What Is a Rotating Schedule & Who Is It Good For?
Rotating shift work is work scheduled in blocks of time that change from week to week or month to month. Often, facilities that require rotating shifts to operate effectively do so because their business needs employees 24/7. Aug 23, · A rotating schedule is also called shift work. It’s when you work one set schedule and then change to another at some point in time that has usually been predetermined. Rotating schedules can be part of a part-time or full-time position, depending on how much work there is at a particular company.
Many types of work schedules exist today—far more than the traditional hour full-time schedule of 9 to 5 day for five weekdays. The type of schedule chosen by each employer depends on the kind of work they do and the work environment. Along with rotating shifts and fixed work shifts, there are also full-time and part-time jobs available, letting you choose how much time to spend with your children and family, and when.
A rotating schedule is also called shift work. Rotating schedules can be part of a part-time or full-time position, depending on how much work there is at a particular company. Other professions with rotating schedules include roadwork crews, hospitals and utility company repair. In all of these scenarios, workers are needed around the clock to perform the services at all times of the day and night, no matter what the day of the week happens to be. Rotating eight-hour shifts are used to cover the hour period of each day and what is a rotating work schedule, Monday through Friday.
This type of shift is usually used by companies that are closed on weekends. The first shift is the earliest of the day and it starts around 8 a. This is the preferred shift for parents who need to get their children to school or daycare in the mornings before work, pick them up afterward and sleep at night.
The second shift starts what does liability insurance covers the first shift ends, or overlaps, so there is no lag time between shifts. It usually starts at about 4 p. Working this shift will have you leaving work around midnight, so night owls may prefer it. The third shift generally starts at the end of the second shift, around midnight. It usually ends at about 8 a.
Many employers offer an increased pay rate for this—the least desired shift among employees. It is hard to work this shift and take care of little ones without dependable help, and you may have little time for a social life due to the wake-sleep cycle. It rotates the different crews through day shifts, night shifts and off-duty days.
For example, a shift for one work crew may be working two day shifts, then two days off duty and then three day shifts consecutively. The next week, the crew would remain working the day shift in the same manner and then the following week change how to increase wbc count after chemotherapy the same sequence, but work the night shift for 12 hours a day. This is considered a slow rotation schedule, so it's easier to adapt to the changes than if the days and night rotate quickly.
This type of shift can be a bit hard to get used to, but you would work about 42 hours a week, including two hours of overtime pay. The sequence also gives you a three-day weekend twice a month; if you take two vacation days in a two-day work week, you get seven days off in a row. You also only work three consecutive days at the most at any time. Other types of rotating shifts occur in the workplace.
Traditional rotating schedules are when an employee changes from one shift to another each week. Slow-rotation shifts may have employees change to new shifts from two weeks to monthly or even yearly at the extreme. Partial rotating shifts have only a portion of a crew rotating between shifts, leaving some of the crew staying on a fixed shift at all times.
Oscillating shifts more commonly have two separate shifts that rotate back and forth between two schedules, while the third shift remains on a fixed schedule permanently. When trying to decide if you want to accept a job with rotating shifts, you should weigh the advantages and disadvantages to see if it will fit into your schedule.
Mary Lougee has been writing for over 10 years. She holds a Bachelor's Degree with a major in Management and a double minor in accounting and computer science. She loves writing about careers for busy families as well as family oriented planning, meals and activities for all ages. What Does Rotating Schedule Mean?
Mary Lougee. Share It. Rotating Schedules Promote Balanced Skills Many types of work schedules exist today—far more than the traditional hour full-time schedule of 9 to 5 day for five weekdays.
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A: A rotating schedule refers to a scheduling practice used by some employers to cover various shifts. With a rotating schedule, employees work a certain shift, for example, first shift (day shift), for a set period. They then rotate and work second shift (evening or night shift) for a set period.
Got it. Rotating shifts are scheduled shifts that change over time. An example might be a customer service rep who works six weeks of day shifts, followed by six weeks of night shifts. Finding free time to hang out with friends or see loved ones may be challenging, and the resulting lack of human connection, isolating.
Over the years, researchers have blamed rotating shifts for mental and physical health risks such as depression and anxiety, weight gain, and lack of sleep.
Some sources have even linked rotating shifts to divorce and early death. Given the magnitude of the health risks associated with rotating shifts, it seems incredible that so many American workers adhere to such a schedule. Yet an estimated 2. There are around million American workers total, which means 3,, have rotating shifts. Brianna Meinburg, a hospital nurse, and Jeremy Clark, a section head for a regional grocery chain, are two such shift workers.
As we examine the ins and outs of rotating shifts, their stories may bring some color to what we think about shift work. Rotating shift work is work scheduled in blocks of time that change from week to week or month to month. Rather than expecting certain members to work unpopular hours, the employer may try to distribute the burden of those hours evenly. When asked why they work rotating shifts, Main reason for working rotating shifts For Jeremy and Brianna, rotating shifts have their ups and downs.
But juggling motherhood and night shifts can be tough, too. And with rotating days off, it can be over a week before you get any time away from work. Essentially, rotating shifts work by cycling employees through a schedule of shifts. There might be a morning shift, an afternoon shift, an evening shift, and an overnight shift. Employees take turns working each shift over time. Or rotating shifts might work by having an employee work the same shift each week but on different days.
