What Business Owners Need to Know About the Fight for Workplace Schedule Predictability
Most of us are aware that we’ve got to fight for our right to party. But employees are taking on a new battle: they’re fighting for their right to workplace schedule predictability. This battle is rising into the forefront, buoyed by the attention given to other workplace issues (mainly, the right to a fair minimum wage).
So, as a business owner, what do you need to know?
Oregon recently signed into a law a bill that regulates work schedules; it’s the first state to do this. The new law gives those working in Oregon more predictability. This allows them to know when they’ll be working, ultimately giving them more control over their personal lives.
It grew increasingly necessary because of shift-workers’ inabilities to know their future schedules. Some companies were aware of this and tried to schedule their employees regularly, or at least during times that worked best for everyone. Larger corporations, however, often use scheduling software that assigns slots arbitrarily. This provides employees with a great deal of frustration (resulting from little flexibility).
Oregon isn’t the only place that’s remedying this situation: a handful of cities – including San Francisco and Seattle – have also sought to eliminate practices largely viewed as unfair to shift-workers. These include everything from changes with very little warning to closing one night and opening the next morning. The latter is especially dangerous when tired workers get behind the wheel.
Another factor in this movement is the financial aspect: when workers don’t know how many hours they’ll work in a week, they can’t anticipate earnings. That makes it difficult to budget effectively.
As workplace rights continue to grow steam, the request for schedule predictability will grow in strength. As a business owner, this may or may not impact you. If you live in a jurisdiction where a law has been passed, you’ll be required to abide. For everyone else, the choice remains an individual one.
Still, managers who keep their employees happy find that their employees return the favor. It’s not difficult to understand why: people who like their jobs are better at their jobs than people who don’t.
The best way to perpetuate a fair work environment is to abstain from using scheduling technology (at least not without manipulating the system) and scheduling your employees as far out as possible.
Of course, a Take My Shift attendance policy helps, too. This assures that your employees work to live and not the other way around.
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