Manual > "How to" guides for employees > How to swap shifts

How to swap shifts

In Smartplan, users have the possibility to swap shifts with each other. This function is very useful, for example, if you can no longer work an assigned shift due to a conflict with another appointment. You can easily swap shifts not only in the browser version but also via the Smartplan app.

The account admin decides whether a shift swap can be carried out completely independently, i.e. only between the employees concerned, or whether a shift swap requires the approval of an administrator. You can find more detailed information on this in the following help article.

In the course of this article we will look at the following topics:

Note: For clarity reasons, we only use representations from the web application (browser). However, the procedures in the web and app versions are identical and differ only in the adapted user interface of the app.

Manage notification settings for shift swaps

If you do not want to miss any update about a shift swap relevant to you, make sure that under 'Settings' > 'Notification settings' you have checked off the option 'Shift swap activity':

In addition, you can define in the notification settings about what and how exactly you would like to be notified. Details on this can be found in the following help article.

Transfer shifts in the rota

Once a rota has been published by an admin, all users can directly interact with it.

If you, as a user, select a day in the rota and click on the shift you would like to swap, the following overview will open:

You can choose between the options 'Hand over shift' and 'Make shift available'. While we will take a closer look at the topic of 'making shifts available' later on in this article, this time I am clicking on the 'Hand over shift' button here.

I, Anne, now have the option to select the person I would like to transfer my shift to from the drop down list:

In my example, I have selected Chris and confirmed the request by clicking on 'Hand over shift'.

A small note: While the procedure in the app is basically the same, after clicking on the desired shift in the rota, you still have to make sure first that the 'Handover' option is selected:

Note: Just because I, as the user, have initiated the shift swap, this does not mean that the swap will take place as desired.

On the one hand, the exchange partner still has to agree to the shift swap, and on the other hand, the approval of an administrator may still be necessary.

This becomes visible when I take a closer look at the shift in the day view:

Here I am not only shown that the shift swap is generally waiting for a response, but it is also highlighted that I am specifically waiting for the confirmation of both Chris and that of an admin in order for the shift handover to come into effect.

The same overview is also available in your user profile: In the overview 'Your shifts' you can keep an eye on the status for all shift swaps initiated by you in the section 'Outgoing shifts':

Transfer shift via user profile

In addition to swapping shifts directly in the rota, you also have the option to initiate a swap in your own user profile - both in the browser and in the app version.

In your user profile, you can select the shift you want to hand over to somebody directly from the overview 'Upcoming shifts'. In this case, it is my shift on 11 October:

You will then be automatically redirected to the respective day view in the rota, where you can transfer your shift to one of your colleagues, exactly as described in the previous chapter.

Confirm or reject incoming shift swap requests

A shift swap always involves two active partners - one person giving away their shift and another person taking over that shift. Let's take a look at how the shift recipient can handle the shift swap.

In my example, after Anne has requested a shift swap, Chris receives a notification about the request.

In your Smartplan account, new notifications are always highlighted on the 'Me' button of the menu, in this case with a red 1:

If I now go to the 'Me' page, I will directly be able to see in the 'Incoming shifts' section for which shift a shift swap was requested and who initiated it:

As you can see in my example, I see that Anne has asked whether Chris can take over her shift on 11 October from 08:00-14:30.

Here I now have the option to either accept or reject the requested shift swap; all I have to do is click on the button 'Accept swap' or 'Reject swap'.

As soon as I have agreed to the shift swap, the approval status is automatically being updated - it is now shown that the shift swap is only waiting for approval by an admin:

The person who wants to hand over the shift receives the same update as well. In this way, he or she is also immediately informed that you have agreed to the swap and only the admin approval is pending.

Note: This example is a shift swap where admin approval is required. If, however, (depending on the settings) we are talking about an independent swap between two employees only, the shift swap would come into effect after the swap partner's approval and the change would be directly reflected in the rota.

Requesting a shift takeover

Not only the person who wants to hand over a shift can initiate the shift swap, but also the recipient. The request for a shift takeover is only possible within a published rota.

If you as a user select a day in the rota and click on the shift you would like to take over, the following overview opens:

In this example, Anne would like to take over a shift from Chris in return for the previously performed shift swap. She is going for Chris' Barista shift on the 13 October.

To send the request for the shift takeover, she only has to click on 'Request to take over shift':

After sending the request, she can track the status of her offered shift takeover in the daily overview of the rota as well as in her own profile:

The rest of the approval process is similar to the process described in the previous chapter (confirming or rejecting swaps).

Set a shift as generally available

In some cases, someone may just want to get rid of his shift without having a specific colleague in mind. Therefore, Smartplan also offers you the possibility to make a shift generally available.

In the daily overview, Anne has the option 'Make shift available' for her shift on 21. October:

Once she has selected this option, she has to confirm her wish once again:

After that, both Anne and her colleagues will be able to identify in the weekly overview by the small blue symbol that she would like to hand over her shift and that other staff members can take it over:

If a colleague of Anne's now opens the rota and selects that day in the week overview, the person can easily take over Anne's shift by clicking on "Take shift":

To sum up: Both when swapping shifts and when making one's own shift "available", the principle applies that one continues to be assigned to a shift until the requested person and, if necessary, an admin has agreed to the shift swap or (in the case of shifts made available) a colleague has been taken over the shift.

Only after all parties involved have agreed, the shift will be assigned to the new person in the rota.

Contact us if you have any questions

If you have any questions about managing shift swaps, please do not hesitate to write to us.

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