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Giving Your Team Schedule Flexibility

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Giving your employees schedule flexibility can go a long way to keeping them happy. When I Work offers several features to take the scheduling burden off you and empower your employees.

Employee availability preferences

The availability feature allows your employees to let you know when they prefer to work and when they prefer not to work. When you build the schedule, you can take employees’ preferences into account to give them shifts that they prefer. However, you can schedule shifts that conflict with employees’ availability preferences as you see fit.

Encourage your employees to set their availability from their computers, iPhones, and Android phones.


By default, availability is enabled for your workplace. You can disable or enable employee availability from the Scheduling Settings.

When your employees would like or need time off from work, they can submit time off requests in When I Work. You can require manager approval for time off requests and require advance notice.

Let your employees know that they can request time off from their computers, iPhones, and Android phones.


By default, the time off requests feature is enabled for your workplace. You can disable or enable time off requests from the General Settings.

Open scheduling (OpenShifts)

Schedule OpenShifts to give your employees the flexibility to pick up shifts that work best for them. When you publish an OpenShift, all eligible employees are notified that they can pick it up. When I Work determines whether employees are qualified for shifts based on their assigned positions. If you rely heavily on OpenShifts, consider using schedule templates to quickly populate the schedule with OpenShifts.

If you schedule OpenShifts, encourage your employees to pick up OpenShifts from their computers, iPhones, and Android phones.


Shift swaps and drops

Shift swaps and drops let your employees exchange shifts with minimal or no involvement from their managers.

  • A shift swap lets employees trade shifts with each other as long as they’re both qualified (based on position) and available to work each other’s shifts.
  • A shift drop lets an employee offer a shift to other employees that are qualified (based on position) and available to take the shift.

Encourage your employees to swap and drop shifts from their computers, iPhones, and Android phones.


By default, shift swaps and drops are enabled for your workplace and require manager approval. You can disable swaps and drops, or disable the requirement for manager approval, from the General Settings.

Shift replacement

If an employee is unable to work a shift, you can use the find replacement feature to offer the shift to eligible employees. The employees are automatically notified and the first employee to pick up the shift gets it.

Updated on March 26, 2021

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