6 ways to optimize employee scheduling for maximum productivity

Image by Dorigo from Pixabay

By Albert Cooper

Employee scheduling also known as staff scheduling is one of the most important tasks every company’s management handles.

It involves planning and assigning appropriate times and days that an employee is expected to be on the job.

The way it is being planned can significantly affect the overall output of the organization.

Below are some tips on how to effectively schedule employees for optimal productivity:

1) Evaluate federal and local labor laws

Laws guiding employees’ right varies from one country and area to another. This must be factored into your scheduling to avoid legal suits that could tarnish your company’s reputation.

Make sure it is part of the obligations of your legal counsel to alert you of any recent changes in the scheduling laws to adjust accordingly.

For instance, laws in some areas demand employers schedule workers two weeks in advance.

In New York, retail companies with more than 20 workers are forbidden from making employees work on an “on-call” basis. The law also mandates employers to inform workers about their schedule at least 72 hours ahead.

2) Analyze the business requirement

Generally, there are four work schedules namely;

– 9 to 5: Requires employees to work at least 8 hours daily. Although called 9-to-5, the allocated time could be stretched between 8 to 4 in some jobs.

– Shift: This is usually adopted by companies with businesses open 24/7. The work hours are divided into shifts such as day and night. One section covers certain hours while the other set takes over later.

– Flexible: Employers with this kind of schedule do not have a fixed resumption or closing time for employees. They are allowed to resume within a time frame and only allowed to leave within a certain period or after completion of assigned tasks.

– Part-time and full time: This work schedule does not have stipulated opening and closing hours. Full-time employees are usually not paid for any overtime while part-time may be qualified for such.

Before planning the workers’ schedule, the type of work schedule best for the company’s mode of operation needs to be decided.

3) Enumerate staff availability and tasks forecast

Sometimes, the number of employees in an organization is not equivalent to the number of workers available to take on tasks at a given period.

A detailed review of attendance and time could help indicate when staff are more likely to be available.

You may also have a conversation with your team to check when everyone prefers to be scheduled and those interested in working overtime, so you can effectively allocate time.

Assigning the most convenient time to workers can significantly improve their happiness and this has been reported to boost productivity by about 13 percent.

Determining the time you are most likely to have many tasks can also help. Companies with many activities on weekends can reduce the working hours or number of staff engaged during the week while scheduling more employees for the weekend.

Workers interested in working overtime should also be made to indicate ahead. This will help to prevent the shortage of staff and also overstaffing.

With the combination of employee scheduling software and strategic planning, this can be achieved with ease.

4) Analyze employees’ skills

Employee scheduling is not just about ensuring there is someone available for a task as at when due. It is a process that should be aimed at assigning the best hands for specific times of the day and week.

Some workers are great at working at a fast pace but their productivity might make minor errors during this time. Meanwhile, there are certain types of workers who are perfectionists.

Analyzing the skills of your team will help determine the best time to schedule each member. The perfectionists who might need more time to complete a task may be assigned work hours with lesser workloads but no tolerance for errors.

On the other hand, those who are quick at their tasks but might commit negligible errors can be assigned busy hours.

5) Consistent evaluation/rating

Employee scheduling should not be a one-time thing. After implementation of any new staff scheduling, evaluate the efficiency and productivity.

You may also ask for employees’ feedback and ratings of the scheduling to identify what is working and where to improve.

6) Plan for contingencies

Expecting sudden disruption to your schedule is essential. This might be in the form of anticipating a sudden increase in your product demands which would invariably require more workers and work hours. It can also be that there is a sudden drop in the request for your goods/services which implies less needed workers.

Factoring contingencies into your staff scheduling will prevent any disruption to your operation, at least to a certain extent.

A good example is the COVID-19 pandemic which took the whole world by surprise. Firms with plans for contingencies and regular evaluation of scheduling are more likely to quickly re-strategize their scheduling to handle the development.


Albert Cooper is a professional blogger and SEO advisor. He writes articles to rank his clients’ sites on Google. You can search his content from Google to using the keywords “author Albert Cooper.” He is also a content advisor and writer of many blog like Bkreaders.com, bittbox.com, historyandheadlines.com, Businessingmag.com, peterleehc.com, ceoworld.biz, foodnhealth.org, businessingmag.com, and many other blogs. You can contact him through mail.

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