This article includes:
- Ways to use extended business hours to maximize income and minimize close contact
- How to use block shifts, staggered shifts, and rotating shifts to maintain social distancing while covering peak business hours
- What business owners need to know about scheduling after COVID-19
- How Vagaro can help you make the most of every hour you’re open—safely
Great news—your state has set a date for your salon or spa to reopen! There are a lot of changes to navigate, and one of the biggest is how you schedule appointments. For the beauty industry, time management is always important, but even more so after your reopening. Not only will you need to figure out how many staff and clients can safely be in your business at once, but you’ll need to figure out how to build in buffer times for disinfection. Let’s look at some easy ways for you to create a schedule that works for your employees and clients, while protecting their health!
Extended Hours of Operation
Extending your daily and weekly hours of operation is the best way to accommodate other scheduling changes, such as staggered or rotating shifts, core days, alternating days, or extra shifts. Here are 3 ways to extend hours:
Example 1: Add additional working days to your schedule. If your usual hours of operation are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday – Saturday, extend business hours to 7 days a week. This provides your business 16 additional hours every week to stagger or rotate shifts.
Example 2: Provide extended hours. If your usual hours of operation are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday – Saturday, extend working hours from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. This provides your business 20 additional hours every week to stagger or rotate shifts.
Example 3: Add additional working days and extended hours to your schedule. If your usual hours of operation are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday – Saturday, extend business hours to 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., 7 days a week. This provides your business 36 additional hours every week to stagger or rotate shifts.
How to Use Block Shifts, Staggered Shifts, & Rotating Shifts
Block shifts are uninterrupted blocks of time, such as for appointments, live stream sessions, employee breaks, or dedicated sanitation times between clients. Staggered scheduling means that your staff will have different times of arrival and departure with some overlapping hours in their block shift. Rotating shifts are weekly block shifts that rotate between the staff members who work them. Here’s how to use staggered scheduling and rotating shifts to limit the number of people onsite.
Staggered Shifts: For 9 a.m.- 9 p.m. business hours, stagger shifts into blocks of 9 a.m.-3 p.m., 12-6 p.m., 6-9 p.m. and 3-9 p.m. For example:
- Jen and Tasha work 9 a.m. -3 p.m.
- Mark and Amy work 12-6 p.m.
- Rachel and Mike work 3-9 p.m.
- Brenda and Juan work 6-9 p.m.
Staggered arrivals. Allow employees to work in blocks, with minimal overlap between arrivals/departures.
- 9 a.m. Jen and Tasha arrive
- 12 p.m. Mark and Amy arrive
- 3 p.m. Rachel and Mike arrive/ Jen and Tasha depart
- 6 p.m. Brenda and Juan arrive/Mark and Amy depart
- 9 p.m. Rachel, Mike, Brenda, and Juan depart
Rotating Shifts: If your business hours are 9 a.m.- 9 p.m., rotate block shifts of 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. (day shift) and 3- 9 p.m. (evening shift) between employees. For example:
- Jen, Tasha, Amy and Mark work the day shift on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays
- Juan, Brenda, Rachel, and Mike work the evening shift on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.
Core and Rotation Shifts. A core shift is one that remains consistent from week to week, while other block shifts rotate.
- Amy’s core shift is Saturday 9 a.m.- 3 p.m.
- During the week, her block shifts rotate Mon-Wed-Fri or Tue-Thurs.
What Business Owners Need to Know About Scheduling After COVID-19
To figure out the best scheduling for your business, first, you’ll need to estimate the workload by hour of day and day of the week. That way, you can project when your business needs the greatest number of staff working, and which days and shifts can be scheduled lighter.
The easiest way to predict how much coverage you’ll need is to use Vagaro’s reporting tools. Combined sales reports, transaction reports, and employee reports will help you identify the days of the week you’re busiest, the times of day that need the most coverage, and the employees best suited for each staggered or rotating shift. Here’s how to use reports to schedule according to the coverage you need!
Example 1: Your spa is open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. with the busiest time in the afternoon from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. To cover all bases you can schedule two 8-hour shifts (9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 9 p.m.) That way there is a shift overlap from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., ensuring the greatest coverage for the busiest period.
Example 2: Your salon is open 7 days a week, and busier on Friday and Saturday than the rest of the week. Sundays and Mondays the workload is the lightest, with average appointments scheduled Tuesday through Thursday. Schedule your salon core shifts for Fri-Sat, using either staggered shifts or block shifts. Then, schedule the fewest employees on Sun-Mon and a median number of employees Tues-Thurs.
Scheduling is Tough—Vagaro Makes it Easier
Whether you’re extending hours or staggering shifts, it can be tough to figure out how to make the most of your reopening schedule. Vagaro makes it easy to plan out the best way to create scheduling blocks ensuring your business has adequate coverage during the busiest times and still adheres to social distancing recommendations. From reports to scheduling blocks and everything in between, our tools help you maximize your workhours and minimize the number of staff and customers in your business at the same time.
Your customers have been waiting for you — get ready for them with Vagaro’s powerful scheduling tools! Allow your clients to book their appointments online and provide them with contactless check-in at arrival for the ultimate clean salon experience!
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