A schedule is more than a day-on-day-off pattern

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Most people that come to our site are thinking “I need a shift schedule so all I need to do is search the internet until I find a pattern that I like.”

There are several “Danger Will Robinson” issues associated with this idea. First of all, what you like may not be what everyone else likes. Secondly, what everyone else likes may not be what is best for your company.

Suppose you like to work the Day Shift and have all of your weekends off. It won’t be hard to find a schedule that provides this type of pattern. Now, suppose you work at a refinery that runs 24/7. If you have all day shifts, then others are having to work more non-day shifts. If you have all of your weekends off, then others will have to work the weekends more often. So you can see, satisfying your personal preference may not satisfy the preference of others.

Take this same refinery. Suppose everyone agrees that weekends off would be a good thing. You will have no problem finding a schedule that gives all of the weekends off and you will certainly have no problem getting a consensus that such a schedule is a good idea from a lifestyle point of view. However, a refinery must run on the weekends. Having a schedule that gives everyone the weekends off will not change that fact.

Here are a few ways that schedules differ:
amount of coverage
amount of overtime
scheduling maintenance
scheduling vacations
absentee coverage
product flow
health and alertness
shift length
number of days in a row
fixed or rotating shifts
fixed or rotating days
cross training
sanitizing schedule
shipping schedule
warehouse capacity and scheduling
seasonality
discretionary work
overtime pay and policies

This list can go on and on. Different companies, even within the same industry often need different schedules.

Take the time to do the research and find out what you should be thinking about for your situation. We are here to help. Call our office to discuss your situation with one of our shift work experts. There is no charge for the call so if you have a question, there is no reason not to ask for help.

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