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Companies That Have Achieved Results With 24-hour Staffing

September 1, 2000
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Related Topics: Work/Life Balance, Ergonomics and Facilities, Featured Article
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Hereare a few examples of companies that have experimented with 24-hour staffing.
  • The Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railway Company is taking the uncertainty out ofits employees’ lives by implementing a system of assigned rest days. By guaranteeingblocks of three or four days when employees can tell their families that the phone’snot going to ring, the company is giving them the opportunity to plan activities withoutfear of unexpected interruptions. The railroad has implemented this new schedulingpractice on 70 of its work lists and is currently expanding the program. The new plan hasbeen “very well accepted,” according to a railroad spokesperson.


  • Rotating shifts allow all employees to enjoy the benefits of working the day shift atleast part of the month. But rotating shifts also require employees to adjust toever-changing sleep patterns and social disruptions. At its DePere, Wisconsin, plant,International Paper has addressed the problem by extending the length of its shifts from 8to 12 hours. Although they have to work longer at a stretch, employees are rewarded with agenerous number of days off. The typical schedule runs four days on, two off, three on,three off, three on, four off, with a total of only 190 days spent at work annually.International Paper reports “much higher” employee satisfaction since startingthe program.


  • Sprint Global Connections Services set a goal of reducing turnover at its call centersby 25 percent. To achieve that goal, managers decided to “lighten up a littlebit.” They introduced big-screen television sets, popcorn poppers, bingo, and chickendancing to the workplace. For the employees stuck on the overnight shift, pajama partiesand disco nights are not uncommon. Sprint reports that it met its goal of reducingturnover while still meeting monthly efficiencies and goals.


Workforce, September 2000, Vol. 79, No. 9,  p. 42 -- Subscribe now!

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