Stop Planning Your Attendance on Excel!

BY Jules Dalmacio Articles

Stop Planning Your Attendance on Excel!

You’ve read the title; chances are, you’re reading this because you’re an HR for a company whose employees are constantly changing schedules. Two other reasons why you might continue reading are because one,  you’ve gotten good at using Excel for schedules that it’s EVERYTHING you do now or two, you keep getting nagged by both management and employees alike about how the schedule “could be better.”

Whether you’re now stuck doing just schedule planning on excel or getting complaints way too often, we have some news for you: it’s not your fault.

We’ve listed down some of the most common problems we hear from HRs who still do scheduling on Excel. Read on and see how many of them you can relate to.

Time Guzzler 

A lot of companies are opting for flexible attendance options especially for industries that require round-the-clock operations. While this is a dream come true for employees, this could be nightmarish for HR. So many things go into scheduling attendance like ensuring there’s always skeletal workforce on the field, or coordinating schedules to managers. 

When you’re creating schedules on Excel, that’s all you’ll be doing—creating schedules. Planning schedules on Excel takes so much of your time: from the manual entry of data, calibrating or creating formulas, and checking and rechecking if you got all the data right. It could eat up 4-6 hours of work and that’s if you do it error-free.

No Overview

If Excel is where you  build your schedule, that’s it—that’s the user Interface. That’s how you’ll look at the planned attendance schedule: names with a lot of numbers and letters next to them. While you can filter data, that’s about it when it comes to how much overview you can have over the whole attendance plan.

There’s no visualization or interpretation of the attendance plan. You don’t get to see any schedule overlap easily unless you go through them one by one. You don’t have an “at a glance” of unfilled times. Since Excel is just walls of letters and numbers, it’s easy to get lost in the data. 

Collaboration is a Headache

Have you ever had to create a complete schedule only to have it returned completely different? When it comes to Excel, there’s almost little capacity on how you can coordinate and collaborate with data on the same file. Even if you’re using Google Sheets, you may only share the sheet to people directly involved in creating attendance plans. Since attendance plans are sensitive information, you may only share snippets of the attendance to specific teams at a time in the forms of screenshots, among others.

If you can get lost in the attendance data, then bank on the fact that employees looking at it will find some of the elements confusing from time to time too. They’ll ask questions, make comments, and expect revised screenshots—all of which could be prevented with a system that can schedule and push out attendance information collaboratively but in confidence.

The Most Inflexible Tool for Flexible Schedules

If you’re working for a company with flexible work schedules AND using Excel to create the attendance plan, we’d assume that it’s all you do because it’s so tedious and cumbersome. If employees are shifting schedules on a daily basis, you’ll be buried in creating just attendance plans. 

Even on a weekly arrangement, you have to collate the shifts, check for overlap and unmanned slots, collaborate conflicts, and then create an attendance plan before mid-week so that it can be reviewed and approved before the week ends. If you’re lucky, it gets approved by Thursday. On a bad week, you’re still ironing out the schedule Friday after hours.  

Excel looks and feels the way it functions—rigid. You need a system that’s built with the best use of your time in mind, and is as flexible as you need.

Scheduling that Works for YOU

You shouldn’t be knee-deep in employee scheduling; even complex shifts should be simple to create, and easy to track. With Salarium, you can create almost any type of work schedule like flexitime, split shifts, and any other custom schedule that your business needs. You can even track grace periods, under time, over breaks and more. Stop working on Excel; start making Salarium work for you.

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