Air Traffic Controllers play a vital role in keeping the skies safe. Sometimes urgent matters arise that might require taking leave or working extra hours another day. However, to maintain a good work-life balance, it's often best to resort to shift swapping. This way, they can still get their work done without causing stress for themselves, their colleagues, or their roster planners.
What is shift swapping?
Shift swapping is an excellent way for both Air Traffic Controllers and ANSPs to change their schedules without influencing the entire roster. By swapping shifts, Air Traffic Controllers can change their shifts with colleagues with the same licenses and competencies, leading to a more flexible and convenient schedule.
How does rostering automation change shift swapping?
Rostering is still a challenging and time-consuming task for planning managers in any Air Navigation Service Provider (ANSP). Automating this process will make everything work smoothly and improve the rosters. ANSPs can take advantage of modern technology to better manage their resources and improve the quality of their service.
Rostering automation platforms can ease the process of creating requests. For example, SkyRoster platform has five types of requests that can be managed leave, duty, work, off, and swap. All requests can be made easily and need approval with just a few clicks.
How does rostering automation change shift swapping?
Let's see how it works from both ATCOs' and roster planners' perspectives.
Shift swapping from an ATCO perspective
Using a traditional method of rostering, as an Air Traffic Controller, if you need to swap your shift, finding your colleagues with the same qualifications as you and sending emails back and forth to arrange the change is time-consuming. Getting approval from the manager can also be a challenge and frustrating, as they may not be available to respond right away to your request. This can result in a lot of wasted time and effort.
A shift swap in a rostering platform makes it much easier to change your shift. You can simply request a shift swap with one of your colleagues with the same qualifications, and you will be notified of the approval or rejection. This makes it much easier to change your shift, and you can do it from anywhere using the mobile version.
Shift swapping from a Roster Planner perspective
If you created a roster and got a shift swap request from two Air Traffic Controllers three days later, the changes would be made once both employees approved the swap. Of course, that wouldn't be the end of the story. Every change to the spreadsheet schedule would require reprinting tens or hundreds of copies of the roster and redistributing them to your employees.
Rostering automation will make things much easier for you. Each ATCO can request a shift swap with a few clicks after finding easily which colleagues have the same qualifications. The system asks the Roster Planner for final approval if the second ATCO approves it. When a shift swap is approved, it is immediately reflected in all rosters across the platform.
Shift swapping - a good solution for your ANSP’s work-life balance
Manage fatigue better
Because of the nature of their work schedule, ATCOs frequently experience fatigue. Shift swapping is an effective way to combat fatigue. A rostering automation platform like SkyRoster offers an overview of the shifts compatible with the schedules of other ATCOs with the same skills as the one that requested a shift swap. This ensures that employees can find shifts that fit their schedule and avoid working excessive hours.
Save time and money
A big problem is that finding another air traffic controller available to swap shifts can be a time-consuming and tangled task. This is where the shift-swapping comes in. With a few clicks in SkyRoster, Air Traffic Controllers can swap shifts easily with someone with the same qualifications. After the shift swap request, the other party will receive a notification and be able to approve it on the platform. This time can also be translated into cost savings because employees can focus on their important work without wasting time in the process of finding a replacement.
Eliminate or minimize errors
When controllers use the shift swapping functionality, they can be sure that any errors will be eliminated or minimized. There will not be any roster distortion, and the changes will not affect the entire ANSP. The roster manager doesn't need to adjust the modifications to a new schedule and redo it manually. Redoing it manually is a time-consuming and pressure-filled process prone to errors.
Changes in a stress-free manner
Much stress can be reduced because people will no longer need to find and ask the right colleagues to swap shifts with them for an emergency in an old fashion way. They will have access to all information at one screen distance. Even if they are not at work at the time, they can use the platform's mobile version to solve their problems without causing stress to their coworkers or the roster manager.
Flexibility and productivity
ANSPs that allow their employees greater flexibility in their schedule tend to see higher satisfaction and productivity levels. With shift swapping, ATCOs will feel in control of their preferences, know that their ANSP is taking them into account, and are more likely to be engaged and productive.
A final thought
Imagine if only shift-swapping would offer you so many benefits; how much can the SkyRoster platform do for your ANSP to work less for more. Automating your rostering process will be the next step for more balanced rosters. Get SkyRoster!