FAQs on Business Hours

FAQs: Business Hours in Zoho CRM

1. What are custom business hours and how do I set them?

Zoho CRM provides a list of default business hours that you can set for your organization, for example 24 hours x 7 days and 24 hours x 5 days.
However, if your organization's working hours differ from the default business hours, you can set custom business hours and define when the week starts, the work hours for each day, and which days are business days.

To set custom business hours for your organization:
  1. Go to Setup > General > Company Settings > Business hours.
  2. Edit the Business hours.
  3. Click Custom Hours.
  4. Select a day for Week starts on.
  5. Select one of the following options for Business Timing:
    1. Same hours every day: Select this option if the business hours are the same everyday and choose the hours from the dropdown list.
    2. Different hours every day: Select this option if the business hours are different each day and choose the hours from the dropdown list.
Note: The data generated for the next week, previous week, and the current week in reports, smart filters or date-based criteria will depend on the day you choose as the start of a week.

2. Why should I create break hours and how are they assigned to users?

Break hours indicate when a user will be unavailable during their shift time. For example, if a user's shift time is from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, and their break hours are from 11:30 am to 12:00 pm and 3:30 pm to 4:00 pm. you can avoid scheduling meetings during the break hours.
If an event is created during the break hours an alert will be shown to indicate that the user is unavailable.
Important points about break hours:
  1. Similar to shift hours, the break hours can be set at the same time every day or a different time. 
  2. You can have a maximum of two breaks in a shift.
  3. Break hours must always fall within the shift hours.
To add break hours:
  1. Go to Setup > Company Settings > Business hours and create or choose a shift.
  2. Go to Break Hours and select Same hours every day or Different hours every day.
  3. Select the time from the drop-down list.
  4. Click Done and then Save.

3. What is the difference between shift hours and business hours?

Business hours define the operational hours of your organization, for example Monday to Friday, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm.

If your company operates in different time zones or your employees work different hours, you can create shifts to define their working hours. For example, if your employees work from 12:00 pm to 5:00 pm or they have to be available during US working hours even though they are based in India,, you can create an afternoon shift or a US shift.

Creating shifts and business hours help you to assign work to employees based on their work hours.

4. How do I assign shifts to the users?

You can only assign one shift to a user at a time.
To assign shifts to users:
  1. Go to Setup > General > Company Settings > Business Hours.
  2. Click Create New Shift Hours.
  3. Choose Timezone and then Define Shift Days and Hours.
  4. Choose users in Assign To.
  5. Click Save.
Note that if a user is already assigned to a shift, you will be prompted to either transfer them to the new shift immediately or schedule the transfer for a later time.

5. How are holidays defined?

You can create one master holiday list for the entire organization or separate holiday lists for each shift. For example, you can create a separate list of holidays for the US which will only apply to the US shift employees. For every shift you can create one holiday list. 
Note: If you create the holiday list before creating shifts, it will be applied to all the shifts that you create.
To create a holiday list:
  1. Go to Setup > Company Settings > Holidays.
  2. Click Create Holiday List on the Holiday Details page.
  3. Select the shifts from the Apply to Shift drop-down list.
  4. Note that this option will only appear if you have already created shifts.
  5. Choose the year from the drop-down list.
  6. Enter the Holiday Name and select the date from the calendar.
  7. Click the plus icon to add more holidays.
  8. Click Save.

6. How can I prevent recurring activities from falling on a non-working day?

When configuring repeating activities, you will have the option to skip weekends, holidays, or non-working days.
I. For recurring meetings:
  1. If a meeting is repeated at regular intervals, you can skip weekends, holidays, and non-working days
  2. If a meeting is supposed to be repeated daily, you can skip the weekends and holidays
  3. If the meeting repeats monthly or yearly, you can skip the non-working days
To configure recurring meetings
  1. Select the Repeat Type from the drop-down list and do the following:
  2. Daily: Click Except weekends and holidays.
  3. Custom: Select Monthly or Yearly from the dropdown list.
  4. Click the Reschedule events to the next working day if the selected day is not a working day checkbox.
  5. Click Done.
II. For recurring tasks:
  1. If a task repeats every day, you can skip weekends and holidays.
  2. If a task repeats yearly or monthly, you can skip non-business days.
To configure repeat tasks
  1. Select the Repeat Type from the drop-down list and do the following:
  2. Daily: Click Except weekends and holidays.
  3. Custom: Select Monthly or Yearly from the dropdown list.
  4. Click Set due date to the next business day if the selected day is not a working day.
  5. Click Done.

