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Online Schedule– Social Media and the Workplace, Almost

December 13th, 2009 No comments

This past week, I returned to work at Applebee’s, after a near five-month layoff. I was met with many changes, most of which were welcome, such as staggered schedules, which cuts down on down time at work, and less side work. But most welcome of the changes were the online scheduling system. After giving the manager our work availability, they send us an email. Once we sign up for the service, which is called “StaffLinQ,” our schedule will appear on screen.

In the past, when the new schedule was posted, we needed to go in to work to see the schedule, or hassle someone who was already working .

stafflinqschedule

We can exchange shifts or pick up new shifts, and all of these changes are monitored by the service. Also, if we try to exchange a shift, it can be approved or disapproved by a manager. Just having the schedule online isn’t a big deal, but this is what the interface looks like. I’ll have shifts next week.

manageprofile

But now, shifts must be exchanged online. When someone wants to give up a shift, he/she will alert everyone through this service. When this happens, we now have the option of receiving a notice via email or text. Or, we can opt not to receive these notices, in which case we will not know there is a shift to be gained.This is good for the people who want to pick up shifts, and also good for the restaurant.

While this isn’t necessarily about literacy per se, it does illustrate the fact that technology is beginning to pervade industries that at first may appear to not need to bother with technology. But an apparatus like this makes it difficult for people to ignore technology. Doing so will affect these people’s ability to pick up extra shifts and make extra money.

I thought about whether this development requires users to develop any new literacy. I’m not sure. I haven’t had the ability to use the service yet, so it may show itself to be more robust than it appears. The most interesting aspect of this is, to me, that communication technologies are being leveraged in a way I never imagined in such a technology-adverse industry.