How is shift planning software affecting the workplace?
The recent recession has had a dramatic effect on the labor market. Part-time employees are becoming more prevalent, and this is only increasing after the recent recession. As part-time work at Retailers and other industries that typically possess shift work swells record high numbers, more businesses are now taking advantage of what shift planning software has to offer. We will discuss, the reason for the increase in part-time workers, and the thoughts of both employees and employers to this new trend.
One reason for the rising trend in part-time work has been the rise of women willing to work. In Western Europe this rose from 59.1% in 2007 to 59.7% in 2012. Overall, in America this has increased from 16.3 million in 2007 to 18.9 million in 2012. Part-time employees are most prevalent, in more developed labor markets ie. Western Europe and North America. Interestingly though, Eastern Europe saw a decrease during this time. This figure fell from 7.2 million in 2007 to 6.8 million in 2012.
Employers of course like part-time workers as this increases the flexibility of its labor. European companies avoid having to pay redundancies, and instead offer part-time work to adjust to fluctuations in demand. Essentially, companies are looking to cut costs while aligning staff to demand/customer traffic.
Technology has helped speed up this transformation. Before part-time employees might work the same schedule on four to five hour shifts every week. Shift scheduling now have become much less stable and predictable, partly thanks to companies using software to track the flow of customers, thus allowing managers to assign the right amount of employees to handle predicted demand.
Many are now scheduling two to three hours, instead of the traditional eight-hour shift. Software now will schedule to 15 min. increments. Essentially the burden of market fluctuations is being shifted onto workers, vs. the companies absorbing these themselves.
As this trend continues to spread from the U.S. to Europe, managers in retail and hospitality should all expect to see an increase in part-time workers and the software solutions that make this type of shift planning possible.