The Difference Between Availability and Requests

In many restaurants, retail businesses, and other industries, staff members are required to work with two different concepts for work preferences:

Availability is when employees are normally available to work. For example, an employee may be available on Monday, Wednesday, or Friday from 8am – 2pm. Perhaps that employee is not available to work on Tuesdays or Thursdays because of school conflicts, or another job. Availability is commonly updated on a continuous basis (school semesters are common), and are filled out by staff members.

Requests are normally one-time changes to your staffs’ normal availability. For example, an employee may be available next Tuesday to work, because their professor canceled class. In many locations, requests are placed in some sort of log book – either an industry specific manager log (such as a Red Book from Red Book Solutions or a Beat Yesterday book) or a simple spiral notebook or binder.

TimeForge supports both types of work preferences from a single Availability & Requests page. Recurring requests can be be made within TimeForge, similar to an Availability sheet and individual daily Requests can also be made within TimeForge.

The “Availability and Requests” page.

TimeForge supports 4 different types of Availability and Requests to enable staff members to easily customize their work schedule.

- Wants to work: If an employee would like to work a particular shift, for example on a day that works well with their schedule, they should create a Wants to work request.

- Available to work: By default, employees are always available to work, and can be scheduled to work. They should create either Wants to work, Does not want to work, or Unavailable to work requests to change their availability.

- Does not want to work: These requests indicate that the employee would prefer to not work, but can work if required.

- Unavailable to work: If an employee cannot work, an Unavailable to work request will ensure that they are not placed on the schedule during this time frame.

Staff requests and changes to availability are sent to the management team for approval, and once approved the employee will be notified through TimeForge and by email (if an email account is set up).

heartWhat some of our clients have to say ...

We are one year into it now, well past being enamored with the newness. We are married to TimeForge. It's as essential to us now as any of our management tools today, and we very happy about that.- Steve @ Hermosa Cyclery
We really like the program so far. I know that it is geared towards restaurants, but we are a real estate company and we love it because it is inexpensive and it is so easy to use.- Nicole @ Exit Premier Realty
The Timeforge scheduling system has not only increased our efficiency tremendously; decreased the errors in what is normally an error prone environment; it has also saved us ten times what it costs us each month.- Michael @ Tiara Cafe
I would highly recommend TimeForge to anyone making work schedules. ... What used to take 1-2 hours, now takes 15 minutes. The reports section is comprehensive and useful.- Lawrence Payne @ Mid Pacific Country Club
I've been really pleased with this latest version of TimeForge. I'm really getting familiar with this program and its become a great time saver! Keep up the good work!- Loren @ Fresh Produce
Before using TimeForge, creating a schedule took 2 hours. With TimeForge, it takes less than 10 minutes.- Gail @ Kerr Drug

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The best tools available for managing labor in the retail, restaurant, food-service, and hospitality industries. Includes applicant tracking, time management, employee scheduling, payroll, and other labor management tools.

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