Taking care of your deskless and shift workers | elementsuite
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We’re all pretty familiar with the term flexible working. Employers have been compelled to embrace remote working and flexible working to support their workers with home schooling, self-isolating, and closed workplaces. As millions of employees have been granted flexible working, what about the forgotten workforce – those without desks, where working from home is not a realistic option.

Shift working, by its very nature is uncertain and can be unpredictable. Poor communication, lack of predictability and work-life balance can have serious repercussions for these staff. Yet supermarket, manufacturing, retail, hospitality, logistics, healthcare and construction workers, who can’t work remotely or at home, arguably need even more support.

These deskless and shift workers need a little love to overcome the numerous challenges they face. Invariably their roles are essential to the success of the business. Delivering customer service and ensuring operations and processes run smoothly.

The need for better scheduling software

Deskless workers are looking for more control over their work-life balance. Manually created staff rotas are inflexible, often giving staff little notice of forthcoming shifts and changes. Workers are juggling childcare needs and personal circumstances. They need a system that’s flexible, enabling them to swap and change when needed.

Unpredictable schedules make employees very unhappy, those who are being asked to cover extended hours of a retail or hospitality are particularly suspectable to being dissatisfied and more likely to leave. In fact, research suggests that 55% would leave their job if they lacked control over their rotas. Bersin by Deloitte highlights that employee turnover is 174% more likely without real-time scheduling.

Delivering what deskless and shift workers want must work in harmony with the business needs if its to be workable and sustainable. On a positive note, staff happiness will increase with a more transparent, digital and flexible scheduling approach.

A technology-led approach has the power to improve employee satisfaction, reduce or remove frustrations. And empower workers to submit availability, and view rotas in real time, when it suits them. This delivers a positive impact on the lives of workers and will reduce staff turnover rates too.

Robust, digital workforce planning and scheduling means you can react to business needs faster, handle shift swaps and changes faster. And ensure you have the right number of people, working the right shifts, balancing the needs of your people and your business. A real win-win.

 Work-life balance for deskless and shift workers

How easy is it for your people to swap shifts, submit their preferred availability, and get shifts approved? Do your workers have access to see their shifts in real time? Utilising a dynamic system that considers staff requests and skills prior to creating rotas creates a healthier work-life balance.

Smarter, faster, real time scheduling supports a strong approach to employee wellbeing. Implementing this balanced approach enables workers to have autonomy over their work-life balance. Providing advanced and real-time notice provides greater stability and minimises the likelihood of staff not being able to work shifts. Staff are more empowered, with greater control over their lives. The  ability to plan ahead and manage their personal situations more easily. Everything can be achieved with digital, workforce management that delivers on certainty and transparency. And structured approach to workforce shift planning that staff want.

Flexibility and choice are note easily achieved and implemented in sectors such as retail, leisure, healthcare, aviation, construction, manufacturing and hospitality businesses, where there are business structured process requirements. Each industry has its own set of regulations, compliance alongside company rules which need to be balanced, alongside labour costs and operation efficiencies. However utilising digital workforce planning and mobile-first HR software can solve a lot of these issues for shift and deskless workers.

Making it happen is good for business and good for your people

We must prioritise giving people the appropriate tools they need to improve their work-life balance, even within complex, shift and remote based businesses. Supporting workers, instills a feeling of caring. Demonstrate you are an employer of choice, focussed on a happier, healthier workforce that is given choices. They feel empowered and have the tools to get a better work-life balance, whilst matching business needs.

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