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Blackout Times Management

Scheduling Changes: Step-by-Step Examples

For most centers, working with blackouts via Blackout Times Management isn't an especially common task (as schedules are typically pretty static and set up initially through Starting Availability Management).  To help with this, the examples below provide step-by-step instructions for a variety of scheduling situations that require a modifying blackouts.  Before working through the examples, review the information on adding, modifying, and canceling blackouts as those instructions aren't repeated here.

If you are using the SLOT SCHEDULING ONLY option in Schedule Management, note that these examples continue to apply.  The only difference is that, instead of starting and ending times, you'll see a slot number that aligns with the slot numbers displayed on your schedule and in Blackout Times Management.  


A staff member wants to come in on a day or a time when they're not normally available...

This example assumes that:

  • Your schedule runs from 8am to 5pm Monday through Friday.
  • Jake, a staff member, is currently not on the schedule on Mondays.
  • Beginning on Friday, November 3, Jake now wants to work every Friday from 10am to 12pm.

To make this change, go to Blackout Times Management and then click on the full day blackout that covers all of Jake's available time on November 3.  Next, change the blackout's ending time to 10am (so that the blackout spans from 8am to 10am). Next, select the "future" radio button and then select "save changes." Once you close the pop-up window, you'll see that Jake now appears available from 10am to 5pm on Fridays.

To make the 12pm to 5pm portion of Jake's shift unavailable (so that he's only available from 10am to 12pm), click on the white square that starts at 12pm.  Then, set the ending time of the blackout to 5pm.  Next, select the REPEAT options to repeat the new blackout every "1 week on Fridays" through the end date of your schedule.  Finally, click "create blackout."  WCONLINE will then add the second blackout needed to cover Jake's Fridays, leaving only 10am to 12pm available.


A staff member needs to miss the entire day...

This example assumes that:

  • Your schedule runs from 8am to 5pm Monday through Friday.
  • Jessica, a staff member, currently works from 10am to 5pm on Tuesdays.
  • On Monday, January 11, Jessica can't come in to work.

To make this change, first click on all of Jessica's already scheduled appointments on January 11 and either cancel those appointments or use the MOVE option at the bottom of the appointment form to move those appointments to another staff or resource.

Then, go to Blackout Times Management and then click on the existing blackout that covers Jessica's time on January 11 from 8am to 10am.  Next, change the blackout's ending time to 5pm (so that the blackout spans from 8am to 10am). Next, select the "future" radio button and then select "save changes." Once you close the pop-up window, you'll see that Jessica no longer shows up on the schedule view on Monday, January 11, since Jessica is now unavailable that entire day.


A staff member wants to make their shift longer...

This example assumes that:

  • Your schedule runs from 8am to 5pm Monday through Friday.
  • Joan, a staff member, is currently available on Tuesdays from 10am to 1pm and again from 3pm to 5pm.  This means that Joan has an existing blackout that runs from 8am to 10am and other existing blackout that runs from 1pm to 3pm.
  • Beginning on Tuesday, May 16, Joan now wants to work every Tuesday from 10am to 2pm and again from 3pm to 5pm.

To make this change, go to Blackout Times Management and then click on Joan's existing 1pm to 3pm blackout on May 16.  Then, change the blackout's starting time to 2pm.  Next, select the "future" radio button and then select "save changes."  Once saved, WCONLINE will adjust all of the current and future blackouts so that they run from 2pm to 3pm. This will cause the formerly covered 1pm-2pm slot to now be open on your schedule.


A staff member wants to make their shift shorter...

This example assumes that:

  • Your schedule runs from 8am to 5pm Monday through Friday.
  • Joan, a staff member, is currently available on Tuesdays from 10am to 1pm and again from 3pm to 5pm.  This means that Joan has an existing blackout that runs from 8am to 10am and other existing blackout that runs from 1pm to 3pm.
  • Beginning on Tuesday, May 16, Joan now wants to work every Tuesday from 3pm to 5pm only.

