Scheduling an OpenShift (Open Scheduling)

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Overview

Schedule an OpenShift when you’d like an 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.

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.

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

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. Click Employees in the View Options menu to ensure that you are in employee view.
    Employee View Callout
  3. In the OpenShifts row, click the cell that corresponds to the date when the shift will occur.
  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      The shift is added to the schedule in an unpublished state.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.

NOTE: If there are four or more OpenShifts scheduled for a day in week view, the OpenShifts menu can be collapsed and expanded.

 

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. Click Positions in the View Options menu to ensure that you are in position view.Position View Callout
  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.
  4. Make sure Assign to is set to OpenShift.
  5. If you want to add multiple OpenShifts, enter the number of shifts in How Many.
  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

Click Down arrow button in the OpenShifts row to publish and notify employees about just the OpenShifts on the schedule.Publish OpenShifts

Eligible employees are notified of OpenShifts

All qualified and available employees are notified of OpenShifts, unless you’ve offered it to specific employees. Click here for more information on what makes employees eligible.

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.

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

Offer an OpenShift to specific employees

If you’d like specific employees to be able to pick up a certain OpenShift, enter the start and end times and a position. Then click View currently eligible employees at the bottom of the window.

Employees are eligible to pick up a shift if the employee is:

  1. Qualified for the shift based on their tagged positions.
  2. Not already scheduled for a published shift.
  3. Not scheduled for approved time off.

Uncheck the box to the right of an employee’s name if you do not want them to pick up the OpenShift.

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

  • Click Save & Publish if you’d like to publish the shift and notify selected employees.
  • Click Save 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.

Deleting OpenShifts

Click Down arrow button in the OpenShifts row to delete just the OpenShifts on the schedule.Delete OpenShifts

Shift details

Whether you’re scheduling an OpenShift by creating a custom shift or using a shift template, you can modify the shift’s details.

Shift details may vary

The shift details may vary based on your selections.

NameAssign To
Description(Required) Select who will work the shift. To let any qualified employee take this shift, select OpenShift.
  • Employees that are qualified to work the shift are listed under Qualified. Employees that are not qualified are listed under Unqualified.
  • Thumbs up icon means the employee has set preferred hours for this day. Use employees view to see more detailed availability preference information.
  • U/A means the employee has set hours they prefer not to work for this day. Use employees view to see more detailed availability preference information.
  • Over Max means assigning the shift to the employee puts them over their max hours. Max hours is based on the Max Hours / Week set for the employee.
  • OFF means the employee has requested the day off.
NameHow Many¹
Description(Optional) Select how many instances of an OpenShift you’d like to publish.
NameTime
Description(Required) Set the the start and end time for the shift.
NameUnpaid Break
Description(Optional) Add an unpaid break in minutes. For example, enter 30 for a half-hour break.

Note: If using Time Clock & Attendance with Automatically Deduct Scheduled Breaks From Timesheets enabled, an unpaid break in the shift details is required for the break to be automatically deducted from timesheets.

NameEdit (Color)
Description(Optional) Select a color for the shift in the top-right corner of the screen.
NamePosition
Description(Optional) Select the position that needs to be filled.
NameJob Site
Description(Optional) If the shift will take place off site from your normal location, select a job site.
NameShift Notes
Description(Optional) Add notes (up to 350 characters).
NameRepeat Shift
Description(Optional) Click to set up a repeating shift.
NameSave As Shift Template
Description(Optional) Click to create a shift template based on this shift.
NameView currently eligible employees²
Description(Optional) Click to offer the shift to specific eligible employees.
Name Description
Assign To (Required) Select who will work the shift. To let any qualified employee take this shift, select OpenShift.
  • Employees that are qualified to work the shift are listed under Qualified. Employees that are not qualified are listed under Unqualified.
  • Thumbs up icon means the employee has set preferred hours for this day. Use employees view to see more detailed availability preference information.
  • U/A means the employee has set hours they prefer not to work for this day. Use employees view to see more detailed availability preference information.
  • Over Max means assigning the shift to the employee puts them over their max hours. Max hours is based on the Max Hours / Week set for the employee.
  • OFF means the employee has requested the day off.
How Many¹ (Optional) Select how many instances of an OpenShift you’d like to publish.
Time (Required) Set the the start and end time for the shift.
Unpaid Break (Optional) Add an unpaid break in minutes. For example, enter 30 for a half-hour break.

Note: If using Time Clock & Attendance with Automatically Deduct Scheduled Breaks From Timesheets enabled, an unpaid break in the shift details is required for the break to be automatically deducted from timesheets.

Edit (Color) (Optional) Select a color for the shift in the top-right corner of the screen.
Position (Optional) Select the position that needs to be filled.
Job Site (Optional) If the shift will take place off site from your normal location, select a job site.
Shift Notes (Optional) Add notes (up to 350 characters).
Repeat Shift (Optional) Click to set up a repeating shift.
Save As Shift Template (Optional) Click to create a shift template based on this shift.
View currently eligible employees² (Optional) Click to offer the shift to specific eligible employees.

¹Appears only when you’re scheduling an OpenShift.

²Appears only when you’re scheduling an OpenShift and shift criteria has been defined.

Frequently asked questions

How do OpenShifts work?

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

What defines an eligible employee?

An employee is eligible to pick up a shift if they meet the following criteria:

  1. They are qualified for the shift based on their tagged positions.
  2. They are not already scheduled for a published shift.
  3. They are not scheduled for approved time off.

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 eligible 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.
Updated on March 26, 2019

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