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Yes. Shared Mailboxes seems to be the proper way to achieve your goal. A shared mailbox is a mailbox that multiple users can open to read and send e-mail messages. Shared mailboxes allow a group of users to view and send e-mail from a common mailbox. In Office 365, shared mailboxes don’t require a license.
For the information about Setting Up a Shared Mailbox, please refer the below article:
Depending on which plan you have, you can place the mailbox into Litigation Hold.
The mailbox would need to remain as an active/paid mailbox.
Please see the MSFT whitepaper:
Achieving Immutability with Exchange Online.
If you can not find it, I will try to find the link.
Realistically, if you're looking at retaining employee mail for an indefinite amount of time, I would create a .pst file. It will allow you to categorize the former employee's mail, and it will allow you to remove the account and free up a license.
Thank you, Jeff McDonald, O365 Forum Moderator
I think I'll just create shared mailboxes. The problem with PSTs is that if our workers need access to the mailbox data, they will be required to download the pst file from a cloud storage provider (S3, dropbox, sugarsync, skydrive, etc.) or access an internal file server. Since we don't have any internal servers offering file services, this isn't an option. Our policy is that all business files be stored in SharePoint. And, downloading a 4GB pst to grab or search for one or two e-mails is a bit ludicrous. If I use local storage, I am stuck having one person with access to the PST and then am stuck with that persons availability.
Basically, I hate PSTs. If this were on-prem, I would just disable the user account and delegate permissions to the user's mailbox. But, again, we don't want on-prem, we want the cloud.
Is there seriously no other option than PSTs?