Spreadsheets are inexpensive and easy to use, especially for basic purposes. You can use them to keep track of payroll, expenses, simple schedules or inventory of your stocks. Over the years, companies who eventually computerized their data used spreadsheets like Excel to manage their employee schedule.
Managers and admin offices made use of worksheet templates for various purposes at work. These templates were often modeled after print outs or whiteboard schedules. These usually had the names of the employees on one cell and assigned shifts on other cells. Copies are then usually printed out and distributed to everyone in the office for reference, or forwarded via email.
Of course, this simplicity is not true to all businesses, because of many factors. One thing to note is that the complexity of the schedule and workload varies from one organization to another. That said, other spreadsheet schedules are more complex than others, requiring the use of more cells, formulas and calculations.
Problems With Spreadsheet Employee Scheduling
While using spreadsheets to schedule tasks, workloads and other administrative related items are possible, this method is not without its own disadvantages. Here are some of the cons that most people experience when using spreadsheets for employee staffing and assignments.
- It is difficult to integrate information for different departments such as workload distribution, attendance, payroll and management. Thus, incorporating all of these in one file does require time and effort.
- Lack of multi user access. If you are sharing the file throughout the office, not everyone can make changes right away or access the same file if other users are updating it.
- Most administration employees spend too much time with the excel files, taking time to update and re-enter data. Resizing, aligning and color coding the cells manually takes away valuable time for other tasks.
- It is complicated to use and can seem intimidating, especially to newbies or uninitiated users. While companies may make the spreadsheet available for everyone to access, a simple mistake or change in the cells can wreak havoc on the entire content. This requires care from all the users, a need which may be difficult to do in an office with hundreds of employees.
- Simple spreadsheets make it difficult to detect conflicts for worker and employee shifts. In fact, the people who use the scheduling material still have to look and check thoroughly to see which spaces have not been taken or assigned.
- Spreadsheets limit you to fixed schedules with fixed hours and it may take time and effort to create a model for flexi time or multi hour work weeks.
Improve Your Spreadsheet Scheduling Experience
If you have been relying on spreadsheets for the past years, then it may be time to improve and upgrade your experience. This can be done by using reliable scheduling software. Good scheduling software is basically like your typical spreadsheet version, but much more flexible and powerful. They are generally designed for many purposes, these include:
- task assignment
- work scheduling
- employee attendance
- leave and absence recording
- facility and resource reservation
Most scheduling software is designed with the whole workplace in mind, allowing you to plan and schedule as many needs as possible – so you do not need separate software for each. They are easy to use and easy to share as well, allowing workers to actually use the program and do things for themselves. Programs like these save time, effort and money by reducing the tasks of the administration and the time required to focus on planning employee schedules.
While most programs cost a little bit in comparison to free templates for excel, a move to this kind of technology is not without major benefits. By saving time, effort and manpower and preventing the lack of resources for other tasks, a great scheduling software is indeed indispensable in the office.
So, what are you waiting for? Take your scheduling to a new level and find out more about employee scheduling software today!