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Summertime Management and Labor Scheduling

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by Jess Castner

As a manager, you know that business doesn’t stop when summer starts. From labor scheduling to new employee hiring, there is always work to be done. The responsibility of running your business suddenly collides with the equally important need to reconnect at home. Thinking of taking a family vacation? Mobile management, such as labor scheduling solutions, can help you run your business from anywhere. But, you could easily spend your entire vacation managing from your smartphone. Here’s how you can keep things from falling through the cracks at work while still managing to have a vacation:

  1. Keep email checking to a minimum. You know how it goes. You set the auto-response on your email to kindly alert everyone who emails you those “urgent” questions that you will be unavailable. Inevitably, just a few hours after leaving the office and starting your vacation, you’re back in your inbox. Of course, some stuff will come up–and no one wants to arrive at an escalated work catastrophe once vacation is over. However, it’s important to set boundaries. Decide ahead of time what your “check in” times will be. Address only the situations that truly require your immediate attention and then, relax!

  1. Manage updates daily instead of hourly. Dealing with every little issue as it arises can really take over your entire vacation. Sometimes, things work themselves out throughout the day, and your intervention is not needed. Persisting issues may be easily addressed in one fell swoop at the end of the day. Consider checking  in only after problems have remained lingering all day. Many of the mobile management products you are using can support a daily summary rather than a minute-by-minute status report. Compare your sales and labor costs with a single report delivered to your email. Receive an alert about the labor scheduling that’s been done in your absence. Address employee concerns and requests comprehensively. Daily logs can give you a list of outstanding and resolved issues without demanding your attention all day.

  1. Assign a mediator back at the office.  If a real emergency does arise, you may need to dive into work mode again. The key to distinguishing the emergency issues from the merely emerging issues is to have a trusted liaison back in the office to forward only the critical problems to you in case of catastrophe. This person doesn’t need to be able to make the tough calls, but simply to be able to identify when a tough call needs to be made. Directing your employees to funnel their issues through this mediator will allow you to rest easy, knowing that a silent smartphone means your trusted messenger sees no need to interrupt your well-deserved vacation.

  1. Remember that your phone is amazing (at more than just work stuff).  Maybe you’re asking if you should even take your smartphone with you. It always just turns into a giant black hole, sucking you back into work when you should be enjoying yourself and making memories on your days off. However, consider the ways it can help you get the most out of your vacation. Site seeing is easier with mobile apps, and the high-resolution camera in your smartphone makes capturing the highlights from your trip fast and easy. You can instantly share the best moments from your vacation with those who couldn’t be there. So, don’t condemn your phone, just don’t let it control you.

Mobile solutions can help you take control of your business, and they can give you a break when you need one. So, take a break, and enjoy the benefits of mobile management, with functionality ranging from payroll running to labor scheduling to attendance tracking!

Of course, there are other aspects to consider during the summer. For instance, being ready for the rush of new workers that is likely to arise  and how it affects your business. This increase in labor can quickly become a headache if you’re not planning ahead. Summertime staffing will affect your business in regards to how you manage the workforce, how busy your HR personnel become, and your standing under Obamacare. Get the free June 2014 issue of Workforce Management Excellence Essentials if you’d like to read more about summertime staffing blues.

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