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What is a Rotating Schedule?


Before flexible time was offered to most companies, employees used to work eight-hour shifts-arriving and leaving at the same time every day. By contrast, most businesses adopt a rotating schedule in which each employee’s hours - or (days) change. This blog will explain a rotating schedule and how it works for your staff and business.


What is a rotating schedule as opposed to a fixed one?

A rotating schedule is one in which team members’ hours shift throughout the week or month. For example, staff can work dayshift straight for a week or two before switching places with someone on the night shift.


Rotating schedules are commonly used for essential services that require 24/7 coverage. The best examples are fire stations, hospitals, police precincts, utility providers, and even military defense, which all fall into this category. However, rotating employee shifts is also popular in other industries. Some of them are factories, call centers, and restaurants.


Types of rotating schedules


Of course, all employees’ health and well-being are also essential to help minimize fatigue and burnout. That is why many businesses use one of the established models below.


1. The Pitman shift schedule


The approach involves four separate teams alternating between cycles. It’s also known as the 2-2-3 schedule. A 2-2-3 schedule works like this:

  • Two shifts on

  • Two shifts off

  • Three shifts on

  • Two days off

  • Two shifts on

  • Three days off


What is excellent about this approach is that no employee ever works three days in a row. Better still, each team member receives a three-day break on alternate weekends. The downside to a 2-2-3 schedule is that 12-hour shifts are long. Apart from that, everyone on the team has a 62- hour workweek once a month. Constant motivation is needed to help members to stay positive during these long weeks.


2. The 2-2 3-2 2-3 rotating shift schedule

The approach is almost identical to the Pitman schedule. The main difference is that the teams alternate between day and night shifts every 28 days. As a result, each team member eventually becomes familiar with the busiest and slowest times of the day. The semi-routine can help your team coordinate better and anticipate customer needs.


3. The DuPont rotating shift schedule

For this particular method, teas alternate shifts on a four-week cycle using the schedule below:

  • Four nights on

  • Three days off

  • Three days on

  • One day off

  • Three nights on

  • Three days off

  • Four days on

  • Seven days of

The main advantage of this type of schedule is that everyone gets a seven-day break each cycle. The trade-off is that everyone also inherits a 72-hours workweek once a month.


What are the benefits of rotating shift work?


You can have a team on-site around the clock as a business owner or someone who manages an essential service. There are also significant benefits to all team members. For example, with rotating schedules, everyone gets a break from the traditional 9 to 5 working hours. Everybody must have time to go to a doctor’s appointment, run other errands such as picking up dry cleaning, and socialize with family and friends.


Small business types that can best utilize rotating shifts

A rotating shift schedule is suitable for your business if you have enough employees to break into four separate terms. However, this approach is more common among open industries day and night, like hospitality, travel, manufacturing, and janitorial services.


Furthermore, businesses that have longer operational hours, such as retail stores. Staggered times throughout the day, like restaurants, might also benefit from using rotating shifts. Even stores that use fixed schedules might switch to a rotation model during the busy holiday season.


How to manage rotating shifts with ease

For ages, managers knew that mapping schedules, in general, can be a time-consuming task. It becomes more complex once you begin alternating days on and off- following any of the rotating schedules patterns outlined above.


Fortunately, it’s now possible to automate complex tasks, such as these, using technology. For example, in addition to employee management and payroll capabilities, all eatOS POS systems seamlessly integrate with third-party apps designed to manage everything from employee scheduling to customer engagement.


To learn how our POS technology can help you save time and make your operations more efficient, talk to us now and let us schedule you for a product demonstration.