Category Archives: Planning

Par Alice T. | 20 June 2022

A Digital Shift for the Health Care System With Timesphere

A Digital Shift for the Health Care System With Timesphere

Recently, the Quebec government announced it was undertaking the restructuring of our health care system. The government’s strategy involves 50 key components. We looked at the details and have some concerns, and thought we could share them with you.

But how can we play a role alongside hospitals to guide them on a healing path?

The Importance of the Application of the Collective Agreement

Obviously, improving work organization is of central importance in this demanding and exhausting sector of activity. Any improvements leading to a better work-life balance will require sound management of work schedules, in full compliance with the business rules of the collective agreement.

Take Sonia, for example, who can’t come to work today because her daughter has caught some type of virus and she has to keep her at home. Leonard, the secretary, has been informed of this and will immediately get to work to try to find a replacement. He will have to spend hours on the phone before finding the right person (equivalent skills) to replace her… What a pain!

So, if the hospital where Sonia and Leonard are employed worked with the assistance of an automated scheduling software, their mental load would be lightened, because a high-performance algorithm would be taking care of all this, while respecting the rules of their collective agreement. This affliction can be simply cured!

A Real Pain Reliever: Timesphere

We said it before, Timesphere is the perfect remedy to no longer live with the “burden” of arranging and managing employee schedules, because it is all automated. In short, our software:

• Optimizes employee schedules in real time and actively avoids scheduling errors in care units;
• Automates the task of scheduling and facilitates managing replacements, while respecting the rules of your collective agreement. No more mistakes!
• Allows auctioning off shifts while respecting all clauses, by permitting those who want to work to take the shift and others to be at home. This makes reconciling their personal life and their professional life possible. Schedules are done automatically following a query (and that, believe us, removes a huge administrative burden while adding to the happiness of employees);
• A perfect employee portal: effective communication between the employer and the staff, instant access to timesheets and schedules, special features including the possibility of submitting requests for vacation time, days off … all bundled in this easy-to-use software!

No more scheduling errors, no more stress of not being able to take time off, no more hassles over emergency replacements… To ensure the effective management of health care personnel, there is Timesphere — the schedule generator and automated scheduling software.

Par Alice T. | 7 April 2022

When technology is as effective as two years of therapy

When technology is as effective as two years of therapy

Stress… What an unpleasant feeling. It’s a bit like winter. We live with it, but we could all do without it, at least some of it, like when we’re subjected to the inconvenience that comes with cold weather! A stress-free work environment can only make employees happy, and consequently equate to a higher retention rate. But how? Sonia Lupien, a doctor in neuroscience and Director of the Centre of Studies on Human Stress (CSHS), which is affiliated with the University of Montréal, says that she has found several types of stress-related triggers that organizations can eliminate or at least reduce to a minimum.

Here are some of them.



Many unforeseen events lead to last-minute schedule changes, and managers are well aware of that. Schedules need to be quickly rearranged and need to take into account the terms and conditions of any collective agreement that is in place. Between you and me, this can drive anyone mad, and let’s not forget the stress it creates. You’ve been hit with a double whammy! A mistake can prove costly, and no one wants to take responsibility for it. Fortunately, using an automated scheduling system, and its shift auction function, eliminates this unnecessary stress regardless of the reason given by the absentee… Whew!


Loss of control

We can’t deny that a lack of control over our decisions can be stressful. We all remember our first time skating, right? Well, our software provides employees and managers with powerful tools that give them full control: they can exchange shifts, request time off and the scheduling system ensures compliance with the terms of the collective agreement. If only these types of tools had existed to help us out the first time we stepped onto the ice with our skates, we wouldn’t have made such fools of ourselves!


The novelty factor

For employees, novelty often triggers a sense of apprehensiveness and, almost unavoidably, will lead to moments of stress. We are ourselves a part of this novelty, and we know what our scheduling software can do. We also know that support is important and can reduce the stress level associated with new technologies. That’s why we take care of software installation at our clients’ place of business and we can be contacted 24-7. We never leave our client before we know they’ve understood absolutely everything; it’s so important. No more unnecessary stress.


No more favouritism!

