In the olden days, you could schedule work by scribbling jobs onto an office whiteboard for everyone to see. This approach worked when everyone was office-based and you could figure out schedules together.
But modern workforces are more remote and employees are increasingly tech-savvy, so an office-whiteboard is no longer the most effective way to schedule jobs with your team.
- Companies are exploring more remote ways of working. But remote-working brings new scheduling challenges
Since the Covid-19 pandemic, companies are exploring alternative ways of working. 54% favour a more remote approach instead of office-based working. . But if you're considering a remote-working approach, make sure you have the right systems. Scheduling jobs for a remote workforce can be very challenging if you're trying to work it out manually.
- Don't try to schedule jobs manually. Schedule jobs using your surveying software; it'll free up your administrator's time and mental load
Efficient scheduling is tricky. You need to keep many variables in your head; which surveyors are available that day, where are they at that time, and are they qualified to complete the work? Rather than trying to calculate everything manually, use software to schedule jobs, and free up your administrator's time in the process.
- Track unscheduled job opportunities so you don't forget to follow up with potential clients
I once spoke to an asbestos surveying company who lost £30k of potential work because they forgot about it — an easy mistake to make when you're busy. To prevent opportunities from being lost, track unscheduled jobs using your asbestos reporting software or a CRM system.
- Use Google Street View to find parking/building information when the job details are vague. It'll save headaches on-site
When your client hasn't provided much information about the building or access information, use Google Street View to take a peek before travelling to site. This pre-planning can save you time and headaches on-site.
- Schedule jobs way in advance and group jobs geographically to maximise your profits
Schedule jobs way in advance, so you can slot in other local jobs to increase profits. Large companies; you can take this one step further by using route planning software to figure out the best vehicle routes and job times (don't try to figure this out manually, vehicle route planning for fleets is one of the hardest mathematical problems in the world).
- Does scheduling feel like chaos? Stop putting an band-aid on the problem by hiring more resource planners. Invest in better technology to solve the underlying problems
When scheduling gets tough, many companies throw more staff at the problem. But having lots of resource planners it's a red-flag that your technology is outdated. Scheduling is a complex problem that's best solved by computer algorithms, not humans. Upgrading your technology will free up staff for other admin tasks.
- Avoid scheduling jobs (or admin) on Friday afternoons so staff can unwind from work
Here's a tip from one of our clients: Don't schedule jobs or admin on Friday afternoons when your team should be starting to unwind. It damages staff morale and company culture. And certainly don't schedule work out of hours (evenings, weekends, etc) — it's not fair to intrude on your team's personal time and it promotes toxic work habits.
- Plan extra time for admin work – everyone forgets this. Try blocking out a fixed timeslot every week
Most people remember to schedule jobs. But they forget to schedule time for the admin needed afterwards. Try to plan enough time per week or month for admin-related tasks. This could be a fixed timeslot on a specific day of the week.