Return to work: Why it’s important to stagger shift times

To get back to work as safely as possible, you might consider alternating start times for your staff. Here’s why.

BrightHR Team

Now that the government has started to ease lockdown restrictions across the UK, you might be planning to reopen your business soon.

But before you do, you need to think carefully about how you’re going to keep a safe two-metre distance between people. One thing you could try is staggering staff shifts…

How do you stagger shifts?

It’s simple really. Instead of your employees working their normal hours, you alternate their start and end times so that they don’t all arrive and leave at the same time.

So say you’ve got a team of ten people, instead of having them all work from 9am to 5pm, you might split them up into three groups. One group starts at 8am, another starts at 8.30am and well, you get the idea…

By spreading your staff’s start times like this, you help to make sure there are fewer people in your business at any one time—meaning that it’s easier for your people to keep two metres apart.

Do I have to stagger shift times?

No, you don’t have to. But it’s one of several options under the government’s new COVID-19 secure guidelines and it may be an effective way to allow your business to comply with social distancing measures.  

The government also recommends that employers create one-way walk-throughs, open more entrances and exits in their businesses, and change seating layouts in communal areas.

To learn what else the government recommends for business owners like you, head to the gov.uk website.

What’s the easiest way for me to plan staggered shifts?

With BrightHR’s smart HR software, you can set up staggered shifts in no time.

Simply use the rota planner to create tailored shifts for each of your employees. Then, use the rota calendar to review the shifts and make sure there’s enough space between each one.

Once you’re happy, you can publish your new rota. BrightHR will even send your staff an automatic notification whenever you add a new rota or edit a shift, so that your people always know when to turn up. 

As a BrightHR customer, you can start planning staggered shifts right away. All you have to do is log into your BrightHR account to get started.

Not a BrightHR customer? To see how easy BrightHR makes all your back to work processes, book your free demo today