Some managers may have favourites, which can pose some issues of inequality. This situation can cause conflicts between the employees who are perceived as favourites and those who are not. Whether it’s when the system is drawing up a schedule or when someone has decided to take some time-off, our algorithms treat everyone in the organization fairly; it’s all about skills and availability and all the terms and conditions that apply. Goodbye favourites, hello fairness!

Stress can be reduced in a business environment with the most powerful employee scheduling software. And I name … [drum roll please]… Timesphere.

Par Alice T. | 21 March 2022

Be in Luck!

Be in Luck!

Yes! This month, we go green and chance our luck. We enjoy the company of our friends and family and we get in touch with our willing accomplices and we celebrate! Some Patricks or Patricias of this world may also need an extra day off, just so that they can come back to work well rested from the merrymaking.

And for those special occasions, Timesphere, or “TP” for those in the know, becomes your best friend. TP deals with the planning of employee schedules, because yes, you’re not dreaming, an automated scheduling system that takes into account collective agreements, does exist.

The Employee Portal: The Key to Happiness

Patrick and Patricia are in luck! On this festive day, Timesphere dons its shamrock covered hat and knots its four-leaf clover bow tie and quickly steps in and allows Patrick and Patricia to exchange their shifts with their colleagues Laurent and Laurence, who are not really fond of parades and bar crawling. And if you believe in luck, well, not only does the portal provide access to schedules and timesheets and facilitates communication with management, but employees can also send requests for time off, they can auction shifts or, in Patrick’s and Patricia’s case, exchange shifts with colleagues.

Sounds crazy? Timesphere does it all. All functions are gathered in one place and accessible directly from your mobile phone.

Everyone Wins With Timesphere

Whatever your line of business or the level of complexity of you structure, Timesphere is a 100% tailor-made lucky charm that will stand by your side to help you take up the task of managing your employees’ schedules.   And this, while respecting the provisions of all collective agreements. If that’s not a miracle, what is?! You have plenty of reasons to smile when you find such luck and your employees will be smiling too thanks to automated work schedules and a great work environment.

One last thing…

Timesphere is to be consumed without moderation and comes with a no hangover guarantee! The optimization of activities and the personal and professional growth of your employees is just like finding a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow.

So let’s toast to that!

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!


Par | 18 January 2022

Making Good Resolutions for 2022

Making Good Resolutions for 2022

These past months have disrupted the world of work. Our employees, however, have shown a remarkable adaptability to the greatest challenges and many employers went ahead and modernized their equipment to allow teleworking.

Digital tools have played an integral role in facilitating our day-to-day activities and in simplifying our work tasks. Let’s build on this momentum and improve the labour market in 2022.


This year, more than ever, we must treat health as a priority. Now is the time to take measures towards the adoption of preventive practices which focus on the mental and physical health of our employees by giving them some time (even paying them although they are not on the production line).


Let’s focus on our employees by accommodating young families or by allowing them to incorporate sporting activities into their routine. In addition to being a great form of recognition, it’s a winning arrangement that fosters organizational culture, boosts productivity and builds a sense of loyalty among employees.



We now know that happiness has an impact on health and on job performance. As a matter of fact, we talk about it in our article on happy employees. For 2022, let’s find the means to put in place systems to cultivate happiness among employees and improve staff retention:


  • Review benefit packages (insurance, RRSPs, etc.);
  • Offer the possibility to work flexible hours;
  • Consent to hybrid work arrangements (telework);
  • Simplify management processes;
  • Automate arduous and repetitive tasks.


If happiness lies in simple things, let’s bring our employees some happiness by making their lives easier. Why not look at using a scheduling software? In addition to conduce to the happiness of employees, it will simplify schedule management by automating administrative tasks.



The growth of our organization is closely associated with the sense of accomplishment of our employees. Let’s make sure they develop their full potential in a work environment that provides an ideal balance between professional and personal goals. The fulfillment of each employee should be at the heart of our decisions. Let’s:


  • Share our vision;
  • Offer challenging career plans that are in tune with the times;
  • Throw challenges that are interesting, exciting and meaningful;
  • Include employees in business development;
  • Modernize the way we do things and upgrade our equipment and our technological tools.


