Review of Work Schedules

Snap Schedule employee scheduling software speeds up complex scheduling tasks by providing over 30 pre-defined work schedules. This article reviews those pre-defined work schedules and how they are used.

Work schedules are typically identified by their shift length, shift pattern, and average work hours per week. The right shift length will depend on the type of operations, work environment, and operating hours. For example, with 24/7 operations, three 8-hr shifts or two 12-hour shifts are most popular but any combination of shift lengths will do. For non-continuous operations, compressed work week schedules using 10 hour shifts or a combination 8 and 9 hour shifts permit employees the option of finishing their usual number of working hours in fewer days per week, or fewer days per pay period.

A shift pattern describes a sequence of working days and off (on/off) days over a time period. A shift pattern may include shift rotation. On fixed shifts (also called straight shifts), an employee always works the same shift (e.g. Day, Afternoon, or Night). On rotating shifts, an employee rotates from one shift to another according to a specific arrangement.

Employee shift scheduling is complicated.
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The average work hours per week is calculated from the work demand, shift pattern, and the number of teams (crews, platoons, squads, groups, etc.) needed to cover the work demand. For scheduling purposes, team members are assigned to work the same shift and rotation patterns (i.e. team members have the same days on, days off, and rotation pattern). The number of teams dictates the average number of hours worked by each employee. For example, there are 8,736 hours (364 days per year x 24 hours per day) to be worked in continuous 24/7 operations. If four teams are used, then each team member must work an average of 2,184 hours per year (8,736 hours / 4 teams) or 42 hours (2,184 hours / 52 weeks) per week. Plans employing 4 teams are very popular in 24/7 operations because they closely approximate the 40-hour workweek and provide an optimal balance between work, health and safety, and social demands.

In selecting the right work schedule, you should review the drivers for your business demands to identify staffing requirements. For examples, if you are running a call center, your drivers would be the number of calls to be answered, the average handle time, and the required service level. Rank these drivers in order of importance. Once the demand pattern has been established, it may be apportioned to shifts that cover the demand.

Which work schedule is the best?

The perfect work schedule would provide the exact number of employees to match the work demand, every hour of the day and every day of the year. By reviewing the work schedules that come with Snap Schedule employee scheduling software and listed below, you may be able to find one that closely matches your criteria.

For more information on each work schedule, double-click its hyperlink.

Work Schedule Name Type Teams Shift Length
Rotation Avg Hrs /Week
2 Team Fixed 12 24/7 2 12-Hr Fixed 84
DNO 24/7 3 12-Hr Rotating 56
DDNNOO 24/7 3 12-Hr Rotating 56
Extended 12 24/7 3 12-Hr Rotating 56
3 Team Fixed 8 24/7 3 8-Hr Fixed 56
3 Team Fixed 24 24/7 3 24-Hr Fixed 61.3
Kelly Shift Schedule 24/7 3 24-Hr Fixed 56
48-96 Shift Schedule 24/7 3 24-Hr Fixed 56
24-48 Shift Schedule 24/7 3 24-Hr Fixed 56
Continental 24/7 4 8-Hr Rotating 42
Metropolitan 24/7 4 8-Hr Rotating 42
Rotating 8 24/7 4 8-Hr Rotating 42
6 On 2 Off 24/7 4 8-Hr Rotating 42
Fast 12 24/7 4 12-Hr Rotating 42
Panama 24/7 4 12-Hr Rotating 42
DuPont Shift Schedule 24/7 4 12-Hr Rotating 42
2-2 3-2 2-3 Rotating Shift Schedule 24/7 4 12-Hr Rotating 42
8 Plus 12 24/7 4 8-Hr, 12-Hr Rotating 42
ICU Interns 24/7 4 14-Hr, 15.5-Hr Rotating 76.5
Pitman Shift Schedule 24/7 4 12-Hr Fixed 42
Panama Plus 24/7 5 8-Hr, 12-Hr Rotating 41.6
4-2 4-3 4-3 Ten Hour Rotating 24/7 5 10-Hr Rotating 42
5-3 5-4 5-3 Ten Hour Rotating 24/7 5 10-Hr Rotating 42
6-4 6-4 6-4 Ten Hour Rotating 24/7 5 10-Hr Rotating 42
4-3 Ten Hour Rotating 24/7 6 10-Hr Rotating 40
Low Night Demand 24/7 6 8-Hr Rotating 37.3
21 Team Fixed 8 5D Plan 24/7 21 8-Hr Fixed 40
21 Team Fixed 8 6D Plan 24/7 21 8-Hr Fixed 40
9 To 5 Not 24/7 1 8-Hr Fixed 40
4-10 Not 24/7 2 10-Hr Fixed 40
5-4-9 Not 24/7 2 8-Hr, 9-Hr Fixed 40
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