11 Annoying Scheduling Issues & Easy Solutions

10 min read

Dealing with last-minute scheduling problems can wreak serious havoc on your business and employees in more ways than one.

From employee disengagement to financial loss, the consequences are long-term.

As much as you can’t control the unpredictable nature of scheduling changes from taking place, you can learn how to minimize their impact and react accordingly.

Here are 11 annoying scheduling problems and solutions for each:  

1. No Shows & Absenteeism Without Backups

Problem and Issue

Did you know that unscheduled absenteeism in the workplace can cost you an estimated $3,600 per year per hourly worker?

Another fun fact: slightly more than 52% of absenteeism isn’t related to illness.

Understanding the core drivers behind it, such as low employee morale, high disengagement and lack of flexibility in the workplace goes a long way in decreasing it in the first place.

In fact, companies with high morale had one-third less absenteeism than those with low morale.

Numerous studies including one from Gallup reveal how employee disengagement has a strong correlation to absenteeism. 


Once you get the core drivers under check, an actionable way to manage no-shows is by creating a standby pool.

In other words: Create a small group of highly flexible employees who act as a standby solution and can jump in (pun intended) at a moment’s notice to fill a shift.

These pools can include part-time employees, contingent workers, and even full-time employees that seek overtime opportunities.

With Evolia, you can easily assign shifts to standby employees and be notified when they accept it.

Alternatively, if you have a qualified employee in mind, you can reassign a shift directly to them.

By automating the time-consuming task of finding the optimal employee to fill a last-minute shift you can get back to growing your business.

2. Changes in Shift Availabilities 

Problem & Issue

Whether an employee falls ill or needs to change their work shift due to personal reasons, it falls back on you, the manager, who needs to think on their feet and react accordingly.

The hourly workforce is a scheduling puzzle. Filling shifts on the fly is not only stressful for the employer but disruptive to the workforce as a whole.

Trying to find the right employee at the right time while focusing on your bottom line is key.


Instead of dealing with the annoying back and forth of finding a suitable replacement, why not empower employees to take charge of their own schedules instead?

More specifically: Swap shifts with one another in real-time.

You can choose the degree of flexibility you want to give by deciding whether to approve the swap as well. 

With customizable rules in place, employees can communicate and swap shifts with one another directly on their mobile devices using a smart scheduling platform like Evolia.


More flexibility = less employee absenteeism = a more productive workforce.

3. Not Keeping Everyone in the Loop of Unpredictable Scheduling Changes

Problem and issue

Keeping everyone in the loop of scheduling changes isn’t always easy. Having to text or call employees to notify them of changes in their schedules is not only time-consuming but costly as well. 


An easier and less time-consuming solution would be to use an employee scheduling platform that automatically notifies employees (via their method of choice) of any changes that affect their scheduling.

Whether it be through push notifications or email, a workforce management solution like Evolia takes care of the heavy lifting for you by keeping all your employees in the loop.

That way, any changes in rotating shifts (like in manufacturing workforce management) don’t go unnoticed and are properly aligned with each of your departments and production lines.

Additionally, employees across different departments can communicate directly with one another with their mobile devices via the user-friendly messaging platform.

Making sure you are effectively scheduling your staff will save you countless headaches down the road.

4. Disorganized / Use of Paper Schedules

Problem and issue

Manually building schedules on paper or excel may seem practical at first.

But in reality, all the shift changes can feel like a never-ending scheduling puzzle. From last-minute replacements to no-shows, having to manually make all the changes yourself can get messy and take up a lot of time away from your day.


Using an automated scheduling system like Evolia can save time and streamline the process in more ways than one.

From creating your custom rules to finding the right employee at the right time for open shifts to automating replacements, a workforce management solution simplifies the process.

5. Employee Shortage for the Schedules

Problem & Issue

Employee shortages can occur for a variety of reasons – employee turnover, staff vacations, or employee unavailability. 

Whatever the explanation, being short on staff can cause serious issues for your operations and place stress on staff that have to work with less support. 


The further in advance you create your schedules, the sooner you’ll become aware of any shortages, giving you ample time to ensure there are enough staff members working at any given time. 

For example, when scheduling nurses in healthcare, decide which shift pattern best accommodates your staff while ensuring you have sufficient support. 

If the employee shortages are last-minute, employ  Evolia’s absence management software to find a suitable replacement at short notice.  

6. Navigating complicated and multiple time off, sick days or vacation requests

Problem & Issue

Picture the scene. You’re sitting in your office drawing up next month’s schedules when employee after employee comes into the office requesting time off across various days.

The phone’s ringing with staff members calling in sick, and there simply aren’t enough post-it notes to keep track of it all. 

Navigating multiple time-off requests at once while trying to please everyone can feel impossible, not to mention taking up significant time in your work day. 


