Shift work is defined by the Institute for Work & Health as “employment with anything other than a regular daytime work schedule”. There are many industries that use shift work, such as healthcare, security, hospitality, and many more. Shift work is a complex employee scheduling issue, and we have seen trends come and go over the years. Now, with employee scheduling software, automation and other technological advances, shift work trends are changing yet again. Here, we break down some of the current and future shift work trends that you should know about!
Flexible Work Schedules
As work-life balance becomes increasingly important for employees, having flexible work schedules is important for many shift workers today. These priorities will continue to be important in the future of shift work. The capacity to have such flexibility can provide employees with more control over their time. This leads them to have more balance with their responsibilities, whether that be from work or at home. Having the ability to vary work schedules to some degree can greatly increase your employee satisfaction. In a study conducted by McMenamin, companies who allowed for more flexible work schedules had employees that had higher morale and loyalty to their company.
Creating a welcoming atmosphere to make your employees comfortable is essential to help your employees feel supported. There are multiple scheduling techniques that can help you achieve flexible schedules. Here are a few scheduling methods you can use to promote flexible work schedules:
Allowing employees to swap shifts can be crucial when the unexpected happens. With your permission, the ability to swap shifts with another co-worker lets employees gain flexibility in their schedules. This process will foster a sense of camaraderie within your employees and set a culture of working together. An additional bonus is that you’ll never be left wondering where to find a replacement for a potentially missed shift!
Open Shifts (Self-scheduling/shift bidding)
Giving employees the ability to schedule themselves in a set of shifts you choose takes flexible work schedules to the next level. You can set rules and mandatory certifications on shifts to limit who can choose what shift. With open shifts, you can allow employees to schedule themselves (self-scheduling or shift bidding) within the parameters you set, granting them the power to promote a healthy work-life balance.
Having scheduling flexibility and transparency will let your employees know you care about their mental and physical well-being. This alone will reduce employee turnover, increase morale, loyalty, and happiness in your employees.
Communication is super important between supervisors and their employees when it comes to shift work. In a report done by McKinsey, having effective communication can increase employee productivity by 20-25%. By improving collaboration and communication, employees have gained more transparency and they will appreciate the extra step you have taken.
By creating an environment and a culture where communication is exercised effectively, your employees feel wanted and valued. 82% of employees feel that they could be more valuable if their employers disclosed more information with them and communicated with them better.
Communication is crucial between employees and between supervisors. With in-app messaging, you can easily contact your employees and supervisors so they are up to date and know exactly what is going on. No longer do you need to search through your contacts for an employee’s phone number or email when you can message them directly from an employee scheduling app like Celayix. From your cell phone to theirs. Easy and simple.
As we mentioned above, there has been huge technological advancement in employee scheduling over the last 20 years. Employee scheduling software itself is still relatively new, and continues to evolve with every year. Software advancements paired with new technology such as smart phones, biometric time clocks etc. gives shift work schedulers more resources than ever to schedule effectively and efficiently.
Artificial Intelligence has been around now for many years, and we have found many different uses for it! However, what you might not know, is that artificial intelligence can be used to enhance your employee schedules. Here at Celayix, we use artificial intelligence in our software to offer schedule enhancement suggestions. Our AI takes all of your employee scheduling history into account to analyse patterns for success. Have a nurse that works well with a certain patient? Have a guard that knows a certain client site inside out? Our AI will pick up on that and ensure that any shift work schedule you create is fully optimised. Check it out!
The future of shift work starts with the supervisors and owners of companies. These are just some of the trends that owners should implement into their companies to create healthier, happier, and loyal employees. If you have any questions about how Celayix can help your company become a leader in the shift workspace, get in touch with one of our Solutions Advisors today!