What Is a Work Shift Schedule?

The work schedule is simply the dates and times when a person is supposed to work, with the type of work, the holidays, or the laws in the country. Shift scheduling is important to all businesses, big or small.  A well-planned schedule will make the operation of the business more efficient. If an employee knows what to do, it can greatly affect the production flow of the operation. Being in a schedule is more likely a practice that will make them grow in their respective field, individual growth will also bring success to the company or organization. Work shift schedules will utilize the maximum productivity of the employees. Among the many roles of a company or organization is scheduling the staff, giving them enough time to work and rest. Work shift scheduling is a process of organizing the team to solidify the structure of operation.

Why Is Work Shift Schedule Important?

Creating a work-life balance is a struggle for many, especially for people with two jobs. Without a work schedule, there would be no such thing as a work-life balance. On the other side, you may not be that focus on the work, especially for those who work at home, this can be true. You’ll get constant distractions and tends to separate from work, but when you know that it’s time to work, then you’ll have your full attention to the task. The earlier you’ll complete your task, the better, giving you more relax time during your rest days.

Structure: Primary goal of any business or organization is to have a smooth operation that is constantly running and progressing. Work shift schedule addresses that area, giving structure to the business to ensure quality. Regardless of small or big businesses, having a work shift schedule will maintain the pace and ensure that everyone is working efficiently. Knowing where and when to go is an advantage of any company, employees will have an idea of what to finish to the time given to them.

Manages Workload

Employee attendance is essential and a big thing to deal with, for a single company or organization, there will be hundreds or thousands of employees to monitor. When there is a proper schedule, management can deal with it properly. If one employee is constantly coming in late and taking too many absences, management will be able to track it and take proper action, this will prevent conflict of employee schedules. It also prevents over time, under time, or schedule conflicts due to enough employees or workforce for the task.

Reduces stress

Work can sometimes be stressful especially if it is intervening your personal time, making work your everything will give you no time to breathe. That is why with a proper schedule, you’ll be able to adjust and separate work from personal time. It also gives you a reason to decline invitations when you are having work. Factors of productivity include mental and physical health which is very important to function fully in the field.

Monitors productivity

There are cases in the work where there is more work to do than staff, you can’t be caught surprised by that. With a proper scheduling system, management will be able to allocate overtime hours to the employees, as well as, keep track of it. This is very helpful in tracking productivity for promotions, salary, and task assignments. Work schedule monitors the individual or team performance, tracking their progress and development as well.

What are the Types of Schedules?

There are various schedule types, depending on the time period or the number of hours. For a business to work we need to allocate staff properly, allowing them to work on different shifts, this is very effective in businesses that operate 24/7. Some companies will encourage workers to work beyond the minimum time to reach the goal, there are also cases of undertime, especially if the number of staff is more than the workload. Here are samples of types of schedules to give you clear details of the various shifts.

Fixed Schedule: The fixed schedule is the standard schedule, composed of the first, second, and third shifts. A fixed shift is when an employee works the same hours, it continuously works this way unless the management will make some changes. Fixed shifts do not mean all your employees work at the same time, you can allocate your employees or your schedule into three different shifts given they have the same amount of hours. This is very common for full-time workers, they adhere to a fixed work schedule. First Shift: The first shift usually runs in the morning from around 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. or 9 a.m. to 6 p.m, considered as the traditional business hours with one hour for lunch. Generally, it starts in the morning and ends in the afternoon.Second Shift: This shift runs in the afternoon from around 4 p.m. or 5 p.m. to midnight. It can overlap the morning shift or may not, depending on your schedule. The afternoon shifts start in the late afternoon and end late at nightThird Shift: The third shift, or night shift, usually starts around midnight and goes until sunrise or the morning. A typical night shift is from 12 a.m. to 8 a.m.Flexible Schedule: A flexible schedule is similar to a fixed schedule, it also has an exact number of hours a day or for a week. The difference is it doesn’t abide by the first, second, or third shifts, and it is also a schedule that is agreed by the management and employee contract. A flexible schedule is very common for part-time jobs, as they got an option to choose their time, flexible enough for other jobs as well. Less rigid than a fixed working schedule, employees working a flexible work schedule work with their employees to set out the days and hours they will work. Usually, flex workers are expected to work a minimum number of hours or work within certain time blocks each day. An example of a flexitime work schedule could be Monday to Wednesday from 7:30 pm to 4 pm and Thursday and Friday from 9:30 am to 6 pm.Rotating Shift: A rotating shift work schedule usually means that employees are cycled to work all shifts during the course of the month depending upon the workload. Basically, it is a combination of three shifts, the employee may work the first shift today and the second shift the next day. An inconsistent working shift is a characteristic of a rotational shift schedule, some may change from day to day basis or weekly. Some employees might work the first shift on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays and the second shift on the other days. This is very applicable for restaurants where experience and skills are needed during peak hours. Working hours are cycled between morning shifts starts at 8 AM to 03 PM, afternoon shifts starting from 2 AM to 11 PM, evening shifts from 11 PM to 8 AM, depending on the hours required by the company. These schedules are widely used in restaurants to balance out the expertise and workload. of employees.On-Call Shift: This shift is very known to doctors and nurses, an employee who is available to work on-demand, at any time. On-call employees will always be ready every time because they will be the substitute once the employee on duty is not available. Most of the workers under this shift have higher compensation as they work beyond the standard working hours. Companies rarely use this shift, mostly this is used for institutions having non-stop operations. There will be no regular time shift for the employees, they can work any time of the day or night.Split shift: This shift is very rare, separating your working hours into two different shifts. It is not used with most of the workers, this will be within the agreement of the employee and management. The schedule will start in the morning, you can have 4 hours and the rest can be done in the afternoon shift, lunch break is not included. A split shift is applicable for companies that require huge loads in the morning and afternoon, in order to maximize the employee, they will be asked to work in two shifts.