If it’s time for some new year resolutions, we must remember that health should be taken care of preventively, that the source of happiness lies in little everyday things, that prosperity rhymes with sustainability and that all these aspects help maintain balance.


Let’s look after each other and give ourselves the means to simplify our everyday life.

Par Alice T. | 8 June 2021

Vacation leave

Vacation leave

Did you say vacation? A time of absolute relaxation, a total break from daily routines. Don’t we all look forward to getting some time off?

For people in charge of managing schedules and replacements, any request for time off can be a source of stress. Finding replacements can be challenging; finding someone to supervise them even more. Will rules be strictly followed? Will everyone comply with overtime guidelines? Will the overtime log be properly maintained? For example, when David leaves for his holiday, and you need to shift around three employees at the same time based on competency and seniority, will all rules be followed?

Planning and reorganizing during this crucial period must often be done quickly, usually within the same time frame allotted for regular schedule planning.

So here is the solution: automatically generated employee schedules. It’s our little miracle! Our software automates the scheduling process while taking into account collective agreement terms and conditions, overtime, trading of shifts between employees, all requirements really.

So when David comes back to work, he won’t believe it, for his manager will also be relaxed since they too took some holidays because they had the time to do so.

It’s now your time to take a break from managing employee schedules!


Par Timesphere | 5 February 2021

Time Smarts

Time Smarts

As a young boy, whenever I found myself in the family living room, I used to love watching the long hand of our wall clock mark the passage of time. Sometimes, I would even witness the subtile movement of the hour hand. Geez, how slow and unhurried it was, I thought to myself. I was not aware at that time that the modest distance travelled by this little hand was in fact equal to the 3,600 rotations the long hyperactive sweep hand had valiantly completed. Without knowing, an extraordinary spectacle, that was going to change the rest of my life, was taking place right before my very eyes; for this concept of time has never left my side and has defined who I am today.

This notion of time, the time that I will save, but that I will also loose; the time that I will try to divide, that I will try to occupy … that I will try to forget. And the time, one day certainly, I will regret not having taken. What is time other than a nonrenewable resource necessary to our existence that money can’t buy? We cannot enslave it, nor tame it. Time knows how to play with us: we can get caught in its whirligig, but it can also be cut short. We can try to manage it, but always, we remain at its mercy. As Gregory Porter sings: ‘Does life just spin round like the hands of a clock? Are we just pushing time? Or is time pushing us?’

So, what do we do with this time? Firstly, we need to become aware of it. Live intensely as if we were that long sweeping hand, while savouring the present moment at the pace of the hour hand. One must take the time, and when one can, give it too, and even spend it with others. Since everything is relative, a minute can sometimes feel like an eternity, and time can fly when you’re having fun. Be vigilant, creative, live in the present and don’t get caught up in the traps of comfort and conformism.  

Why then, do our systems, businesses, and organizations seem reluctant to take simple actions that could be so beneficial to our collective well-being? We must provide ourselves with the means to achieve our most intrinsic ambitions and live freely. We must eliminate useless constraints by using, for example, an automated employee scheduling software.

Imagine a tool that allows you to respect your collective agreement terms and conditions while allowing the effective management of replacements, and periods of leave… Imagine being in your employees’ shoes, and being able to indicate, with a simple click, your availability and your preferred time-off for your holidays; or as a supervisor, being able to quickly take a look at the hours an employee has worked and control their time.

Imagine yourself enjoying the time that is given to you, feeling at peace. Now that is ‘time smarts’.

Par Timesphere | 18 January 2021

How to survive staff shortages in the healthcare system by using shift bidding

How to survive staff shortages in the healthcare system by using shift bidding 

For many months, employees from the healthcare system have appealed for help over and over again and they are reaching a point of exhaustion. One of the main reasons for this sad situation is the shortage of staff, which makes life difficult for organizations when they have to fill vacant shifts. Not only is it difficult for employees of the healthcare system who feel powerless, but it is also difficult for patients who must face disruptions in services. Can we do things differently and find ways to alleviate the pressure in order to create a collaborative employer/employee environment? 

