Continental Rotating Shift Schedule | 24/7 Shift Coverage

This is a fast rotating shift pattern that uses 4 teams and three 8-hr shifts to provide 24/7 coverage. Each team rotates through a sequence of 2, 2, and 3 consecutive day shifts, swing shifts, night shifts, or days off. The following is a typical team schedule for a 4-week (28 days) repeat cycle:

  • Week 1: 2 day shifts, 3 swing shifts, 2 night shifts
  • Week 2: 2 days off, 3 day shifts, 2 swing shifts
  • Week 3: 2 night shifts, 3 days off, 2 day shifts
  • Week 4: 2 swing shifts, 3 night shifts, 2 days off

Continental Shift Pattern


Plan IDC4TR08-1
NameContinental Plan, also referred to as the 2-2-3 Rota
Applicability24/7 operations
Teams Required4
ShiftsDay (8-hr), Swing (8-hr), Night (8-hr)
Repeat Cycle28 days
RotationFast, forward rotation from day shift to swing shift to night shift
Average Hours per Week42
Staffing FluctuationBalanced from shift to shift and day to day
  • Minimum 2 consecutive days off
  • Free weekend every 4 weeks
  • 8-hr shifts
  • 7 consecutive work days
  • 3 consecutive days on night shifts every 4 weeks
  • Requires an average of 2 overtime hours per employee per week
Common UsagePopular with 24/7 operations that prefer 8-hr shifts
NotesThis is an alternative to the Metropolitan plan for 24/7 operations using 8-hr shifts. It provides up to 3 consecutive days off and ensures 1 free weekend every 4 weeks. Its main drawback is the long 7 consecutive work days.


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