Open shifts

What are open shifts? Find out more below

Open shifts are work shifts that have not been filled or assigned to a worker. Notifications of open shifts help align an organization’s labor needs with demand so as to minimize incidences of understaffing while giving workers more flexibility.

Demand for open-shift scheduling has grown as more organizations realize that set schedules simply don’t work for them. The approach is also strongly employee-driven, letting staff chose shifts that align best with their schedules, all within a collaborative company-wide framework.

But while an open-shift style might be a better option, it can be more time-consuming than other types of scheduling, while also introducing uncertainty. The more open shifts a business has, the higher the risk of not having the right number of staff needed to properly service its customers.

One way to get around this is to create a surplus of shifts over and above what is required to do the job. Many organizations with open shifts use staff agencies to fill the shifts. Other organizations ask the shifts to be filled with their current staff by sending out notifications to full-time and part-time qualified staff and team members that the positions are available for them to accept for work. The key is that the team members that see notifications of the open shifts are qualified for the shift that is taken and management knows customers are properly serviced.