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Real-time workforce management: How agility can improve business outcomes

How workforce management software can help forecast, schedule and monitor your workforce in real-time so you can react quickly.

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The data is out: Australia’s deskless, shift-based workforce is growing. The latest figures from the National Skills Commission predict that by November 2026, the number of jobs in healthcare and social assistance will rise by 301,000, and in accommodation and food services by 112,400. 

In rapidly evolving deskless industries like these, shift-based workers have the shortest notice and turnaround periods. The deskless workforce also tends to experience larger fluctuations in demand, correlating with global trends and seasonality. This poses significant challenges for real-time workforce management, especially if your company depends on shift-based staff.

Employers who utilise real-time workforce management solutions can realise numerous benefits, including improved capacity planning, greater schedule adherence, and the ability to deliver better service levels.


The benefits of real-time workforce management

A rapidly changing company needs real-time visibility over their employees and schedules. The right workforce management tool can render shift changes a hassle of the past while giving your workers greater flexibility.

Other benefits of real-time workforce management for your business include:

  • Reduced staffing costs through better matching of staffing levels to workload through accurate forecasting
  • Greater visibility over employees to help your team leaders and HR personnel better manage capacity planning
  • Intelligent real-time monitoring and reporting, giving you actionable business insights such as ways to reduce capital and ongoing costs
  • Improved real-time adherence to shift start and finish times
  • Cloud accessibility, allowing you to access key business data and information irrespective of your location and timezone and that of your employees
  • Enhanced business efficiency with the ability to accurately forecast workloads and staffing needs
  • The ability to create rosters, manage shifts, and deal with unplanned staff shortages quickly and efficiently.

While it’s clear that real-time workforce management has advantages for your business, there are benefits for employees, too. Giving your staff the tools to specify their preferred shift times, conduct shift swaps quickly and easily, and access their rosters in real-time as they are updated, empowers them to balance work and life more effectively. With research conducted by the IE Business School showing that good work-life balance is linked with greater organisational efficiency and profitability, this equates to more benefits for your business.


What are the best practices for real-time WFM?

To get the most from your real-time workforce management tools, follow these steps:

1. Forecasting

Use current data, historical data (e.g. previous holiday periods which a manager may know will be busy) or knowledge to understand your workforce expectations. 

2. Scheduling

Streamline your rostering process by scheduling shifts with your workforce management tool. Drag and drop features in a platform like Humanforce mean that all employee information, job roles and shift patterns are stored. This also means it’s clear to see what balance of junior and senior team members are scheduled into the roster. Reducing as much manual admin as possible from the scheduling process will mean that you are freed up to focus on your team’s human needs more. 

3. Monitoring

Use your software’s reporting and dashboards to review your workforce data to maximise efficiencies, and work to solve any capacity planning or workforce issues with team leaders and members relevant to each aspect of your business. Having the visibility ahead of time reduces the potential for human error, confusion or conflict.

4. Optimising

Actively respond to changes within your organisation or make improvements where you see fit – for example, by rewarding staff based on their performance, discovering new areas of demand, or identifying areas for staff training.


Ready to improve your workforce management processes?

If you’re ready to move beyond the planning stage and make an investment in real-time workforce management, look for a solution built with the contemporary workforce in mind. Humanforce has been specifically designed for today’s deskless, shift-based workforce. In addition to capabilities that support employee engagement, it enables your organisation to schedule and monitor your workforce in real-time. 

Real-time visibility aids smart business decision-making

Using cloud-based software which manages your workforce provides a high level of visibility over your business, helping you to make better decisions using real-time data. For example, you can instantly see where planned and unplanned costs are occurring, enabling you to identify workforce issues and resolve root causes. 

Optimise capacity planning

Humanforce’s built-in reporting tools allow you to analyse and interpret your most critical workforce management data. With pre-made dashboards for success metrics, you can quickly garner insights into your workforce and apply them to optimise your planning and scheduling. Utilise the customised dashboard builder to highlight what’s most important to your organisation. With fast and easy drag and drop functionality, you can drill down to analyse and interpret your most critical workforce management data and visualise reporting in meaningful ways.

React quickly and deliver better service levels

You’ll also have the ability to respond quickly to changes, such as staff shortages or unexpectedly high customer bookings. This means you can  continue to deliver the high standards customers expect, helping to maintain your reputation. 

With Humanforce, you have everything you need to manage your workforce at your fingertips. 

If you want to speak to us about how the Humanforce software can transform your organisation’s employee engagement and team motivation, schedule a demo, or contact us here.


Humanforce is a leading provider of shift-based workforce management solutions that simplify onboarding, scheduling, time and attendance, employee engagement and communication. Customers in more than 23 countries use Humanforce to optimise costs, realise compliance confidence, empower their team and drive growth. Humanforce was founded in Sydney in 2002, and today has offices across Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, and the UK.