Employees may take turns having Saturdays or Sundays off, so everyone has a chance to be home on the traditional weekend. Rotating shifts can be problematic when scheduling shifts for employees.
Managers can configure rotating shifts in hundreds of ways. Looking to build a schedule of rotating shifts that will cover all 24 hours of work? Here are the most common shift examples:. The strategy for scheduling shift workers might look a little different based on your industry, team size, or scheduling preferences. Many managers take into account employee preferences. One in 2 employees has some control over their schedule, according to a shift worker survey. Brianna and Jeremy both benefit from managers who prioritize their preferences.
We schedule ourselves for the days we want to work, then our manager goes through and evens it all out. They do their best to keep our schedules as close to what we ask for.
Brianna prefers to work her shifts three days in a row. Some rotating shifts change by the hour, while others vary by day, week, or quarter. There are four different types of rotating shifts. Nurses are some of the most visible rotating shift workers. For them, the most common rotating shift schedule is hours per shift, three days a week. The military is another space where rotating shifts appear common.
One military blogger describes a rotating shift schedule of two hour day shifts, followed by two hour night shifts, then four days off. Then, rather than going home, the soldier will be scheduled for duty the latter half of the day 2 PM to 11 PM.
Say an employee is hourly, and they work Monday through Friday, from 9 to 5. If no one asks them to take a different shift, they have a fixed shift. But if that shift changes from week to week or month to month, that employee might have a rotating shift.
Advantages of a rotating shift schedule:. Workers with rotating schedules had the lowest level of long-term over three years retention, according to the QuickBooks Time work schedule survey. A article by the U. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare states that shift work might be more prevalent in industries with:.
Forty years later, those two statements hold true. Thus, rotating shifts are common in industries such as:. The top five industries to have alternative shifts in , and the percentage of workers in each industry who worked alternative shifts, include:. These numbers may have remained steady 20 years later.
The caveat is that, like any other employee, Jeremy needs to give his scheduling manager ample notice of any shifts he can or cannot work. Still, unlike employees who work a set shift, Jeremy has the option to move his working days around slightly. The more employers force employees to change their sleep schedules, the greater the damage. Sleep deprivation may inhibit your body from producing proteins that help fight off infection, according to the Mayo Clinic. Such proteins are especially helpful in fighting infection during times of stress.
The Mayo Clinic also cautions that long-term lack of sleep may increase your risk of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. Women, especially, seem susceptible to the adverse health effects of rotating shifts. Rotating shift work is unhealthy on a physical and mental level. Mentally, rotating shift work may lead to higher stress, anxiety, and depression.
National Library of Medicine. They can make it difficult for workers to engage with family or friends, which can add to the mental burden. Multiple studies have tied irregular shift work, including rotating shifts, to higher rates of divorce and breakups. Data shows that, for many, rotating shifts will do damage, mentally and physically. When you put the two together, the outcome is rotating shifts built with empathy and care, so that neither business nor employees suffer.
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Devices sold separately; data plan required. Not all features are available on the mobile apps and mobile browser. QuickBooks Time. Try it Free. Open Modal. Learn more about shift work and the industries best suited for it. Get answers to common questions about the effects of rotating shift work. What is rotating shift work? How do rotating shifts work?
Rotating shift schedule examples How to schedule employees for rotating shifts Types of rotating shifts Fixed shifts vs. What are Rotating Shifts?
Main reason for working rotating shifts. For Jeremy and Brianna, rotating shifts have their ups and downs. Rotating shift schedule examples Managers can configure rotating shifts in hundreds of ways.
How to schedule employees for rotating shifts The strategy for scheduling shift workers might look a little different based on your industry, team size, or scheduling preferences.
In the end, whatever scheduling strategy you use, it seems one component must be in place: Communication and the opportunity to request change. Types of rotating shifts Some rotating shifts change by the hour, while others vary by day, week, or quarter. In this case, a person might go from working days to working nights all in the same seven-day period.
Slow rotation schedule: In this case, shifts rotate so infrequently throughout the year that an employee may have the same shift for months. Weekend rotation schedule: In this schedule, employees trade weekends, so everyone has a turn to be home with their families.
Partial rotation schedule: Part of a team may have rotating shifts, while the other part works fixed shifts. Advantages of a rotating shift schedule: Round-the-clock service for customers and clients No loss of productivity between shifts Behind-the-scenes work can be completed quickly—for example, janitorial teams can clean faster when office employees are away from their desks.
What industries use rotating shifts A article by the U. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare states that shift work might be more prevalent in industries with: Manufactured goods.
Thus, rotating shifts are common in industries such as: Manufacturing factory workers, production managers Medicine doctors, nurses, technicians, surgeons First responders firefighters, police, operators Utility specialists electricians, water utility workers Transportation bus drivers, rental car associates Hospitality hotel concierge, servers Retail gas station attendants, store associates, department managers Defense military.
The top five industries to have alternative shifts in , and the percentage of workers in each industry who worked alternative shifts, include: Protective service Effects of rotating shifts on employee health Rotating shifts are associated with numerous health risks: Gastrointestinal complications, including digestive trouble Cardiovascular damage, including increased risk of heart attack Weight gain leading to diabetes and obesity Increased blood pressure Decreased immunity to sickness Trouble sleeping.