Future of scheduling – too good to be true?

Employee scheduling has changed a lot during the years, from pen and paper to AI-based technology. With digital transformation continuing to revolutionize the industry, the question isn’t only how scheduling will look like in the future, but also how employers and employees can benefit from it now.  

Just as employees have always been an essential part of a business, so too has scheduling. Before the time clock machine was invented in the late 1800s, employers had used pen and paper throughout history. When computers arrived about a hundred years later, spreadsheet software enabled editing, saving, and sharing schedules easily.

Today, mobile employee scheduling tools are dominating the industry. Some are highly developed software, taking factors such as workload, weather conditions, or employee work preference into account. Apart from the new scheduling tools enabling employers to be more transparent and flexible towards their employees, it saves a lot of time and energy.

Why is scheduling important?

For employees, scheduling doesn’t only affect their job situation, but also their whole life situation. Fortune Magazine reports that part-time workers face unpredictable schedules, leading to economic insecurity, stress, anxiety, and poor well-being. In practice, it means a constant puzzling of lives; making plans with friends, finding childcare, or booking health care appointments.

With better schedules comes economic security and overall happiness. For employers, this means an increasingly growing employee satisfaction, reported to be a top priority for businesses in 2022. In uncertain times, employers need to show that they have their employees’ best interests at heart, often concerning details related to daily responsibilities, such as scheduling. 

What role will technology have?

Regarding work-life balance, employees are entitled to have a voice and feel that they’re being heard. One simple way of doing this is with a combination of scheduling and modern technology, such as platforms that streamline scheduling, payroll reconciliation, and time tracking. It provides employees with power and control over their work and saves time and money for managers – creating win-win experiences for all.

Soon, artificial intelligence will play a big role in scheduling. Such situations can, for example, be when helping employers to know which hours their store will have the most customers during a winter holiday, or when the weather will be sunny and therefore bring in more customers to a cafe. The anticipations will be integrated into the scheduling platform, making it easy to place the right person on duty at the right time. 

Mobility creates flexibility

With the pandemic putting mobility on the map, the matter of flexibility has also emerged. For some employers, flexible working patterns can make it more complex to coordinate employee schedules, but it’s important to remember that flexibility is crucial for a happy workforce. 

With the right scheduling, mobility and flexibility don’t need to be a problem. Instead, it’s important to engage the employees in a two-way dialogue and listen to their needs. One way of doing this is to use self-scheduling software as it allows the employees to choose their shifts, make changes, book up free days, and check their schedules remotely. 

Near future, distant future

Even though the process of change can feel slow, the support is growing and employee satisfaction is becoming increasingly important. The topic was discussed in a Wall Street Journal Podcast, where it was made clear that more and more employers are starting to give their workers control over their schedules. 

We’re entering an environment where employers pay more attention to identifying what makes the employees happy. For most businesses, this means giving the employees more flexibility and better benefits – both of which can be improved with the right scheduling.

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