Stay in Control of Work Scheduling with actiPLANS

Photo by Behnam Norouzi

Over the years, actiPLANS has gained the trust of hundreds of businesses from different parts of the world by proving to be an efficient and reliable absence management system. The 2022 release is bringing actiPLANS to an even higher level, where it takes on a new role of a flexible work scheduling solution.

If you’re a long-time actiPLANS user, you have no grounds for worry — all of your favorite leave management features remain intact. Yet in addition to them, our absence tracker has acquired an extra set of valuable properties that allow you to schedule employees’ work along with their days off.

Let’s explore the newly designed actiPLANS functionality, how to make the best use of it and which benefits it provides.

4 Handy Features for Easy Work Scheduling

actiPLANS work scheduling functionality allows you to do four things:

  • Add bespoke work types to your account
  • Schedule them on the visual timeline
  • Notify colleagues about work schedule changes via email
  • Analyze the use of resources across different types of work

In other words, actiPLANS lets you freely choose what kind of work to allocate to your team. You can create versatile employee shifts, project activities, corporate events — or pretty much anything you want — and then distribute them across your staff members on the timeline.

actiPLANS also keeps everyone in the loop on changes in their work schedules via automatic email notifications. Plus, whenever you need to check out how much time your company spends on diverse types of work, just run a Work Type report and get the necessary details from there.

For a better understanding of how it all functions, let’s go through a few examples below.

How to Use Work Scheduling in actiPLANS

1. Manage employee shifts

Shift work is a standard employment practice in many industries, from hospitality to healthcare and law enforcement. And though different businesses have disparate requirements to shift management, they all need an effortless visual scheduling process for superior and error-free staffing results.

This is exactly where actiPLANS shines. It offers simple tools for highly flexible and visual shift scheduling and lets everyone in your team stay aware of when they have to work.

Here’s how to schedule shifts in actiPLANS:

  • Create different shift categories via Work Types settings + assign unique color codes for each of them. Note that actiPLANS has a default work type that cannot be removed. However, you can rename and turn it into one of your shift categories or any other type of work.
  • The next step is to open the Work Scheduling interface and distribute the created shifts across employees. Pay attention to the light gray areas on the timeline — they indicate non-working time, including your team’s scheduled absences.
  • For greater scheduling convenience, you may group the list of users by departments. This way, creating a distinct shift pattern for a specific team becomes as easy as pie.

Once a shift schedule is built or modified, the employee will receive an automatic email notification with all the info about the recent timeline updates. This means, you don’t really have to take any extra steps to inform them of when they’re expected to work.

Besides, if you trust employees in managing shifts on their own, you can let them use actiPLANS as a self-scheduling tool. Automatic notifications on employees’ schedule changes will help you stay in better control over the situation, and you’ll always be able to edit your team’s self-scheduled shifts if necessary.

Lastly, whenever you need to understand how evenly your resources are allocated across different shifts, you may run the Work Type report. It shows which types of shifts consume the most / least of your team’s working time. Plus, it demonstrates how many different kinds of shifts are given to each employee.

Use this information to prevent overstaffing or understaffing and manage your resources in an efficient way.

2. Visualize project activities

A project timeline is a handy work planning tool that helps to visualize essential project activities, set rough deadlines and mark major performance milestones. Hence, it’s truly useful in guiding your team’s work processes and understanding whether everything is going as planned.

While specialized project management tools with visual planning features may cost your business a fortune and contain a panoply of complex and unnecessary features, actiPLANS offers a simple yet effective way to schedule your project activities.

To undertake it, you need to complete the same easy steps as described above:

  • Create bespoke project activities in your account
  • Allocate them across employees on the visual timeline

This timeline depicts both the working and non-working time of your employees (the former is highlighted in white and the latter in light gray). By taking the scheduled staff absences into account, you can better understand your workforce capacity and set more realistic deadlines for different project activities.

The created timeline clearly demonstrates when particular project activities or phases are expected to start and end + which members of your team are supposed to be involved in them. And if that’s not enough, be sure to run the Work Type report and see how the time invested in different project activities compares to your initial estimates.

3. Schedule work locations

Another thing actiPLANS can help you with is employee location scheduling. If your team works in a hybrid environment, includes some field workforce or constantly rotates between multiple job sites, knowing each employee’s whereabouts is an intrinsic part of your responsibility as a manager.

In case you’re not aware of current staff locations, it’s harder to keep everyone accountable for their performance and fully comprehend the challenges they may face while doing their jobs. But actiPLANS is ready to rid you of this problem — use it to schedule employee locations from day to day.

After adding your custom work locations to actiPLANS (e.g., Office A, Office B, Remote Work, etc.), you may assign them to employees on the visual timeline or let your staff members indicate where they intend to work themselves.

Whenever one’s location shcedule is updated, actiPLANS alerts you about the change via email so you never lose track of where each team member is.

To control your team’s work plans and time even better, combine these location scheduling features with actiPLANS Mobile. The app allows users to:

  • Request days off in seconds
  • Promptly notify colleagues about lateness or early departures
  • Write comments on any changes in personal schedules

In other words, it has everything you need to stay fully aware of when your colleagues plan to be present at work, where and for how long.

Work Scheduling Has Never Been Easier

What’s so great about actiPLANS work scheduling functionality?

  • It fosters a highly flexible approach to planning, allowing you to choose which types of work to create.
  • It’s effortless to use — you can assign different shifts, locations, activities or events to employees in a matter of minutes.
  • It can be applied as a self-scheduling tool, providing your team with higher autonomy.
  • The visual timeline ensures exceptional information accessibility and clearly shows how, when or where each team member is going to work.
  • Automatic email notifications help you learn about any shcedule changes promptly.
  • The Work Types report gives additional information for decision-making and improved resource allocation.

Already enticed to try it out? Sign up for a free actiPLANS trial and check out all its benefits firsthand.

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