collaboration will continue to work as they always have. If the team currently uses a distribution list or another collaboration tool, it will work just as before. Members are automatically subscribed to the group, so whenever a user sends an email to the group, all the members will receive all the communications in their inbox by default.
How can I customize or delete this group?
Managers will automatically be added as owners and can update the group's name, membership, privacy, data security classification at any time. Once created, the group membership is not dynamic. Managers will need to add or remove members as needed.
Note: No new groups will be created as a result of changes in your reporting structure. Only the initial group is automatically created.
Open Outlook on the web. If you're not sure how, click here for instructions.
Click the app launcher at the top left corner and select People.
Select the group name in the left pane under Groups. It will be titled “[Your Name]'s Direct Reports.”
Click the More group actions icon (it looks like three dots) on the right side of the header and choose Edit Group.
Make any changes you like and click Save.
If the manger doesn’t find this group to be beneficial, they can easily delete the group by clicking on the Delete group option at the bottom of the edit dialog.
How do I access the new group in Outlook? What about Outlook on the Web?
To access the new group in either Outlook or Outlook on the web just go to the Groups category towards the bottom of the navigation pane on the left. If you use this group often consider pinning it as a favorite by right-clicking on it and adding it to your favorites.
If you don't see Groups in Outlook on the web click the app launcher icon at the top left and select Mail. If you still don't see Groups make sure that you're not in Folders view but clicking the back arrow next to Folders.
Additionally there are free mobile clients for Office 365 Groups available on every mobile platform (iOS, Android, etc.) so you can easily access the group on the go. See Outlook Groups mobile app for more information.
Once you've got an Office 365 group there are a few follow-up tasks you may want to do in order to ensure it goes smoothly.
If you find this group to be helpful you may want to create additional groups around projects, customers, products, or business areas in your organization. For information on creating additional groups see Create a group in Outlook.
Share your experience - Let other teams in your company know about groups and what steps you took to make it successful! Sharing that information can help those other teams follow your example and be successful.
Have questions about Groups?
Visit the Microsoft Office 365 Groups Tech Community.