- Workers responding to a recent survey said the most important feature of a good schedule is that it prioritizes health and sleep. Consistency is the second most important factor, according to the results of a survey by Qualtrics on behalf of TSheets, a timesheets app.
- Seventy-six percent of respondents said they were satisfied with their work schedules, although many (41%) said they'd make a change if they could. Twenty percent of respondents said their schedule negatively impacts their health but 59% said they are able to work roughly the same schedule each week.
- TSheets noted that consistent schedules have benefits for employers, too: "There is also a correlation between consistent schedules and how long employees have been at their current job. Employees who have consistent schedules report having been at their current job longer than those who have schedules that change from week to week," it said.
Erratic work schedules have shown to be bad for employee health. A study of Gap employees by the University of California Hastings Center for WorkLife Law, University of Chicago and the University of North Carolina found that the stress of working unpredictable, on-call or shifting schedules deprives workers of sleep and leaves them at risk for chronic health problems.
Technology has come to the rescue in some ways. Walmart, for example, recently deployed an app that allows its hourly workers to switch schedules with co-workers, request a substitute and search for an open schedule. Notably, the app supports predictive scheduling, allowing employees to work the same core schedule for several weeks.
Some states and localities have enacted predictive scheduling laws to eliminate unstable work schedules and help largely hourly, part-time and seasonal employees plan and budget. Laws vary by jurisdiction, but generally require employers to provide workers with schedules in advance, two weeks in some cases.