Create a dedicated workspace for your team or project using Office 365 Groups.  With Office 365 Groups you can invite multiple people (including external) to participate, contribute, share information and edit documents in real-time.

This article explains how to get started with Office 365 Groups and where to find more information.

What are Office 365 Groups?

An Office 365 Group is a single workspace containing multiple resources which can be used to enhance collaboration between group members.

Office 365 Groups can be created and managed by anyone putting in you in control of who has access.  Office 365 Groups can be set as Private (invited members only) or Public (anyone can join).

Each Office 365 Group consists of the following:

SharePoint Document Library

1TB of storage for group files and documentation.  This can be useful for version control as it eliminates the need to send files via email, ensuring everyone has access to the latest version of a file.

Real-time collaboration with Office 365 ProPlus and Office Online

Multiple members can collaborate and edit Word, Excel and PowerPoint files in real-time.

If you are working apart use Skype for Business to communicate with Instant Messaging whilst working on documents together.

Shared Inbox

Similar to a discussion group (Mailman), a Shared Inbox is available to store email conversations between members.  The Shared Inbox has an email address meaning anyone can send an email to join in with a conversation or start a new one.

Conversation history is maintained which is useful when a new member joins the group because they will be able to review previous correspondence and information.

Shared Calendar

Dedicated calendar for scheduling events related to the group

Shared OneNote Notebook

Shared OneNote for gathering ideas, drawings, screen snips, research, and information.

Important note

Please read the following information before using Office 365 Groups.

Naming and confidentiality

By default all Office 365 Groups are listed in the Outlook Address Book including details about group membership.  When creating a new Office 365 Group please consider the name carefully as it will be visible to all, therefore avoid using personal terms such as “my project” as this may cause confusion to others.

If confidentiality is a concern please contact the Computing Helpdesk and your group can be ‘hidden’, including the group membership if necessary, so that the group information and its membership will not be visible to all.

Restricted Data

Please note, restricted documentation as classified below should not be submitted to any cloud service.


Data whose unauthorised access or loss could seriously or adversely affect the NBI

Information classified as ‘sensitive personal data’ by the Data Protection Act

  • Sensitive Human resource data.
  • Bank/financial details.
  • Credit card numbers
  • Sensitive health information
  • Institute financial data
  • Authentication credentials to sensitive systems.
  • Your own personal information like medical records, identifiable records e.g. passport copies etc.

Get started with Office 365 Groups

Office 365 Groups can be accessed using either Outlook for Windows (Office 365 ProPlus), the Office 365 web portal, or by using Office 365 Groups apps on mobile devices. (Note: Native integration with Outlook 2016 on the Mac is coming soon.)

Outlook for Windows (Office 365 ProPlus)

You can add a new Group or join an existing Group from the toolbar buttons in Outlook.

When adding a new group select whether it should be public for anyone to view or private so only invited members can join.

Note: When you create a group, the Subscribe new members checkbox will send copies of the group emails to members’ inboxes. This is not necessary for Office 365 ProPlus users as they will automatically see the Office 365 Group in Outlook.

Outlook on the Web

Navigate to and find Groups under the People section in the Office 365 portal

Once in connected to an Office 365 Group you can access the e-mail, calendar, shared files and OneNote notebook.

Tablet or smartphone

Users of iOS, Android or Windows Phone devices can access Office 365 Groups using the Outlook app.

Find out more about Office 365 Groups

Office 365 Groups: Scenario-based training

Office 365 Groups: Get started

Office 365 Groups: Guest access

Office 365 Groups: Compare platforms