Flexibility is No Longer a Dream
February 2, 2023 / WorkJam Blog
“In the future of work, everyone will be working from a tropical beach, laptop in one hand and margarita in the other.” When I hear these sentiments, I roll my eyes, because I know that most industries are unable to work in a fantasy world of whenever or wherever.
My friends on the frontline don’t have the luxury of having a “remote” store or a “remote” restaurant. Instead, they have a physical connection to the neighborhoods, malls, and shopping centers that they occupy. In addition to being physically present, their business success requires them to be present at times when their guests are not working—evenings, weekends, and mealtimes. Frontline work needs to be both physically present and work when the rest of the world is relaxing and having fun.
But what if we redefined the fantasy world of flexible work?
Your frontline teams know the demands of the job. They understand that their busy times are when others are not busy, and they love providing fantastic hospitality and service to their guests. However, what these workers want is the ability to have a life outside of work.
For our frontline teams, the fantasy world of flexible work means:
- A student can take the night off to study for finals.
- A mother can watch her son’s band concert.
- A parent can attend a parent-teacher conference.
- A son can take his mother to her doctor’s appointment.
We live in a world where life happens, things come up, and events are planned, your frontline teams need the flexibility to easily swap, drop, and pick up shifts.
I’ll often ask how frontline workers get their schedule and how they switch their shifts. Generally, it is a variation of this:
The manager posts a schedule (hopefully at least) two weeks out, and employees often have to physically check when they are scheduled. If the employee can’t work a shift, they go through a rather tedious process that might include texts, Facebook groups, hand-written notes or all three to see if someone will trade shifts. If they manage to find someone, they then notify the manager who has to confirm the switch, update the schedule, and re-post.
Multiply that by 2, 3, or 4 employees each week, and suddenly, your manager is spending hours off the floor modifying and adjusting schedules.
At WorkJam, we want to keep employees, managers, and the corporate offices happy by reducing the friction of switching shifts and, in turn, growing revenue, increasing retention, and reducing costs.
With WorkJam, when an employee needs time off they simply release their shift within the app. All qualified employees are then notified of the open shift, and when someone at their location (or even a different location) picks it up, the manager is alerted and confirms the swap. WorkJam then updates the WFM system and schedule, pushes any necessary communications and reassigns tasks associated with the shift, creating an easy and seamless experience for the frontline employees and their manager.
Flexible scheduling doesn’t have to mean working whenever and wherever. Flexible scheduling can mean giving your employees the flexibility to live their lives and your managers the luxury of not stressing out every time a shift is posted.