The world is moving faster than ever – and as the start to 2020 has shown, unexpected world events can lead to consumers wanting access to goods and services in record time. This culture of instant gratification is driving many companies to run operations around-the-clock, but planning shifts for an always-on business is a complex task.

Good shift planning software is critical in helping firms to run at maximum efficiency, and to balance workload so that the right number of people are working at any time, without over-staffing.

As an expert in shift planning technology, here are some of WhosOffice’s key considerations to get your scheduling right for the demands of the 24/7 economy.

Understand available resources in all their detail

The first question that companies increasing their operating times ask is do we have enough staff to cover all shifts, or should we recruit? Often the assumption is that longer hours = more people, but that’s not always the case. Sometimes it’s just a case of working smarter with the employees you’ve already got.

By investing in shift planning software, businesses can get a complete overview of all available staff in one place. More importantly, that software can factor-in the availability of each staff member based on their role, contract type and core hours – so shift planning decisions are based on accurate information.

By understanding every person’s contractual requirements in detail, team leaders can ensure that shifts are allocated fairly, and that nobody is scheduled to work when they are unavailable. This assures staff that moving to 24/7 operations is a positive development, rather than a grand ambition that has been badly managed.

Get the right skillsets, as well as the right numbers

While longer operating hours create new revenue generating opportunities, the additional manpower needed to keep companies running can sometimes cancel out profit potential. Therefore, senior personnel need to look carefully at exactly who is needed each shift to run a tight ship in a cost-effective manner.

In the 24/7 economy, the equation is not just how many employees are on shift at any point in time, but what strengths and seniority they bring, to get the right people mix. Shift planning software can set restrictions to ensure there is a balance of skillset at all times – and fundamental health and safety requirements, like first aid trained personnel, are met.

This type of planning can be completed manually, of course, but it takes a lot longer than through online software – and it relies on people to check for mistakes. With scheduling technology, any gaps or errors are highlighted immediately, and can be rectified long before that shift begins.

Create a blueprint for success

If your company is increasing its operating hours, there is always an element of ‘trial and error’ to get the right number of people and the right mix of skills for each shift. But when your set-up has been refined, you need to make it as easy as possible to plan for the future.

Shift planning software like WhosOffice creates a blueprint for success, as typical shift patterns can be duplicated for the future – with no limit on how far ahead you can plan.

Technology adds further value, as it can integrate holiday bookings with future shift plans. This way, the system will flag if someone has been assigned a shift when they’ve booked time off, so managerial staff can find a solution before employees are sent their upcoming rotas.

And if there’s any trouble filling staffing gaps, a good shift planning platform will include communication tools, so team leaders can advertise open shift opportunities through the central software for staff to apply for overtime.

The secret weapon

Effective shift planning is the cornerstone of many companies’ profit margins, and the more hours you operate, the more important it is to run a well-oiled machine. Shift planning ensures that every member of your company is working from the same, central system, and streamlines processes to increase scheduling accuracy and forward-planning capabilities.

In a world that never stops, getting the shift model right is the 24/7 economy’s secret weapon. And the businesses who achieve the optimum balance quickly and cost-effectively are the ones investing in shift planning technology.

WhosOffice takes the hard work out of scheduling, so you get the right staff mix for every single shift. Start your free WhosOffice trial to see how our software supports your business operations around-the-clock.

Photo by Kaique Rocha of