To make this change, go to Blackout Times Management and then click on Joan's existing 1pm to 3pm blackout on May 16.  Then, change the blackout's starting time to 10am.  Next, select the "future" radio button and then select "save changes."  Once saved, WCONLINE will adjust all of the current and future blackouts so that they run from 10am to 3pm.  Since Joan is already blacked out from 8am to 10pm, this will blackout all remaining time except for the 3pm to 5pm slot.


You want to lengthen your schedule's open hours...

This example assumes that:

  • Your schedule runs from 8am to 5pm every Monday and Tuesday.
  • Your only staff member, Jamie, works from 10am to 4pm on Mondays and from 11am to 5pm on Tuesdays.
  • You want to change your schedule so that it's now available until 8pm.  Additionally, you want Jamie to work on Tuesdays until 8pm.

To make this change, go to Schedule Management and edit your schedule. Then, change the ending AVAILABLE TIME from 5pm to 8pm and save your changes.  This will open your schedule until 8pm.  

Since your staff and resources (here, only Jamie) didn't have blackouts from 5pm to 8pm, Jamie will immediately show as available from 5pm to 8pm.  If you had other staff and resources, they would all immediately show as available from 5pm to 8pm.  Therefore, the second step is to add and modify blackouts to account for the newly opened time.

Then, go to Blackout Times Management and then click on Jamie's existing 4pm to 5pm blackout on any Monday.  Change the ending time to 8pm, check the "past and future" radio button beneath the "save changes" button, and then select "save changes."  

If you had other staff members, you would simply add new blackouts or edit existing blackouts to cover the newly available time and apply those changes to past and future (or to future only) as needed.


You want to shorten your schedule's open hours...

This example assumes that:

  • Your schedule runs from 8am to 5pm every Monday and Tuesday.
  • Your only staff member, Jamie, works from 10am to 4pm on Mondays and from 11am to 5pm on Tuesdays.
  • You want to change your schedule so that it's now available until 3pm.  

Since WCONLINE won't let you change your schedule's hours in a way that would cover existing blackouts and appointments, you'll first need to edit all of Jamie's existing blackouts so that they end at 3pm.  To do so, first cancel all appointments with Jamie that occur after 3pm. Then, go to Blackout Times Management and then click on Jamie's existing 4pm to 5pm blackout on any Monday.  Check the "past and future" checkbox and then click "cancel blackout."  This makes Jamie's time always open between 3pm and 5pm.  If a staff or resource had a blackout extending through and past 3pm, you would edit that blackout to end at 3pm and also use the "past and future" checkbox before saving.  Next, go to Schedule Management and edit your schedule. Then, change the ending AVAILABLE TIME from 5pm to 3pm and save your changes.  

If you get a message that the change couldn't be made as it would cover existing blackouts and appointments, then you'll need to go back to Blackout Times Management and find and remove the remaining blackouts that extend past 3pm.


You want to have a special "finals week" or evening schedule...

For our recommendations about working with a special finals week schedule (or a schedule that is extremely different from your existing schedule), read our FAQ entry on this topic.


Blackout Times Management

SECTION 1: Adding, Modifying, or Canceling Blackouts

SECTION 2: Scheduling Changes: Step-by-Step Examples

WCONLINE Product Manual

The product manual is available completely online. Choose a chapter from the list below or use the search tool to perform a keyword search.

CH 1: Welcome

GENERAL INFORMATION

CH 2: Data Collection & Forms

CH 3: Access, Access Levels, and the Schedule

CH 4: Synchronous Online Meetings

WELCOME MENU/CONTROL PANELS

CH 5: Update Profile & Email Options

CH 6: Client & Record Management

CH 7: Schedule Management

CH 8: Staff and Resource Management

CH 9: Starting Availability Management

CH 10: Blackout Times Management

CH 11: Announcement Management

CH 12: Mass Email Tool

CH 13: System Data Export

CH 14: Report: System Statistics

CH 15: Report: Master Listings

CH 16: Report: System Utilization

CH 17: Global System Settings

CH 18: Form Setup: System Forms

CH 19: Module Setup: Early Alerts & Flags

CH 20: Module Setup: Survey

CH 21: Module Setup: Time Clock

FAQs

CH 22: Frequently Asked Questions

This manual applies to the current version of WCONLINE® and is constantly updated as new features are released.