Better Life Lab Podcast

Better Life Lab: Schedule Chaos

Why a predictable schedule is better for both workers and business.

Click on the play button to hear this episode, or listen to the show via Apple Podcasts, Overcast, Spotify, Stitcher, or Google Play.

While an unpredictable schedule has always been a part of a restaurant worker’s experience, the advent of scheduling technology and the pressure to keep labor costs low have turned the schedules—and lives—of most restaurant and retail workers upside down. We hear the stories of a waitress and big-box retail workers from around the country. Joan Williams, author of an influential study, shares research on how predictable schedules not only make life better and healthier for workers but actually make businesses more profitable.



Joan Williams, founding director of the Center for Work-Life Law, co-author of Stable Scheduling Study
@JoanCWilliams, @WorkLifeLawCtr, @uchastingslaw

Worker voices:

Adrian, works in retail at a big-box store in L.A.
@haleyp, @laane (Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy), @fairworkweekla

Patricia, works retail in a big-box store in El Paso, Texas

Tatiana, works retail in a big-box store in Philadelphia

April, works as a server in a chain restaurant in Washington state

Laura Ekua, former restaurant worker in New Orleans, now an organizer for Restaurant Opportunities Center of New Orleans
@laura_ekua, @rocnola, @rocunited

Cupcake, works at a fast-food restaurant in New Orleans

Podcast production by David Schulman.