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Scheduling Managers: How to Avoid the “Clopen”

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Scheduling Managers- How to Avoid the “Clopen”Want to know a quick path to a disgruntled shift employee? Schedule them for the dreaded “clopen”. What is a clopen? CLOSE/OPEN = Clopen. It’s when someone closes (or has the last shift of the night) then has their very first shift the next day. How convenient is that! Why go home? Just nap on a cot in the storage room!

How Scheduling Managers Can Avoid The “Clopen”

The other option is to leave work, get home in time to get 4 hours of sleep, then wake up and head back to start your next shift bright and early! Depending on the hours of operation, an employee could be working 2 shifts (16 hours) in less than 22 hours (plus commuting time, both ways)! At places like a coffee shops, which open before sunrise for the commuting crowd and stay open ‘til near midnight for the college students, this is a highly likely scenario. And imagine the possibilities in a 24-hour establishment! [Note: Last year Starbuck’s banned the clopen, proving that even an unlimited supply of coffee won’t do the trick.] Do you truly think that employee is giving you their best effort on the 2nd shift? You know the answer. Sometimes, this is not the scheduling manager’s fault. When looking at a fresh new week, it’s easy to forget the schedule from the preceding night. It gets even harder if schedule-making is divided up among a few managers. Then factor in time off requests…and who can’t do a certain shift because of class…and why the morning bus doesn’t get this other person to work on time because it takes the local route. It’s quite simple to accidentally schedule someone for a “clopen”, or on-purpose schedule someone for a “clopen” because of employee availability.

How Time & Labor Management Can Help

There’s an easy solution to this problem. Here is a prime example of where you can use your Time & Labor Management software to the best of its abilities to avoid situations like this. The aforementioned Starbucks article attributes constant clopens to its scheduling software. But if your TLM software is smart enough, this is a simple fix! Just plug in a few quick rules and your savvy TLM software can restrict you from scheduling employee shifts too close together. You can set a minimum number of hours between shifts that you know will give your employees enough time to comfortably commute home, sleep, shower, and maybe even eat (!) before coming back to work. Of course, there are always be unavoidable situations when employees may have to work a double-shift or cover an absent team member. An administrator can easily override the software to allow exceptions on a case-by-case basis. But you can ensure that those unique situations stay few and far between with your handy dandy TLM software.  

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