How to stagger shifts in the office
May 22, 2020
The COVID-19 outbreak has caused unprecedented disruption to businesses and forced many organisations to work remotely for the first time. With the government restrictions due to be relaxed in the next couple of weeks, businesses must start planning how they are going to bring their staff back into the workplace safely. According to the transport secretary, businesses may be asked to stagger employees’ working hours once the regulations are relaxed. This will help to reduce the risk of transmitting COVID-19 once people start returning to the workplace. Adapting to the new COVID-19 measures can be extremely challenging, but the UK government has urged UK businesses to remain flexible and open to change. With this in mind, here is some guidance on how to effectively stagger shifts in the office:

Create an effective shift pattern schedule

The first step to adopting staggered shifts in the office is to determine what shift patterns will best suit your labour demand and supply. This will help you re-plan your working environment and maximise efficiency levels while ensuring optimal coverage in the workplace. Creating a shift pattern that meets the specific needs of your company is vital, so it’s always worth taking the time to explore different options to determine the best staffing schedule for your business. They are various types of working patterns that you can use in your organisation. This includes two shifts, 24/7 shifts, split shifts, and 12-hour shift patterns. The approach you choose will depend largely on your business type and needs. You can find plenty of useful advice and tips on how to create effective shift patterns in the workplace.

Implement a workplace management system

Implementing an online workplace management system is a quick and simple way to streamline shift pattern scheduling and boost workplace efficiency. A management platform like SEDES will allow you to manage who enters your workplace and when. A key benefit of this technology is that it allows employees to book their own workstation before they get into the office. This helps to streamline processes and means that managers can focus their time on essential business tasks, without the need to spend valuable time organising desks for their staff. Employees will be able to choose a specific workstation in advance which will help you comply with social distancing measures and manage your workspace more efficiently and safely.

Communicate with your staff

COVID-19 has forced organisations to enhance their communications and develop new strategies to stay connected with their employees. These measures should not be relaxed once staff start to return to the office. Employers must maintain regular communication with their team and keep staff updated on any new developments. Fortunately, there is an extensive variety of communication software and tools that are designed to encourage collaboration and connect employers with their teams. Two-way communication tools such as employee questionnaires should also be introduced to gain insight into how your employees are feeling and what they require to work efficiently. Remember that maintaining regular communication with your employees will offer reassurance to those who have concerns about the future of the company and their roles.

Final thoughts

All employers must acknowledge the serious threat that COVID-19 poses to their staff and business operations. With suggestions that the restrictions will be eased in the next few weeks, employers must start planning for a safe and efficient return to work. Implementing a staggered shift pattern is a simple strategy to protect employee health and wellbeing while minimising the impact of disruption caused by COVID-19.