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Implementing Staggered Shifts: What You Need to Know

After months of lockdown, states are finally easing stay at home orders, and non-essential businesses are re-opening up countrywide. However, concerns about the spread of Covid-19 are still high and businesses are being urged to observe social distancing measures as a way to keep the curve flat.

Wondering how to keep the recommended two-meter distance without compromising business productivity? If so, then you should try staggering employees.

What are Staggered Shifts?

Under a staggered shift, employees start and finish work at different times instead of the regular 9 AM to 5 PM shift. For instance, if you have a group of ten employees, you divide them into two groups. The first group clocks in at 8 AM and clocks out at around 4 pm, while the second group clocks in at 9 AM and clocks out at 5 PM.

Staggering shifts are among the three alternatives companies use to spread out employee shifts and ease problems related to traffic congestion at peak hours. It is also a good strategy to consider during this period of social distancing as it will help you reduce the number of employees within the premise at any given time.

Types of Staggered Shifts 

Staggered shifts can be anywhere between 15 minutes and two hours. The common types of staggered shifts include: 

  • The Departmental Stagger

With this form of staggering, employees in a particular department all start and finish their shifts simultaneously. For instance, employees in the sales and marketing department arrive one hour earlier and clock out one hour earlier than the customer service departments’ employees. This format of staggering works best in a company with multiple departments. It is even more beneficial if these departments have different peak hours.

  • The Individual Stagger

As the name suggests, this format involves staggering individual shifts. It helps organizations avoid the extra expense of having too many employees who play the same role within the workplace when they’re least needed. For instance, for most businesses, opening hours, that is between 8 AM and 9 AM are usually slow, while the next few hours, between 10 AM and 12 AM are often the busiest. Staggering shifts so some employees arrive at 8 AM while others come in at 9 AM enables a business to limit the number of employees on premise during the slow hours and have enough manpower during peak hours. 

The Advantages of Staggering Employees

Staggering workers is a great approach to employee scheduling because: 

  • It helps prevent traffic in the workplace, consequently making social distancing easier.
  • Eases pressure on the employees as they can avoid traffic and congestion during peak hours.
  • It gives employees the flexibility to attend to their responsibilities, for instance, dropping kids at school.

The Easiest Way to Implement Staggering Shifts

Although staggering shifts are beneficial, they can be difficult to implement, especially if this is the first time your business is incorporating such a change. Add that to your business still adjusting to the new normal and it becomes even harder.

At Safeter, our goal is to make things as seamless as possible for you. With our smart employee scheduling software setting, staggered shifts become a walk in the park. Use the individual scheduling for staggering individual shifts, and the group scheduling option for departmental staggers. Book your demo today to see how it works.  

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