How to Make a Work Shift Schedule?

Creating and maintaining a consistent work schedule is the key to running a successful business. And, living a fulfilled life. Effective scheduling of employees improves the profitability and order of the business. When a shift work schedule is effective, every employee knows where and when they are supposed to work which increases their focus and ensures everyone, employees and management are all on the same page. Employee development is the best result in making a work shift schedule. There is no perfect business, some started from scratch but with the help of discipline and focus, they were able to achieve their goal.

Asses Production and Analyze Current Activity

In this area, you will need to calculate the standard production of your company. If you are in a restaurant, analyze and calculate how much production a day is needed, and in order to check the gap and progress. Also, analyze your current activity levels to determine the right amount of staff to schedule, You need to have figures or numbers to determine whether the production is stagnant or progressing. By calculation the production every day, you’ll be able to see how much is needed or if we need to reduce the number of employees.

Consider Employee Scheduling Needs

This is very important as employees are the primary factor in scheduling staff. Considering your employee’s needs means assessing their preference time, in that way you’ll know at what time they can draw more of their potential. Considering employee’s needs also means, knowing their leave and absences or the reasons as well, that is very useful in making a schedule for a day or a week. There is maternity or paternity leave, those examples are our employee needs. Some employees would also request to be put on morning or afternoon shift, depending on the evaluation, you can make your schedule smoothly.

Determine the number of Employees

There are various of shifts, some company is operating 24/7. You will need to know how many employees are needed to meet certain standards from your production standard. In doing so, assess your production standard and check the employee’s needs first, calculate the employees, also traject the next production. The number of employees may vary on the peak hour or day of the business or company. The number of employees also means choosing or determining the skills needed for that day or week.

Choose Your Scheduling Method

Start choosing your schedule method, examples are split shift, fixed shift, flexible shift, on-call shift, etc. After knowing the production and employee needs, create the schedule best suit to the situation. You can create a calendar or worksheet to organize properly your schedules, in this part, the most important thing is developing a scheduled shift that will allow your employee to work efficiently.

Regularly Review Your Schedule

Your work begins in creating a schedule but that’s not where it ends. You need to track, manage, adjust or innovate your craft. There will be issues or challenges along the way and you need to be quick on developing an idea or schedule that will cater to the needs.  Always check your schedule, in this part, you can create a simple plan tracker that will enable you to see the disadvantages and advantages of the schedule you’ve created.


What are the 3 basic shift?

The primary shifts used by most companies or businesses are, first shift or the morning shift, the second shift or afternoon shift, and the third shift or evening shift.

What is a graveyard shift?

A graveyard shift is commonly used for BPO companies, usually starts in the early morning (12:00 AM) and ends in the afternoon.

How do I create a best schedule shift?

To create an excellent shift, you need to consider your team or employees, assess their strengths and weaknesses, heed their needs, follow your production standard and choose the best shift that will let them improve and enhance their skills.

A schedule can sometimes just be a routine for many, but the road to excellence is the basics. Planning or creating a schedule is very vital to the growth of the team, leading individuals to self-awareness. The process of becoming the best is to never get bored with the basics. The daily schedule can be a routine, can be boring but fundamentals are the backbone to become successful. A work shift schedule is a tool that acts as an overview of the whole planning timeframe, in this way, there will be more possibility of anticipating obstacles coming your way. There are multiple samples here that will guide you in making your own work shift schedule, check them out.