Scheduling an OpenShift (Open Scheduling)

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Overview

Schedule an OpenShift when you’d like a qualified employee to pick up a shift instead of assigning it to a specific person. OpenShifts are a good fit when:

  • You want to give your employees the flexibility to pick up shifts that work best for them.
  • Your employees’ availability is complicated, and letting them pick up shifts themselves saves time for everyone.

You can also schedule an OpenShift from your iPhone or Android phone.

Before you begin

From your computer, use a supported web browser to sign in to When I Work on the web.

Creating an OpenShift

The process to create an OpenShift varies slightly depending on whether you’re using employees view or position view on the Scheduler.

Option A: Create an OpenShift from employees view

Use employees view to add an OpenShift if you prefer to think about schedule coverage based on who is scheduled. In employees view, the top row of the Scheduler is dedicated to OpenShifts.

  1. Go to the Scheduler.
  2. Use the menu in the header of the first column to make sure that you’re using Employees view.Employees and Positions view menu
  3. In the OpenShifts row, click the cell that corresponds to the date when the shift will occur.Steps to add an OpenShift
  4. Set up the shift:
    1. To use a shift template without making any changes, click the shift template.
      The shift is added to the schedule in an unpublished state.
    2. To use a modified shift template, click Pencil button at the right side of the template.
      Use this option if you want to modify the time, position, unpaid break, job site, or shift notes.
    3. If there are no shift templates that make sense, click Create Custom Shift instead.

The OpenShift isn’t visible to your employees until you publish and alert your staff.

Option B: Create an OpenShift from positions view

Use positions view to add an OpenShift if you prefer to think about schedule coverage based on which positions need to be filled.

  1. Go to the Scheduler.
  2. Use the menu in the header of the first column to make sure that you’re using Positions view.Employees and Positions view menu
  3. Click the cell that corresponds to the position the OpenShift will apply to and the date when it will occur.
    If the OpenShift doesn’t apply to a specific position, use the No Positions row.Adding an OpenShift from positions view
  4. Make sure Assign Shift to is set to OpenShift.
  5. If you want to add multiple OpenShifts, enter the number of shifts in How Many Shifts?.
  6. Set up the shift:
    1. To use a shift template without making any changes, click the shift template.
      The shift is added to the schedule in an unpublished state.
    2. To use a modified shift template, click Pencil button at the right side of the template.
      Use this option if you want to modify the time, unpaid break, job site, or shift notes.
    3. If there are no shift templates that make sense, click Create Custom Shift instead.

The OpenShift isn’t visible to your employees until you publish and alert your staff.

Publishing OpenShifts and alerting your staff

After you add OpenShifts to the schedule, publish them to let your staff know they can pick up more shifts.

Publish and notify employees about all OpenShifts

When you use the Publish & Notify button in the top-left corner of the Scheduler, qualified employees are notified about available OpenShifts. For more information, read our article about publishing and notifying the schedule.Publish & Notify button

Qualified Employees Are Always Notified

All qualified employees are notified regardless of whether they are available to take an OpenShift, unless you’ve offered it to specific employees.

Notify employees about a specific OpenShift

If you’d like to send out notifications to your staff about a specific OpenShift, click the Notify button in the top-right corner of the window.Edit OpenShift menu

Before you notify your employees, you can enter a note that is sent to your employees via email. Click Send to notify employees.Notify employees about an OpenShift

Offer an OpenShift to specific employees

If you’d like specific employees to be able to pick up a certain OpenShift, click Offer/Notify at the bottom of the window.Edit OpenShift menu

Employees that are qualified and available to pick up the shift will appear. Uncheck the box to the right of an employee’s name if you do not want them to pick up the OpenShift.Offer OpenShift to specific employees

After you’ve selected who you’d like to offer the OpenShift to, decide how you’d like to offer the shift:

  • Click Offer & Notify if you’d like to publish the shift and notify selected employees.
  • Click Offer to Employees if you don’t want to publish the shift yet. When you publish the shift, selected employees are notified and can pick up the shift.

If you have Schedule Updates enabled in your alert preferences, you receive an alert when an employee takes an OpenShift. A notification is sent only if the shift occurs in the next two days.

Frequently asked questions

How do OpenShifts work?

When you publish an OpenShift, employees that are both available and qualified for the shift have the option to pick it up. The first employee to view and accept the OpenShift gets it automatically.

What defines an available employee?

An employee is available to take an OpenShift if he or she is not already scheduled. The employee must be completely available for the full length of the OpenShift. For example, someone who is scheduled to work from 9am-5pm would not be able to see or take an OpenShift that starts at 4pm.

Availability Preferences Do Not Apply

When I Work does not consider employees’ availability preferences when determining their availability for OpenShifts.

What defines a qualified employee?

An employee is qualified to take an OpenShift if he or she is tagged with a position that matches the position assigned to the OpenShift. Check out How to Create Positions and Tag Employees to Position(s). For example, an employee who is only tagged as a Bartender can see all of the Bartender OpenShifts, but not have any visibility to OpenShifts for other positions.

When are employees notified about OpenShifts?

When I Work notifies employees when:

  • You publish an OpenShift that they’re qualified to take.
  • You save changes to a published OpenShift that they’re qualified to take.
  • You offer them an OpenShift. When you offer an OpenShift to specific employees, notifications about the OpenShift are sent only to those employees.
Qualified Employees Are Always Notified

All qualified employees are notified regardless of whether they are available to take an OpenShift, unless you’ve offered it to specific employees.

Updated on July 26, 2018

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