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Is a fixed schedule right for your business?

  • A fixed schedule consists of scheduling employees the same number of work shifts and number of hours per week. 
  • While a fixed work schedule does not work for all types of businesses, it can benefit industries who operate with opening times similar to the 9-5 cycle.
  • Just because you might not be able to use fixed scheduling doesn’t mean you’re destined for added stress. Homebase helps take the headache out of employee scheduling with many easy-to-use features
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What is a fixed schedule?

A fixed schedule, also known as a fixed work schedule or fixed shift schedule, is a staff schedule type business owners use that consists of scheduling employees the same number of work shifts and number of hours per week. 

A fixed schedule template can help with implementing a predictive scheduling or autoscheduling policy, since your team works the same amount of time and the same shifts for each week cycle. 

While some types like a rotating shift schedule consist of 12-hour shifts and a routine where the employees rotate and work night shifts in one cycle and day shifts in the other, fixed schedule jobs typically have staff members working 35 to 40 hours a week, with 8 hour shifts for 5 days. 

The time of the 8-hour shifts can vary from the typical 9:00 am to 5:00 shift, 8:00 am to 4:00 pm, or whatever time period works best for your business. 

If you use a fixed-time schedule when building your shift layout for the weeks and months, Homebase’s employee schedule maker app can help make your scheduling process even easier. You can simply copy your weekly schedule template over to the next shift cycle, reducing the amount of time you spend on work day scheduling.

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What are the benefits of a fixed work schedule?

While a fixed work schedule does not work for all types of businesses, it can benefit industries that operate with opening times similar to the 9-5 cycle. When you implement a fixed schedule routine into your shift scheduling plan, there is more opportunity for everyone at your business to be on the same page in terms of your business because everyone is working at the same time each week. 

Working at the same time as your peers helps promote teamwork and communication, and makes it easier to have meetings with your whole staff if everyone is in the same location at the same time. 

If your employees work the same hours, it is also easier for you to motivate them and help them accomplish what needs to be done if there are any issues at hand that need to be addressed.  

Another great aspect of this type of employee schedule template is that your team members get a couple of days off per week that they can use to increase their work-life balance and better plan for their personal lives. This way your employees might not use as many sick days and their circadian rhythm will be all set because their sleeping schedule is the same every day. 

Another benefit is that you don’t have to worry about shift swapping or open shifts, because everyone is already working at the same time and there is no need for trading shifts or shift planning. But if you do have a shift swapping policy in place, Homebase can help streamline it. 

With our free communication tool and easy-to-use scheduling features, you’ll be notified immediately when employees want to trade shifts and can easily approve or deny them right from your mobile app. 

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Hard-to-fill shifts and budgeting

Let’s face it: some shifts are more desirable than others. No one wants to handle night-shift scheduling. Plus employees rarely want the crack-of-dawn or late-at-night shifts. The least desirable shifts are the back-to-back late night and early morning shifts.

Luckily, Homebase can help. Use Homebase to anticipate busy times and reward employees who take on-call shifts or open shifts. 

Before you can even begin to start scheduling your employees, you need to determine your budget. The challenge is not just doling out shifts to top employees. You also have to schedule employees who make a lower hourly rate to fit your budget. The solution to this is another great feature that Homebase offers. You can use Homebase to manage your budget and track your labor costs.

Homebase lets you see estimated sales forecasts while making the schedule so you’re always staffed at the right level. Try to schedule employees either early in the morning or late at night—never both. Encourage employees to take on-call shifts by rewarding them with more desirable shifts.

Homebase can help you manage your budget by allowing you to schedule employees who make different hourly rates. With Homebase, it’s really easy to build a schedule to match a target labor costs-to-sales ratio.

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What are the cons of fixed scheduling?

Some people might think a fixed schedule requires employees to be in the workspace too much and does not give them enough flexible time to take care of personal needs. This may increase late arrivals, missed days, and a reduction in employee satisfaction. 

Traveling to and from work during peak commuting times may also cause stress on your employees due to longer travel times and frustrating situations. Your employees may also feel that they don’t need to be there for the full 8 hours and feel they are wasting time at the workplace. 

A major factor that affects you as a business owner however is that a fixed schedule simply might not work for the type of industry you are in. For example, restaurants are not able to operate on fixed schedules because they are usually open 7 days a week for longer than an 8-hour shift, meaning there need to be multiple shifts working to cover all the hours. 

Just because you might not be able to utilize the ease of a fixed schedule doesnn’t mean your scheduling practices have to be complicated and stressful. Homebase scheduling helps take the headache out of employee scheduling with many easy-to-use features like drag and drop scheduling, easy shift trades, communication, and more. 

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