Tips and Strategies for Laboratory Staffing in Uncertain Times

Tips and Strategies for Laboratory Staffing in Uncertain Times

Tips and Strategies for Laboratory Staffing in Uncertain Times

Even in the best times, staffing your lab is challenging with many moving parts. But in unsteady times, as with the COVID-19 pandemic, those challenges can be dramatically reproduced. Considering every possible scenario and devising a comprehensive plan can help you remain on top of staff-related troubles and keep your lab running smoothly.

Once, creating a schedule primarily meant confirming you had enough workers to effectively and efficiently finish projects. It still includes that, but the variables are vastly more numerous and complicated. Here are four factors that have probably already begun affecting how you staff your lab.


As you design your schedule during these periods, one of the most significant concerns to keep in mind is that one of your employees might acquire COVID-19. You have to be ready for this, as it might demand some shifting of schedules to cover the job. The best scenario is they'll require self-isolation for a couple of weeks, although this could last much longer if they have extreme or long-lasting symptoms.

Be sure you have a workplace safety plan in place for sanitizing your laboratory and keeping operations going if a worker gets sick. Executing this plan, and reminding your team of its significance, is key to minimizing future illnesses.


Even if no team member contracts the novel coronavirus, there's still a possibility it could influence their household and, by extension, your agenda. For example, employees may need to take substantial time away from work to take care of ill family members or kids if schools and daycare centers are closed. Think about how you'll provide coverage in these circumstances, and consider cross-training lab staff in preparation for unplanned and lengthy absences.


Due to the consequences of the pandemic, working professionals across enterprises opt to quit their jobs or accept early retirement. There is a range of explanations for this, including individual preconditions and especially vulnerable family members. Be prepared to hire new staff or have existing employees fill in on commitments if your lab has turnover.

Staff Burnout

Your scheduling concerns are likely to be affected by the demand to balance your lab's workload with the necessity to guarantee your staffers have time and flexibility to preserve their personal health and obligations. It's vital to ensure everyone — yourself included — has plenty of opportunities to relax, unwind, and recharge so they can keep up with the heightened demands of the job. Remember, no one profits if your staff burns out from work overload.

Develop a Laboratory Staffing Plan

As the pandemic has made clear, any period of widespread uncertainty can last several months. That's why you must plan and be able to maintain a plan for the future. Experts on laboratory staffing recommend taking these steps to construct a staffing plan:

  • Define your key business processes. In a lab, there's no process that isn't necessary. Still, there might be some jobs that can be temporarily relegated to a more subordinate tier of importance in the name of maintaining staff for core functions.
  • Concentrate on key roles and skills. With those critical operations pinpointed, confirm your team is articulate in the specific skill sets required to sustain those functions.
  • Ask the hard questions. What's the highest level of absenteeism in which your laboratory could still function? To what degree must your workers be cross-trained to perform many duties?

Use these tips and strategies to staff your laboratory in uncertain times. And call us if you need laboratory staffing assistance. We are here to keep your lab successful.

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