Use Shifts to manage work schedules

Overview

Front's Shifts add-on allows admins to easily set shift schedules for your team. Shifts automatically manages when teammates are available to be assigned conversations, so new customer messages aren't missed when shifts change.

Note: Shift settings are only visible to teams who have purchased the Shifts add-on. This can be done in your in-app billing settings.


How it works

Shifts automatically manages teammates' Out of Office status based on their shift schedule, and assignment rules will skip any teammates not on a current shift. New replies from the customer will also trigger conversations to unassign from any teammates not working on the shift, so someone else can follow up.

Support multiple shift schedules

  • Admins can create as many shift schedules for their team as needed. If you have multiple teams in Front, admins can create shifts in each Team.
  • Admins can add teammates to the shift. Teammates can be added to multiple overlapping shifts in a single Team or across multiple Teams. 
  • Each teammate will be able to see a summary view of their shifts in their personal settings, under My Shifts. Admins will also have access to these individual shift summaries via any teammate’s settings.

Automatic availability and out-of-office statuses

  • If a teammate belongs to an active shift, they will be automatically set to Available at the start of their shift.
  • When a shift ends, the teammates in the shift will be automatically set to Out-of-Office. New conversations can’t be auto-assigned to teammates via rules because they are OOO, and new inbound messages will cause assigned conversations to be unassigned from OOO teammates and put back into the team inbox.
  • Individual teammates and admins will be able to manually change the status as needed. 
  • [Coming soon] Admins can set a buffer time for each shift so new conversations aren’t assigned to teammates who are signing off soon (for example, stop assigning 15 minutes before Shift ends).

Set shifts by time zone

  • When using Shifts, each teammate’s shift hours will take priority over the business hours you set in analytics, if they're different. 
  • You can set the timezone for each shift you create to simplify scheduling. For example, an admin can create three 9am-5pm shifts for timezones PST, CST, and EST.
  • Admins in different time zones can see a summary of all different Shifts automatically converted to their own timezone.

Teammate-specific analytics 

  • Teammates who are part of a shift will have their analytics calculated based on the shift hours, instead of the company’s business hours.
  • Teammates who are not part of a shift will have their analytics calculated based on the company’s business hours

[Coming soon] Manage Shifts via Front API

If your team uses a third-party app to manage scheduling or prefer to build your own integration to use Shifts, you can use Front’s API.

Why use Shifts?

The Shifts feature is helpful for teams who are looking to:

  • Deliver great a customer experience on a shift schedule: Teams that already utilize a support schedule internally to handle customer requests, Shifts can reflect this and automatically manage availability for you.
  • Support internal SLA policies: Shifts will automatically set teammates out-of-office when their shift ends, ensuring new replies always go back to the team inbox where it won’t be missed.
  • Coordinate global teams: Create multiple shifts that reflect local time zones to easily manage scheduling within the same Team or across Teams.
  • Capture teammate specific analytics: Reaction times will be calculated starting at the beginning of a teammate’s shift, instead of the start of the team’s business hours.

Instructions

Note: You must purchase the Shifts add-on in your in-app billing settings to see Shifts in settings. See instructions here.

How to create a shift

Step 1

Admins will click their avatar, then Settings, and click on Shifts. If you have multiple Teams in Front, click on Shifts under the specific Team you want to create the schedule in.

Step 2

Click the New Shift button at the top.

Step 3

Define your shift hours, timezone, recurrence schedule, and teammates using the settings in the popup window. Then click Create.

Step 4

You will see your new shift on the schedule. You can click on the shift to add teammates or make changes to the schedule at any time.

How teammates view their shift schedule

Teammates will click on their avatar, into Settings, and click into My Shifts. Teammates can view their shifts, but only admins can edit them.


FAQ

Why can't I see Shifts?

  • To access Shifts, you must add Shifts to your plan by purchasing the Shifts add-on in your in-app billing settings.

Can I have a Shift that applies across multiple Front Teams?

  • Shifts are defined per Team, so you will create the shift for each team.

Can a teammate be added to multiple shifts, even if they overlap?

  • Yes, a teammate can be added to multiple shifts within the same Team or across multiple Teams.
  • The teammate will remain online as long as one of the two or more shifts is active. 
  • They will be set to out-of-office when none of the shifts are active.

Can a teammate override their shift if they need to work more?

  • A teammate can always manually change their availability status and override the shift. If a teammate manually changes their status, they will stay on that status until the next shift status change. That teammate is responsible for marking themselves as out-of-office.
  • For example, if a teammate’s shift is 9am to 5pm daily and they decide to work late and toggle themselves back online, they will remain available until 5pm the next day, unless they manually mark themselves as out-of-office again. 

Will rules continue to assign conversations to teammates who are not on a shift?

  • All auto-assigning rules behavior abide by the teammate’s shift within that Team. 
  • For example, when a teammate is off shift for Team A but on shift in Team B, any responses they receive that originated in a team inbox in Team A will cause that thread to become unassigned and returned to that team inbox. In Team B, responses will continue to be assigned to the teammate. 

Do all my teammates need to be on a shift?

  • No. Teammates do not need to belong to a shift. If a teammate does not belong to a shift, they can continue to manually set their availability/out of office status. Their analytics will be calculated based on company business hours. 
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  • Hello there; This is an awesome feature. In the future can you input shifts for upcoming weeks? Our company has rotating shifts for each individual that are not set times, so this feature is hard for us to use at the moment. Any other information you can share whats coming in the future?

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  • Brady Patrick Hi Brady! So glad you're enjoying Shifts so far. We do have a Shifts API now that you can leverage to automatically update your shifts without any manual intervention: https://dev.frontapp.com/#shifts. Other than that, we currently don't have anything scheduled on the roadmap to create future shifts, but if you have changing shifts frequently, the API would be the easiest way!

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