There are different types of work schedules today and these are often subject to change depending on the type of work done and the work environment. We’re all familiar with the full-time 40-hour schedule. In shifts, these work hours can rotate in shifts by creating a rotating schedule.

Rotating Schedule Templates

What is a rotating schedule? 

As the title implies, a rotating schedule is a type of scheduling system wherein the employees take part in a cycle where they find themselves working the night, day, and swing shifts as necessary. The opposite of this type of schedule is a fixed schedule where an employee’s shift doesn’t move around.

They have only one shift either for the day, night or swing. These schedules don’t change which means that the employees always have the same work hours unless, for some reason, they’re intentionally moved to a new shift.

Some shifts can be more advantageous than others. For instance, waiters in restaurants who work the night shift make more money, specifically in tips. In such a case, restricting one group to a less-desirable shift won’t do well in fostering productive teams. There may be a need to rotate to give other shifts the same opportunities.


Most common types of rotating schedules 

Rotating schedule templates are also referred to as work calendar schedules. When you follow this type of schedule, you can work on one set of shifts then have a shift change at some predetermined point. Employers can apply these shifts to either full-time or part-time positions, depending on the load of work for a specific company.

The main purpose of a company when creating a rotating schedule maker is that they need to complete tasks 24/7. This especially includes manufacturers who want continuous production as much as possible. Other places of employment you may find which use rotating schedule templates are roadwork crews, utility and repair companies, hospitals, and so on.

In this scenario, you may find employees working around the clock 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Here are the most common types of rotating schedules:

Rotating 8-hour shifts

The employees following a rotating 8-hour work calendar schedule work for 8 hours a day, 40 hours each week. Three shifts complete 24 hours, covering both night and day from Monday to Friday. Companies using this shift are typically closed on the weekends.

The 1st shift is the day’s earliest shift and it begins at 8:00 am. Employees work their mandatory 8-hours, with one or two breaks. People who want to spend time with their families at the end of the day prefer this shift. This gives them enough time to drop their kids to school and pick them up later in the day.

The 2nd shift begins when the 1st one ends but in some cases, there could be some overlap time in between. The shift typically starts at 4:00 pm then lasts for 8 hours with some breaks in between. Those who work this shift leave the office at around midnight. Despite the odd timing of this shift, many have a preference for it.

The 3rd shift begins when the 2ndshift ends at around midnight and ends at 8:00 in the morning. This is the reason why it’s also referred to as the “graveyard shift.” Employees who work this shift also receive some sort of extra compensation because it’s the least desired among the three shifts.

Parents usually have a hard time when they work this shift because they’re separated from their kids and often don’t have any dependable help to leave the kids with. Furthermore, the graveyard shift can deprive them of their social life.


Rotating 2-2-3 shift

There are many variations to this shift. Here, the company employs 4 teams of employees with 2 shifts which last for 12-hours for a total coverage 24/7. Create this schedule with a rotating schedule maker to make sure that there are different teams through the night and day shifts and on off-duty days.

It may be a challenge to get used to this kind of shift but it does work. Here, each employee works 42 hours a week with 2 hours of overtime. What may employees like about this type of schedule is that they have a 3-day weekend 2 times each month. If you plan a 2-day vacation in a 2-day work week, you can get 7 days in a row off!

Work Calendar Schedules

What does a rotating schedule mean in employment? 

There are other kinds of rotating schedules practiced in many workplaces. The most popular one is the traditional rotating schedule where an employee moves from one shift to another every week. A slower version is the slow-rotation shift. Here, the employees change their shifts every 2 weeks, months or in some cases, yearly.

There are also partly-rotating shifts where only a part of the workforce rotates their shifts which leaves some of the employees on consistent fixed shifts. Then there are the oscillating shifts where two different shifts rotate back and forth between two different schedules but the third shift maintains a permanently fixed schedule.

On-call Schedule Templates

The benefits of a rotating schedule 

Rotating schedules can be very advantageous to all employees, especially in some kinds of businesses where the pay-off is greater in one shift than the others. Restaurants are the best examples of such establishments where the dinner-shift is the high-dollar shift rather than the lunch or day-shift.

Rotating gives the same opportunities to all of the employees. An employee who makes a decision on what shift to accept must weigh the benefits and downsides and consider what fits best into his schedule. Other benefits of a rotating schedule can include the following:

  • In restaurants and similar work settings, it keeps the employee’s enthusiasm to work better since they know that they’ll have their share of busy high-dollar shifts.
  • It makes the employees more adept on their responsibilities during peak hours.
  • Including the most senior or the most skilled workers throughout the day shifts help establish a better customer experience. This move definitely boosts sales which will ultimately, benefit everybody, both employers and employees alike.
  • Another obvious advantage when you rotate shifts is that it provides employers with enough time to train their employees at different times. After setting up your rotating schedule templates, you can decide on the training schedules which include all of the employees at different times.
  • All workers receive the same experiences and opportunities as they get to try the different shifts. From engineers, managers, and other types of company personnel, everyone gets assigned to different shifts whenever you implement the rotating work calendar schedule. This way, you promote equality among all of the employees.
  • Apart from all the employees getting exposure to all the shifts, they may also get requested to cover even the least desirable shifts like the weekend shifts or the night shifts. As long as you rotate the people you assign to cover these shifts, you won’t experience any ill feelings in the workplace.
  • You can disperse the senior workers evenly among the teams to have a good balance of the skill levels on all of the shifts.

Rotating Schedule Maker

The downsides of a rotating schedule 

Before you start creating a rotating schedule maker or even an on-call schedule template, you should also learn about the downsides of such a schedule. Whether you’re an employer or an employee, rotating schedules might not suit your own needs and preferences. Here are the downsides of this schedule for you to consider:

  • The main downside of a rotating schedule concerns employers. Most of the time, employees prefer to have a fixed schedule, not one which keeps on changing from time to time. The reason for this is that when the employees have a fixed schedule, it’s easier for them to plan their activities, vacations, and more.
  • Another downside of this schedule is employees might not appreciate the fact that they have to keep track of their schedules every week or every month. Unlike when they have a fixed schedule, they don’t have to check whether they need to come into work or not.
  • A rotating schedule may also affect employees physically. Since our bodies function on a 24-hour cycle or the circadian rhythm, following a working schedule which changes time and again might start taking a toll on their bodies. It’s never a good idea to force your circadian rhythm to change because of work as this may have negative effects. 

Notice if your employees start experiencing cardiovascular disorders, gastrointestinal disorders or sleep deprivation. If you see your employees falling ill because of the schedule, you may have to re-think the schedule you’re assigning to them. While some people have no problems with changing their circadian rhythms, other people may have a very hard time with this.

You may ease your employee’s adjustment on the rotating shift by extending the length of the rotating shifts. Instead of rotating your employees every week, extend that to every 3 weeks or every month. This will give your employees time to adjust to their schedules before they have to work on a different schedule.