A help desk is essential to making sure that a business is there for its customers when they need it. Run poorly, they can be extremely detrimental – run well, reputations soar. They rely upon having the correct number of employees for each time, thus needing to be responsive to peaks and valleys in the numbers of calls. Help desks can be expensive if overstaffed and overwhelmed if understaffed. At the heart of running this effectively is employee scheduling.
To try and manage this scheduling, many help desks still rely on systems stuck in the dark ages. Paper and pencils planners become swamped by scribbles and corrections. Even spreadsheets tend to struggle to best fit the needs of management. As you would expect, desks which try to stick with these methods can struggle to operate with any effectiveness.
Not every help desk is run this way. Many are starting to move towards shift management programs, which provide complete solutions for shift scheduling. Software is sometimes available on a free trial basis, meaning that help desks have the chance to see which option best fits their operations. This employee scheduling software may be capped by the amount of employees that can be entered, the hours that it can be used for, or it may instead run adverts.
Help Desk Employee Scheduling Software
Here is a list of four Windows-based help-desk staff scheduling software for help desks with a brief description of each:
- Schedule any number of workers (full-time, part-time, and volunteer), positions, shifts, skills, and locations
- Ensure adequate shift coverage and efficient personnel utilization while taking into consideration all time-off constraints, specific labor and overtime rules, employee skills and preferences
- Spend less time on developing work schedules and on day-to-day changes
- Instantly see shift coverage, hours scheduled, overtime, vacations, and time off
- Reduce labor costs; avoid overtime and over/under staffing
- Print, export, and e-mail work schedules to employees
- Keep work schedules, labor costs, and employee data in one place for complete reporting and analysis
The Snap Schedule Premium Edition gives you enterprise-class help desk scheduling power and innovative workforce management features, including web and mobile access. Employees can remotely access their schedules, request time off, bid on open shifts, punch in and out, update their availability to work, and view the employee directory via a web browser or a native iPhone/iPad/WindowsStore app.
- Windows/Windows 8
Schedules are cross-referenced with vacation, sick, compensation and other time-off. You are alerted when they conflict. Time Tracker notifies you when specific reminders regarding an employee are due. It can alert you when an employee’s certification is about to expire, or that they are to attend a seminar or anything else that you choose. Time Tracker will monitor your employees scheduled times and warn you about errors such as double bookings or overtime situations. You can also track an employee’s refusals to work.
Notes: Not all are downloadable desktop programs for Windows/Mac OS and some may be browser-based applications that require high-speed Internet access. Be sure to read all systems and licensing agreements from the developer’s website to make sure you meet all requirements. At the time of publication, a free basic service (lite or cripple version) or a free trial version of all of these software packages is available from their manufacturer’s website. To take full advantage of a package’s features you may need to upgrade to a paid version of the software.
What Can Help Desk Scheduling Software Do for You?
Employee scheduling software takes the hard work out of staffing, scheduling, and publishing work schedules, freeing you up to do more important things at your site.
- Spend less time creating and publishing work schedules. Employee scheduling software makes scheduling employees, editing information, analyzing data, and distributing employee work schedules easy and simple. Schedule any number of shifts. Assign work stations, breaks, and duties within each shift.
- Quickly fill a shift or find a substitute based on many criteria including job position, skills, availability, labor cost, work hour limits, and seniority.
- Prevent and alerts you to availability conflicts, duplicate shift assignments, overlapped shift assignments, and conflicts with scheduled time off.
- Know instantly where employees are assigned. No need to flip through pages of paper to see absentee, on-call, training, or overtime situations.
- Reduce the time to track and assign employee training, vacation and time off requests. Help desk scheduling software keeps you up to date on who will not be coming in to work and why. Its comprehensive reports provide details on planned vacation, training, and time off hours for any time period you select.
- Reduce labor costs and avoid unnecessary overtime. Help desk scheduling software lets you accurately track absences and forecast staffing needs to minimize over-staffing, which in turn reduces payroll costs. It automatically sums up employees’ work hours and costs; calculates overtime, on-call, time off, and incentive pays; and provides detailed cost reports so you know instantly if you are on budget.
- Keep scheduling and employee information in one place for easy access. Insert ID photos as well as employee contact information, authorized work stations, skills, available work hours for part-time and volunteers, and work hour constraints into employee records.
- Monitor attendance, work hours, and labor costs. Advanced help desk scheduling software with time clock features lets you see exactly who clocked in and how your scheduled hours compare to the hours your employees are actually working.