New Availability 101: Scheduling Roles

What Humanity’s New Availability Means for You

Yasir Ehsan avatar
Written by Yasir Ehsan
Updated over a week ago


Applies to: Managers, Schedulers, Supervisors, and Admins

When will I get access to the new Availability module?

The Availability module will be enabled for all Humanity customers during the month of August. We’ll announce the exact date of the launch for your organization for two weeks in advance.

What will change for my staff with the new Availability module?

  • Your staff can set, update, and change their availability more precisely and flexibly than ever before. They can set weekly and future availability in one place using one-time and repeating availability slots.

  • Staff members can also add a note for each unavailability slot, which gives you more visibility and helps you make more informed scheduling decisions.

What will change for users with scheduling permissions with the new Availability module?

  • Users with scheduling permissions can customize the availability request and approval process, making it easy to adapt schedules to reflect changes in real-time.

  • Users with scheduling permissions can view availability data for all staff at once in one calendar view, making it easier to avoid understaffing when approving or rejecting requests.

  • Daily summary notification: at the beginning of each day, users with scheduling permissions will receive a notification about the total number of new requests submitted the previous day.

Things to know before the new Availability launch

  • We will transfer one-year’s worth of data, that is, all approved availability requests from the date of the transfer to one year in the future. After the data transfer, you will be able to view and use availability data while creating schedules within ShiftPlanning in the same way as before.

  • What you know today as default weekly availability (i.e. availability that lasts indefinitely) will be converted to a repeating weekly slot with a start and end date.

Note: Your staff’s existing weekly availability will be transferred and applied to every week for one year following the date of the launch. This means that your staff will need to re-submit their weekly availability one year after the launch at the latest. They are also free to delete the existing weekly availability at any time and set up new availability preferences with a different end date.

  • Days set as future availability (exceptions to default weekly availability), will also be transferred for one year following the date of the launch. Your staff will be able to delete these slots if they no longer need them.

  • Past availability records will be available within Reports (Availability Report, Unavailability Report, and Hourly Availability Report). You can view and download the reports for one year following the launch date.

  • The transfer of your existing availability records will take less than an hour. We will conduct the data transfer during off-peak hours (from 12 am to 6 am EST) – so we cause minimal disruption to your business.

You will be notified once the transfer has started via email and in-app communication. Your employees won’t be able to submit or edit their availability during this time — that is, the old Availability will be down. You will be notified as soon as the transfer is complete and the new Availability is enabled for you, again via email and in-app communication.

  • Once your availability data has been transferred and the new Availability module is enabled for your organization, you cannot go back to the old Availability.

How Availability affects my schedule

Availability data will be automatically visible in the ShiftPlanning module, as you’re used to. You can use the Staff Availability view and choose a specific staff member to see their availability status. When you’re creating shifts, available staff members will be pushed to the top of the list, saving you time when assigning shifts. If you accidentally assign a shift to the staff member who is not available, our conflict engine will alert you straight in the schedule. If a staff member changes their availability with 24-hour notice (for example, today for tomorrow), you will be informed immediately so you can adjust the schedule accordingly.

Sneak Peek: How to review, approve and reject unavailability in the new Availability module

Note: You can only approve or reject unavailability slots in Humanity’s web application

  • Your staff members are set as available for work at all times by default. They use the Availability module to set when they’re unavailable for work.

  • You have the option to set up automatic approval for all requests or manage requests individually. Go to Settings > Availability must be approved by management and check the box to enable/disable the setting.

  • In existing Availability, you manage weekly requests and one-time future unavailability. New Availability gives you more flexibility:

  • Week view: One-stop-shop to manage individual requests from each staff member or do bulk approval/rejection for a certain day or week, or for a particular group of staff members

Pro tip: When you estimate that you have too many unavailability requests for one day, you can first reject slots that don’t fit your schedule (based on a staff member’s note or request submission date) and then select all other requests and approve them.

List view: Keep your availability requests neat, so you can approve or reject them as they come.

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