In recent years, studies have shown that erratic work schedules can take a major toll on the well-being of service workers.
But many employers in the retail, restaurant and hospitality industries continue to behave as though stable scheduling is an unaffordable luxury.
“I don’t count on the hours in my schedule,” said Sam Stephenson, an employee at a Gap store in Huntersville, N.C. “I don’t count on the money I’m supposed to be getting.”
Now a study involving Ms. Stephenson’s colleagues at more than two dozen Gap retail stores in the Chicago and San Francisco areas, undertaken by a team of researchers with the company’s cooperation, aims to rebut the presumption that stable schedules are too costly. The study shows that more predictable and consistent hours aren’t just compatible with profitability, they can significantly improve a store’s bottom line.