We are preparing to deploy OneDrive for Business to several groups of users.

There are a couple of issues we need to work out before doing so.  I thought getting some ideas from individuals with OneDrive for Business experience my be the best place to start.  Here are the open issues that I need some advice on --

1) What is the most efficient and least confusing way to deploy OneDrive for Business to an end user?  The idea here being that the end-user does not get confused between there OneDrive for Business account and their personal account.  We are planning on disabling personal OneDrive on workstations via a GPO, but I do not know how to do this on mobile devices or in the web clients.

2) We would like managers to have full visibility into their employees OneDrive for Business accounts.  For example, I have a manager with 20 employees.  How can I grant this manager access to view the employees OneDrive contents and search those contents?  That manager would only have access to those 20 employees OneDrive for Business accounts and nobody else.  What is the best to configure this type of management visibility into accounts, but to also limit that visibility to the manager's employees only? ... with this said, would it just be easier to create a team site in SP Online rather than grant managers access to individual OneDrive for Business accounts?  Could we accomplish this with Office 365 groups? My main issue here on #2 is deciding whether to use OneDrive accounts to accomplish this or a SharePoint Online team site. The down-side to using OneDrive accounts is that in order to grant access to managers to their employees OneDrives, I have to make the managers site collection admins on all of their employees accounts. I think this would create a lot of management overhead.

Any advice is appreciated.


1 Answer 1


OneDrive for Business is for employees personal working files. Think of this like working out of My Documents on your workstation. You make the move to OneDrive for Business to work out of the cloud and easily share data for collaboration purposes. Ask yourself if managers should have access to local resources of their employees. Undoubtedly to me, this answer is no. Let users work out of their OneDrive for Business site without prying eyes.

You can set the managers to have any level of access they want, but the employees is a site collection administrator and could remove their access at any time. Something you can do though, would create a folder specifically for sharing with their manager. This existed to a degree before they removed the "Shared with everyone" folder that was a folder, shared with everyone. This would be the better route to take and honestly if I knew my manager was going to have access to all my data, I wouldn't use OneDrive. He just doesn't need it and is an invasion of my privacy (even though I wouldn't have anything to hide).

OneDrive for Business allows you to easily copy and move files out to other SharePoint locations. Use this functionality to then let users copy or move completed files to an appropriate place where the manager has access.

Our general workflow philosophy. Create your business files in your OneDrive, share with others to collaborate on the file if necessary. Move to an Office Group if more collaboration is necessary. Once complete, move to a SharePoint site for longer term file storage for business critical files or records.

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