Even after the introduction of a range of measures such as hiring more staff, upgrading some positions and centralizing callback lists, the situation in our establishments persists. What if shift bidding could help? The effective use of schedule planning tools, by means of an employee portal, enables employers to post and put up at auction vacant shifts, which allows employees to manifest their interest to work an extra shift. For the organization, this process means less calls, provides an effective method of communication, encourages collaboration between the employer and employees, while respecting collective agreement provisions. 

The process is simple: 

  1. By means of an employee portal, the employer posts shifts that are vacant for the coming week. An employer can set the length of time for which a notice is posted (e.g. employees have 24 hours to manifest their interest for a particular shift). 
  2. During this time employees receive notices based on their sphere of competence and known availability and can prioritize the shifts they would like to work.
  3. When the posting period is over, the system crosschecks offers of interest with collective agreement conditions, such as seniority or order of priority, and assigns shifts to employees. 

There are many advantages to this approach. Firstly, the personnel assigned to the callback list will see a significant reduction in the number of calls it needs to make to fill vacant shifts. Facts show that, for a majority of replacement calls made, the use of an employee portal can replace dozens if not hundreds of phone calls. Secondly, employees don’t have to wait for one or more phone calls to know if they are working additional shifts or not. Just with a few clicks, an employee can indicate her or his interest for a particular shift, establish an order of preference and communicate her or his choice to the employer. Lastly, the organization, through an efficient system, ensures full compliance will all collective agreement dispositions and eases the undue pressure on all personnel. At any given time, the organization has a clear picture of what is going on and can increase the focus on its operations. 

The number of shifts up for bid, the bidding window and the offered opportunities can vary. Beyond the bidding function, the employee portal has many other unique and useful capabilities such as an absence request function, a shift exchange function, a current work schedule, and a messaging capability. The system is customizable; all you have to do is configure each function and make the functions accessible to employees. 

An efficient system can facilitate the way work replacements are managed and should be able to adapt to the needs of an organization while taking into account collective agreement provisions and organizational rules.

The crisis that the healthcare system is experiencing is forcing organizations to change their methods. To support other operational functions, such as staff recruitment and work reorganization, an organization must look at ways to create a collaborative employer/employee environment. And that can be done. Not only does our solution allow organizations to save time and money, but alleviates the pressure felt by staff and the healthcare system, a system in dire need of help. 

About the author: Renaud Grimard, M.A.Sc.

Renaud Grimard, who is the founding president of Timesphere, attended Polytechnique Montréal, where he pursued a bachelor’s degree followed by a master’s degree in engineering. He is constantly focused on providing the most complete, simple and technically advanced solution to managing and optimizing employee scheduling systems that the industry has to offer. 

Par Timesphere | 14 December 2020

A proven vaccine

A proven vaccine

The current context of the pandemic has not only exposed the weaknesses in our system, but it has also disrupted our practices. The worldwide Covid-19 crisis has led most employers to reflect upon their priorities and to review their practices.

As an example, just think about the growing phenomenon of telework.

This poses a serious challenge for many employers especially in the area of human resources management. For numerous organizations, this new reality requires that they undergo a structural transformation. Preparing complex work schedules by hand appears to be one of the tasks that demands close examination to avoid errors and to make monitoring activities possible, even from a distance. Any organization wants to prevent errors in resource allocation and remuneration calculation, avoid skill mismatches, budgeted labour cost overruns and poor departmental planning and limit administration and document handling costs.

Timesphere is a leader in the field of automated scheduling systems. It has developed a solution to suppress the troublesome and unfortunate symptoms that occur as a result of completing some tasks by hand. Our product, which can be adapted to your needs and can take into account your reality, will result in savings of time and money, thus allowing you the liberty to focus on operations and to invest saved sums in other initiatives to pursue organizational strategies should you wish to do so.

When you adopt our customizable automated schedule planning system, which can be adapted according to provisions relevant to your organization, you’ll gain significant practical benefits, such as:

  • Recording of hours worked by employees;
  • Managing schedules as per collective agreement provisions;
  • Managing shift exchanges;
  • Planning and managing vacation time … among other operations.

One of the principles of evolution and adaptation requires that one must waste the least amount of resources to reach an objective. Do you embody this principle? Trust us on this. Many of our clients will positively assert that Timesphere has offered them a way to simultaneously buy and save precious time.