In the past, businesses operated on a set time, usually eight hours a day. But the fast pace of work and progress nowadays can often require a 24/7 presence, and here is how you can do it.
If you want to stay competitive in today’s world, you will need to consider running your business around the clock. This is because of the internet and the fast pace of competition push for constant customer engagement. It does benefit companies since it allows for more sales and production. But it can be a challenge to convert your business into this model. Here are some things you can do to ensure that your company survives the transition into a 24-hour a day operation.
Be Smart About Shifting Schedules
One important tool that you can use for covering all 24 hours of the day is having a shifting schedule of workers. There is a day shift that comes in during the usual work hours, a night shift to cover the night, and a swing shift to handle the transition. You then have a choice of using a fixed schedule, with employees assigned to specific shifts for as long as they want to, or a rotating schedule, with work teams moving through various shifts.
It sounds simple, but you also have to consider what your workers want. No one wants always to be working on the weekends or at night. Meet with your workers and ask them about what they want when it comes to scheduling. One important factor is how you will handle days off. It might surprise you at how willing some people are to take more hours if they can have more days off. For example, employees who take 12-hour shifts can double the number of their days off in a year. Consult with your employees and give them a variety of options. You might choose to offer longer shifts in exchange for skipping days of work, or you can still offer the standard shifts.
It would be best if you also took note of how this will affect your staffing costs. You might only be able to afford to hire a few people. Going on a shifting schedule can double or even triple your labor costs. Creative scheduling can help lower the expense.
You also don’t have to do everything on your own completely. You might consider outsourcing all of your 24-hour services with your core staff only working normal office hours. For example, customer support and sales call center services are great options for smaller businesses. These are the two main things that you want active, even when most parts of your business close up for the night. Instead of building your team, you can outsource them for a fraction of the cost.
They are also great when you have foreign customers. Outsource your dealing with them by hiring a point person for each region or country. This allows you to have local expertise helping you out. When you get into the office in the morning, you can immediately contact them for specific updates.
Besides the human factor, your company should also think about automation. Today’s software is complex enough to handle simple tasks. Their advantage is that they don’t get tired and they don’t cost you much. The best example of how this could help you is an e-commerce website. A website is fully automatic and accepts orders from customers all day, every day. This means a constant stream of income from people dropping by the site and making planned purchases and impulse buys.
Besides a web store, your website can also have a customer service chatbot. These are great alternatives to normal customer service. Instead of a human being, customers are given a set of choices and are given canned responses. If the chatbot cannot address the customer’s specific concerns, they then forward the customer to the normal customer support lines. This can be very effective at cutting down all those simple customer service complaints and allow your people to focus on the important things.
Automation also helps maximize your people’s time. There are various time-saving production apps out there. That makes it so that your people get to do more during their shift. For example, there are concentration apps that ensure your people focus on their job. This is a specific concern since people might not be at their best during late-night shifts. With automation, your workers can also perform better in the long run.
Going 24/7 is a major move for any business. Some of it can be simple, like setting up an automated website. More complex issues like proper scheduling can be a concern. If you want to be ready for the challenges of going 24/7, then you need to do your research and make the right preparations.