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Short-Notice Scheduling Is Widespread, Per University of Chicago

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5 Insights from a Study on Employee Scheduling

According to a recent study from the University of Chicago business school, America’s entire hourly workforce suffers from unstable scheduling. This is especially true for part-time workers, whose schedules are 2.5 times more unstable than those employees working 35+ hours per week.

Beyond such startling statistics, the study offers practical insights that can be implemented on a store level. We’ve combed through the entire academic piece to bring you the most useful insights for small business owners, each backed up with a graph directly from the study.

Read more to see how these findings impact you as a business owner.

 

 

01.

Schedule Control

The graph below shows the distribution of employee schedule control across given demographics. You’ll immediately notice that part-time, hourly workers must strike a balance between employer-determined scheduling, and scheduling with employee input. This requires more finagling, and thus better employer-employee communication.

These statistically-valid results clearly show that part-time employees and their employers must cooperate to solve scheduling. Consider what tools would best work for your business to improve cooperation and communication between you and your employees.

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02.

Advance Notice Across Fundamental Demographics

Many fast-paced businesses (like food service and retail) accept the conventional wisdom that advance notice is simply a logistical impossibility when it comes to employee scheduling. But a recent study shows that more stable scheduling is not only possible, but can improve your median sales by 7%.

The graph below shows that nearly half of all part-time workers get their schedule with less than a week’s notice. While female hourly workers get more notice than men, the starkest distinction lies between full time and part time workers. That said, the schedule instability of hourly workers is high overall.

 

 

03.

Advance Notice by Occupation

As you’ll see below, service workers are twice as likely as business staff to receive their schedule inside one week. That means if you’re a restaurant owner who provides her schedules more than a week ahead of time, you’ve already bested half the industry. Bump that to two weeks notice, and you’re in the top third. If you’re a small business owner looking to get ahead of the competition, consider how you might post schedules earlier.

 

 

04.

Schedule Instability and Fluctuation

The instability ratio below shows that schedules of part-time workers are more than twice as unstable as their full-time peers. While the fluctuation problem is still startlingly prominent across the entire hourly workforce, it appears that part-time workers feel most of that burden.

Noting little difference across the provided demographics, it seems that the part-time/full-time disparity is the deepest, most prevalent concern. Depending on your business model, consider shifting towards employees with 35+ hours, or create a system for better communication between you and your part-time employees.

 

 

05.

Occupations at High Risk of Schedule Fluctuation

The graph below shows the four occupations with the highest risk of schedule fluctuation. Unsurprisingly, retail and food service workers have the highest fluctuation of hours, week-to-week.

 

If you find these statistics are not only applicable to your business, but hit close to home, do something about it. Start scheduling in a way that works for you and your employees. With Jolt, you’ll use a simple, drag-and-drop interface, and can easily manage and approve shifts from your phone. Not to mention that Jolt comes with nine other products that help improve communication and operations regardless of your industry.

Read our customer stories, or schedule a demo here.

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About Author

Adam Lambert
Adam Lambert

A Tennessee native, Adam Lambert is a creative writer based in Salt Lake City.

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