The more tasks you can automate and the fewer you perform manually, the better.

If you’re unsure which employees can cover others’ vacation days or sick days, try Evolia’s replacement management software.

The tool uses pre-defined tools to find a suitable replacement for a shift, so you don’t have to lift a finger. 

To activate a replacement request, simply approve employee absences. Evolia will take care of the rest.  

And for the other tasks, there is a task management tool to help you streamline all other tasks. 

7. Unfair or unequal shift scheduling

Problem & Issue

All too often, scheduling focuses only on filling shifts, and not enough on making sure everybody gets a fair slice of the pie.

Creating unbalanced schedules that favor particular employees runs the risk of unbalanced workloads, excess overtime payments, and complaints of favoritism. 

Not to mention half of your workforce will end up burnt out, while the rest feel like they aren’t reaching their full potential. 


You need to prioritize schedules that aren’t only practical, but fair, too, by taking the needs of every staff member into account. 

To create fair work schedules, give employees adequate notice when publishing a new schedule, accommodate time-off requests when possible, and distribute shifts evenly across the workforce. 

Open communication is key, so if you can’t accommodate a worker’s preferences, explain why and let them know in advance, instead of scheduling them when they’ve requested time off without explanation. 

8. Overuse of Overtime

Problem & Issue

When a few employees are always willing to take on more shifts, it’s easy to rely on them for everything.

That sounds like a good idea until you see your monthly payroll bill! 

The more overtime your employees work, the higher your labor costs, and with labor costs consistently rising, it’s never been more important to trim your overtime bill.  

Not only does excessive overtime involve unnecessary spending, but giving overtime to certain employees at the expense of others can cause resentment and envy in the team – something to avoid at all costs. 


Keeping track of employee time and attendance using a workforce management platform like Evolia allows you to keep on top of who’s working when most easily. If you notice that a few staff members are working overtime while others barely get a shift, revisit the schedule. 

Having employees clock in and out using a mobile time clock helps to keep your records accurate, meaning you’ll never pay out more overtime than your employees actually work.

9. Unexpected Employee Turnover

Problem & Issue

Employee turnover is difficult (and costly) to deal with at the best of times, but it’s even more challenging when resignations happen unexpectedly.

If an employee quits out of the blue or multiple employees resign in quick succession, you can be left with gaping holes in your staffing schedule. 

This is especially problematic in sectors like manufacturing, where shortages can slow down production lines and cause unwanted bottlenecks.  


The more automation you can involve in your scheduling system, the better equipped you’ll be to deal with employee turnover – expected or otherwise. 

With smart scheduling and replacement management technology that uses employee preferences to fill gaps in schedules, you’ll be able to fill last-minute shifts automatically. 

Another benefit of tools for scheduling employees in manufacturing is they improve productivity and reduce staff turnover,  minimizing your chance of having shortages in the first place.  

10. Management Miscommunications

Problem & Issue

When you’re working in a busy hospital or factory, it’s difficult to schedule face-to-face meetings. And with such little time to spend responding to long-winded emails, communication can fall by the wayside.  

This lack of communication can cause serious problems, especially when it comes to scheduling shifts. 

If somebody in management believes another member of staff has finalized the schedules but they haven’t, that means a last-minute rush to fill empty shifts. 


The solution is to make communication as straightforward and friction-free as possible. With Evolia’s easy-to-use messaging system, you can send instant messages and share documents with coworkers at the touch of a button. 

Need to update multiple people at once? No problem. Use team-based messages to create group chats and town halls to communicate with an entire team. 

11. Spending Hours Managing Schedule Changes

Problem & Issue

Every HR professional or team manager knows the drill. You sit for hours with a pen and paper filling out next week’s schedules, only for a staff member to come in halfway through and tell you they’re no longer available for the scheduled shifts.

Cue hours of scribbling out and swapping shifts until half a day later, you’ve got a working schedule. For now, anyway.

Spending hours managing scheduling changes just isn’t feasible for a working professional with other important tasks that need prioritizing. 


Luckily, the solution is simple. With a scheduling app, you can save yourself crucial time by creating a schedule that both fulfills your staffing needs and keeps employees happy by honoring their preferences.  

From automated invitations based on your priority order to shift swapping, Evolia’s smart scheduling features allow you to build a schedule that works for everyone at the click of a button. 





Scheduling problems are bound to happen now and then, but keeping them to a minimum helps you reduce labor costs, minimize absenteeism, and create a healthier, happier workforce. 

The good news is, many of the common workplace scheduling issues can be solved with the help of technology and automation. 

Whether it’s reducing the need for overtime using accurate time and attendance tracking or making the most of an innovative messaging system to avoid management miscommunication, the fewer tasks you rely on doing manually, the more streamlined your operations will be. 

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