The Leading Contact Centre Magazine

5 Quick Tips for Flexible Scheduling


We asked 5 resource planners for their quick ideas on how they make scheduling more flexible.

1. Annualised hours

We find that the annualised hours that we introduced last year has made it a lot more flexible to take annual leave.

Whereas holiday for a full day used not to be allowed due to staffing levels, the annualised hours system means that we can allow 1-2 hours if that is all the staff member needs.

This has also meant that we don’t end up with everybody having lots of annual leave left to take at the end of the year, which has caused its own problems.

Thanks to Richard

2. Reserve shifts

When utilised properly, reserve shifts are an effective tool in helping keep control on overtime spend, as they help plug gaps in scheduling when shrinkage exceeds planned levels by ensuring staff are scheduled to work where and when they are required.

Reserve shifts within rota – for example, an agent on a 10-week rota will have a reserve shift on week 5, which means that they do not find out what days/hours they are working until the last minute (usually the week before). This works well because it allows for all known absences to be updated in the schedule and helps identify any gaps. These gaps are then filled in with the reserves.

Thanks to James

3. Banked hours

We used banked hours where people work extra hours instead of overtime and then they can take those banked hours for the odd appointment or finish early or start later.

Thanks to Penny

4. Reserve time

We operate shifts with reserve time. Agents may be asked to work this reserve time on the day depending on how the day is progressing.

Thanks to Vivian

5. More flexibility on quieter days

On quieter days let staff choose to finish early and bank the time back for planned busier periods rather than using overtime. Staff love the surprise early finish on nice days.

Thanks to Mark

What methods do you use to add more flexibility into contact centre schedules?

Please leave your thoughts

Published On: 28th Aug 2013 - Last modified: 27th Jun 2017
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