Out of Office: Scheduling a Remote Labor Force

Article excerpt

KRONOS INC.

Empty cubes. Quiet offices. Dark meeting rooms. A tour through today's corporate headquarters reveals a very different landscape than in years' past. Where is everyone? Is there any work getting done? How is it all being managed?

This is the changing face of the workplace. Over the next decade, the workforce will experience dramatic demographic shifts that will have a profound effect on the way work gets accomplished. According to Nucleus Research, the number of babyboomers retiring from the workforce will outpace the amount of new employees just entering the business world, resulting in a "significant worker shortage." Employers will have to look at new ways to entice workers, and with advancements in technology and increased emphasis on work-life balance, a remote labor force will eventually become the norm rather than the exception.

So, the answer is yes, work is getting done and quite successfully, but managing this diverse workforce does involve checks and balances to leverage the needs of companies with the preferences of workers. As e-lancers, home-based employees, temps, and contractors continue to increase, the use of an automated scheduling solution, such as Workforce Scheduler" from Kronos*, becomes a critical component of a workforce management solution that maximizes labor utilization and productivity.

Effective scheduling puts the right people in the right place

Even with technological advances and changes in employee demographics there are some workforce factors that will always remain constant. There will continuously be a labor budget that must be considered. There will always be compliance constraints no matter where your workforce is located. There will be certain skill sets and certifications that make one employee a better "shift fit" than another. And there will always be a need to balance workload and productivity with appropriate employee coverage.

Automated scheduling solutions, like Workforce Scheduler, cost effectively put the right people in the right place at the right time. Using centralized information about your workforce and business, Workforce Scheduler empowers you to make better-informed, proactive scheduling decisions that align labor, including remote employees, with demand, helping to efficiently manage a diverse employee base. Such a solution generates best-fit schedules based on a wide range of parameters, including coverage requirements, labor costs, and employee proficiencies and certifications. It can also take into account worker preferences, scheduling work hours in varying shift lengths and intuitively working within an employees' availability-matching shifts to employees needs.

Plan, build, react

To accommodate labor budgets, reach productivity benchmarks, and achieve balance between organizational requirements and employee preferences, managers need visibility into workload demand to make the most efficient use of their workforce. …