Work Time Management··7 min read

The Pros And Cons Of Allowing Self Scheduling

Allowing Self Scheduling

Self scheduling is becoming more and more popular in the business sector with each passing day. This popularity is brought about by the increased number of people who prefer working from home and being in control of their working hours.

Scheduling different shifts according to each employee's needs has become difficult for managers, business owners, and the HR. department. Self scheduling involves allowing employees to choose their own working time/ shifts, freeing the scheduler from the task

How Self Scheduling Works

First, you need to use a self scheduling template to create shifts that you need to be filled. Afterwards, distribute the empty shifts to employees to fill in their desirable shifts and get back to you before a set deadline. This process can be done using a self scheduling app or self scheduling software which makes it easier and faster to send out notifications and receive feedback once employees choose their shifts.

You can also assign the remaining empty shifts to employees, particularly those who missed out on the first choice. With self scheduling, employees may be allowed to trade shifts among themselves if necessary.

Introducing this system to your business is not easy. You need to prepare all your employees using self-scheduling programs to train them on the process. Without the right training, your workers may avoid it, and you may end up with more work. As with everything else, self scheduling also has both advantages and disadvantages. Check out these pros and cons of allowing self scheduling in your organization before making a decision.



Self scheduling provides your staff with a high level of flexibility. Initially, when an employee's shift clashed with their personal commitments, they would have to take it up with the HR. department or manager which usually did not end well.

However, with a flexible work schedule, your staff can organize their time to create a healthy and more effective work-life balance. Employees are able to plan their work time to fit their personal obligations and vice versa. With more flexibility, your employees will be healthier, happier, and have a high level of engagement.

In addition, self scheduling programs give employees a chance to work when they feel fresh and can accomplish the most. They can either start working very early in the morning and stop by noon or work from noon to late at night or just burn the midnight oil.

Fewer Absenteeism Cases

Most absenteeism cases are caused by stress, family reasons, burnout, illness, and depression, among others. Companies can minimize the rate of absenteeism by offering flexible work schedules options to their employees. When workers choose their shifts, they are likely to account for reasons that would make them not work. Curbing absenteeism should be a high priority for every business seeing that it affects both profitability and productivity.

Increased Morale and Retention

When choosing shifts, workers are to factor in their specific requirements and preferences hence being able to take control of their personal life while staying committed to their jobs. The more freedom your workers have, the more likely they will love their work and be emotionally invested in your organization. This also leads to increased employee retention.

Increased Productivity

Improved employee morale directly results in increased productivity. A healthy work-life balance leads to less burnout, reduced stress, improved well-being, motivation, and mental health. All these factors lead to increased employee output.


Once you allow your employees to select their own shifts, you end up saving time. Scheduling requires a lot of time and energy, as you have to go through the list of all your staff members and factor in qualifications, overtime, and availability. Having a reliable self scheduling software or app will help you reduce your scheduling time hence freeing up time to focus on other aspects of your organization.


Self scheduling also comes with its fair share of disadvantages. This is especially true for small businesses that cannot afford to have employees work shifts. Here are some of the cons of flexible work schedules.

Feeling of Unfairness

Businesses that deal with customer-facing services may have to exclude certain staff members from working remotely. This is because they cannot afford to have employees dealing with customer service work from home throughout, as it will complicate client handovers. Additionally, having workers working different shifts may lead to customer dissatisfaction. For instance, clients can cause a fuss when they come in during business days or hours and find that the representative they were dealing with is not around.

Reduced Productivity

Some employees may slack off if there is no one around to supervise them. They may clock in the hours but end up doing absolutely nothing related to their job, hence wasting a lot of time. Without the structure that an office setting brings, employees may find it challenging to work effectively from home while they have entertainment right in front of them, household chores, or family and friends around.

In addition, workers who thrive in an office setting may also find it hard to work efficiently from home. This may end up reducing productivity or leading your staff to deliver less quality work. This is why most businesses require everyone to be present at the workplace or during a zoom meeting at least once or twice a week to ensure everyone is working as required.

Adjusting Issues

If you are used to overseeing what your employees are doing throughout while at work, you may have trouble adjusting to the new schedules. This is because self scheduling in management requires you to be more trusting and let your staff work with little or no supervision.

How to Implement Self-Scheduling in Your Workplace

The Power of Employee Self-Scheduling for Job Satisfaction

Implementing an employee self-scheduling system can significantly boost job satisfaction. By giving employees the autonomy to choose their shifts, you empower them to balance work and personal life, leading to increased happiness and productivity.

Real-Time Scheduling Requirements and Operational Efficiency

Using real-time scheduling tools allows both full-time employees and managers to see unfilled shifts, holiday shifts, and shift requirements instantly. This real-time visibility enhances operational efficiency and makes the self-scheduling process smoother.

Traditional Scheduling vs. Self-Scheduling Options

While traditional scheduling often becomes a cumbersome task for managers, self-scheduling options offer a powerful tool for staff efficiency. Employees can choose shifts that align with their most productive times, reducing the need for managerial intervention.

Addressing Night Shift and Odd Hours: A Solution for Night Owls

Self-scheduling is particularly beneficial for managing night shifts and odd hours. Employees who are night owls can opt for these unpopular shifts, making it easier to fulfill shift requirements without compromising on staff time.

Online Scheduling Options: A Leap from Phone Calls

Transitioning from phone calls to an online self-scheduling system can be a game-changer. Not only does it reduce non-billable hours spent on scheduling, but it also serves as a retention tool by offering employees the flexibility they desire.

Self-Scheduling in Healthcare: Patient Self-Scheduling and Medical Providers

In healthcare settings, patient self-scheduling tools can be integrated to align with healthcare providers' schedules. This ensures seamless appointment bookings and enhances both patient satisfaction and patient care.

Learn More

Looking to foster a better work environment? Browse our insights in the Work Environment and Culture section to learn how.

Bottom Line

From the above, the pros greatly outweigh the cons. An excellent business owner or manager can handle the few disadvantages effectively with proper preparation and implementation. Self scheduling is increasingly becoming part of what most workers are looking for in their employee benefits packages.

Research shows that 62% of employees in the US would rather have more flexibility than a pay rise. Therefore, having this system in place is essential if you want to retain employees, increase morale and productivity, and grow your business to greater heights. To make the most out of it, make sure you look for a self scheduling platform that is reliable, user-friendly, and suits your specific scheduling needs.

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