Running or managing a business with an of full-time and part-time staff is, more often than not, about coordinating and scheduling your employees. It’s a thankless task and one which can eat up a great many hours in the working week as you deal individually with each member of staff regarding their hours and responsibilities.

For lots of businesses, the tried and tested method of charting staff hours and events out on pen and paper or an excel spreadsheet are still in use, but both have serious limitations that slow you down and could lead to confusion amongst your staff.

Thankfully, there are better ways to go about staff scheduling rather than just good old pen and paper

A Slack Channel

Slack has made a huge impression in the world of business over the last couple of years, and it’s easy to see why – their super fast instant messaging platform has dozens of fantastic business focussed features like channels, drag and drop sharing and instant search. They have recently included the feature to have a video call/conference call for when staff are working from home.

However, it’s also a useful tool for managing schedules within your business. By setting up a dedicated ‘schedules’ channel in your team's slack group, you and your team can have space solely dedicated to the latest schedule information - whether you want to swap shifts or assign a member of staff to a certain location at a certain time, you can let people have updates on the go.

You can drag and drop an excel sheet in there so your staff can see what the latest hours are or simply discuss who’s doing what when, but its greatest asset is in helping members of staff find cover for their shift.

Its utility is also aided by the fact Slack is multiplatform, with applications built for Windows, iOS, Android and Windows Phone.

A Shared Google Calendar

When it comes to business tools, there’s no company quite like Google. However, whilst google cal (2) many businesses have begun to adopt Google Docs for its collaborative writing and editing tools, Google Calendars remain a somewhat underutilised tool for scheduling.

Its main advantage comes from the deep integration that Google Calendars offer with smartphones, letting your staff see their shifts from anywhere, at any time, with updates sent live to their devices.

To start a shared Google Calendar, simply start a new calendar and begin adding events as your shifts, ensuring that you include your employee's email address as an attendee of the event. With your schedules set, invite your employees to subscribe to the calendar and sit back as your staff enjoy their latest schedule. It’s not perfect, but with so many people already using Google’s services, it’s accessible.

BookingLive’s Scheduling Software

BookingLive enables your business to take secure bookings 24/7 on any internet enabled device, but that’s
just one of its many features. Most interestingly for this conversation, BookingLive's system allows an admin to assign staff to the events they create within the system. These staff will then be unavailable for clashing events as a result of this.

Say, for example, you run a tour guide service. Your 1PM tour is listed as an event within the system, you can then assign a member of staff to, which they can clearly see on their schedule. The system will automatically make these members of staff will be unavailable for any clashing events. That solves one of the biggest problems when it comes to scheduling – awkward clashes and double bookings, avoiding extra stress on staff and disappointment in customers.

If you are interested in finding out all of BookingLive's features then head over to our feature page on our website!