6 Scheduling Options to Protect Workers

June 10, 2020 | 781 views

6 Scheduling Options to Protect Workers
6 Scheduling Options to Protect Workers

The current workplace environment demands serious safety protocols. Multiple government and worker safety organizations have guidelines and requirements that you are scrambling to adapt to your own industry and work environment. In order to protect the greatest number of employees, you are now allowed to do the previously unthinkable: ask employees about symptoms of coronavirus, take temperature readings, and test employees.

Once considered eligible for work, the employees must then be protected in the workplace with design changes that encourage space around work areas. Personal protective equipment must be provided for essential workers, and we must make all efforts to stop the spread of a novel virus while still trying to run an organization smoothly.

Scheduling Controls Timing and Distance

Time and space can be manipulated with good scheduling control. All work locations should enforce anti-infection protocols, of course, but most of these require time and space. In addition to six feet of distance between people, infection control strategies include handwashing, gloves, masks, coughing etiquette, and tight time controls. These steps are required for the safety of other employees, but strict scheduling will also help reduce risk with these options:

1. Rotational shifts. Allow flexible hours or reduce total hours for employees so that you do not have as many people on location at any given time.

2. Increase shifts. Expand to 2-3 shifts per day rather than one to add space in the work environment.

3. Stagger start times. Increase control and reduce congregating at the beginning of shifts by staggering start time to allow space and time between employees arriving to work.

4. Micro-manage breaks. For as long as necessary, schedule breaks and lunches strictly, to minimize overlap in bathroom and lunch areas.

5. Schedule cleaning. Desks or work areas that need sanitizing must have the time between uses for thorough cleaning.

6. Consolidate tasks. Evaluate which roles must be performed on-site and which can be done from home. Then rotate the staff so that employees share pooled responsibility working from home and on-site.

No matter what works for your industry, the goals are to spread out the workforce to provide space by monitoring and managing schedules and time effectively. The nuances of multiple changes are best communicated with intelligent scheduling software that helps organize a bit of the current coronavirus chaos.

Author Profile Jon Forknell is the Vice President and General Manager of Atlas Business Solutions, Inc., a software marketing company specializing in employee scheduling software, including ScheduleBase employee scheduling software, and other business software solutions. In the past, Jon has been recognized by the U.S. Small Business Administration as a SBA Young Entrepreneur of the Year. Atlas Business Solutions was named as one of Software Magazine’s Top 500 Software Companies in 2004 through 2007, and 2010, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017, and 2018.

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