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Scheduling Software – How Employee Rostering Can Boost Productivity

by Josh Biggs in Software on 25th July 2019

Before the invention of scheduling software, it’s safe to say that one of the most arduous responsibilities of any manager was organising staff rosters. Having to manage the personal schedules of upwards of ten people at a time is an ordeal in itself, and can feel like a wholly unnecessary way to spend time if you’re having to run your own business alongside that. You’ll be happy to know that using scheduling software to manage your business isn’t just greatly beneficial to business owners, but also employees as well! Here are just a few ways efficient employee rostering can get the most out of your staff.

The power of schedules

Leadership expert Robin Sharma once wrote that ‘productivity is less about what you do with your time, and more about how you run your mind’. Like we eat meals at similar times during the day and always try to get eight hours of sleep every night, most employees prefer working similar hours every week. Generally, humans operate at our best when we have a consistent personal schedule. Having a consistent work schedule has been shown to aid in maintaining our levels of focus and productivity, as it allows employees to develop mental and physical patterns within their overall daily routine.

These patterns work in accordance with our biological rhythms, from our circadian rhythm to our metabolic rate, to ensure that our brains and bodies go into ‘work mode’ and we are thus biologically equipped to deal with a workload we know is coming. In this growing age of shift workers, freelancers, and self-employed people, the neuroscience of productivity and how it relates back to the utilisation of consistent schedules are being widely researched in a number of industries, all with similar results: consistency improves efficiency.

Opportunities

Even though we must acknowledge the negative impacts that prolonged or irregular shift work can hold on employees, scheduling consistent rotating shifts for part-time or casual staff can actually be beneficial when it comes to training employees or providing your employees with opportunities to experience peak hours of business as opposed to ‘graveyard shifts’, and vice versa. Whilst it’s generally easier to stick to regular rostering for full-time workers, part-time employees with other commitments (i.e. parents, students, freelancers) might actually prefer having a variable schedule so that they’ll be able to experience a greater variety of challenges and tasks at work.

The opportunity to experience greater variation at work will, in turn, ensure that your employees stay highly engaged, and are more likely to perform efficiently during work hours. Students who work rotating weekend shifts also reap the benefits of being awarded penalty rates without having to sacrifice their entire weekend. The key is to communicate with your shift workers to make sure they feel positive about their rotating schedules. Using scheduling software will help here, as it allows all your employees to have immediate access to their schedules as well as greatly simplifying the process of applying for leave or any scheduling changes.

No more staffing stresses

Using scheduling software to organise employee rosters will also make the actual process of creating variable schedules for a number of employees a far easier feat than ever before. This is because you won’t need to manually count up hours, or calculate if there’ll be any overlaps or gaps in the weekly rosters. It goes without saying that when there are any gaps in your roster, these little mistakes can manifest in an age-old horribly stressful situation: over- or under-staffing.

Prolonged under-staffing can hold major negative impacts on your employees that don’t just stop at decreased productivity. The added pressure on your employees to perform efficiently and respectfully in an overly-demanding work environment can decrease job satisfaction amongst your staff which when left unchecked,  and can even result in higher employee turnover rates. This isn’t an ideal situation for any business owner, but prior to the availability of scheduling software, under-staffing was seen as a fixture in most hospitality and retail environments. It’s baffling to think that what we now view as such an easily avoidable phenomenon, used to have the most adverse effects on our staff and organisation!

It goes without saying that when employees know what to expect from their work environment, they’ll be more likely to feel prepared to be productive. Scheduling software has made it easier than ever before for employers to manage staff schedules, and for staff to ensure they feel comfortable at work, and that they have managerial support to find their optimal work-life balance.

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