7. Will I be alerted about a user's unavailability when creating an event?

Yes, you will be alerted if the from and to date or time of the event falls outside of the host's business hours or if the host has marked them self unavailable for those hours, you will see an alert when creating an event.
You can reschedule the event to another date or time or assign it anyway.

8. How to assign an activity to the user based on their availability?

If your organization has offices across the world, the business hours followed will vary depending on the time zone they belong to. So when you assign an activity to the user it is important to check their availability. Zoho CRM eases this process with a feature called 'Business Hours'.

To enable this feature:
  1. Go to Setup > General > Company Settings > Business Hours.

  2. Choose the relevant business hours. Example, 24/7. 

  1. Enter the business days and timings.

  2. Now create Shift hours by clicking ' + New Shift Hours '.

  1. Enter the name for the shift and choose the time zone accordingly. Shift hours and shift days can also be customized.

  2. A Maximum of two break hours can be set.

  1. Finally, assign users to manage the shift and click Save button.

Ensure you provide the correct details regarding the availability time. Now when you assign an activity to the user, the system will automatically detect the availability. If the user belongs to a different shift you will be notified, or else the activity will be assigned.

9. What does the Mark as Unavailable option in the calendar do?

A user can mark themself unavailable for a particular period of the day or for specific days during the week in the Zoho CRM calendar. This will alert other users if they they to create any event for that user during those hours.

To mark yourself as unavailable:
  1. In your CRM account, click the Calendar icon in the right corner of the top panel.
  2. Click on a date.
  3. Click on the time in the calendar and select Mark as Unavailable.
  4. Adjust the date and time in the pop-up.
  5. Enter comments, if required.
  6. Click Save.

10. Can I transfer a user from one shift to another?

Yes, you can transfer a user from one shift to another whenever required. You can also choose whether to transfer the person immediately or later.
When you transfer a user the activities assigned to them for their previous shift will be carried forward to the new shift.
Note that when a user is transferred to another shift, the system will NOT check the user's availability for scheduled activities, so any conflict that may occur must be resolved manually by the CRM administrator.

To transfer a user to another shift:
  1. Go to Setup > General > Company Settings > Business Hours.
  2. Click on the required shift.
  3. Assign or remove the required user.
  4. Click Save.

11. What happens if the shift hour falls outside the organizations business hours?

Yes, whenever you make changes to the business hours you will be alerted if any shift hours fall outside of the new business hours. You will not be allowed to save the new business hours unless the shift hours are altered accordingly. 
Note: The business hours also take the business days (e.g. Monday to Friday) into account.

12. Can I create more than one shift?

Yes, you can create up to 30 shifts for an organization.

To create shifts:
  1. Go to Setup > Company Settings > Business Hours.
  2. Click Create Shift Hours.
  3. In the Create Shift Hours page, enter the Shift name.
  4. Select the time zone from the drop-down list.
  5. Select one of the following options for Shift Hours:
    1. Same Hours Everyday: Select this option if the shift hours are the same every day and choose the hours from the drop-down list.
    2. Different Hours Everyday: Select this option if the shift hours vary each day and choose the hours from the drop-down list.
  6. Click Save.

13. How will changing the business hours impact other functions in CRM?

The reason for setting up business hours is so the system knows when a user is available and assign activities appropriately.
In CRM, many automated, manual, and scheduled activities depend on the business hours. For example, a workflow notification for a task can be set to trigger after a set number of business days, to ensure the recipient is available when the notification is sent.
Therefore, any change made to the business hours will also impact the following functions:
  1. Assigning events or tasks
  2. Due dates of repetitive events or tasks
  3. Executing workflow rules
  4. Due date of tasks for Blueprint transitions

Tip: Before making changes to the organization's business hours, ensure that the shift days and hours fall within the new business hours.

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