Rotating schedules
the benefits and how Homebase can help

  • A rotating schedule is a fair way to schedule your employees so one person is not working the same type of shift too much.
  • The practice can also help your team gain crucial experience in different areas of your business, making it easier if you need someone to fill in for a certain type of shift last minute. 
  • Homebase scheduling makes building a rotating schedule easier for you. Get started today to discover how our scheduling app makes your process efficient and beneficial for everyone.
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What is a rotating schedule?

A rotating work schedule is a staff scheduling practice that some small business owners implement to cover various shifts for their weekly schedules or monthly schedules. If an employer uses a rotating schedule, their employees work a certain type of shifts, whether their 12-hour shifts or less,  like the day shift, night shift, or any other type of shift for a certain number of consecutive days.

After that time period is over, the employees rotate and work the second shift, meaning the type of shift they did not previously work, for another set period of time. Rotating shift schedule examples include several different scenarios that might apply to your business. Your business might have a customer service rep position. If it is a rotating schedule job, the employee might work the night shift for 6 weeks, and then in the following 6 weeks, they would switch to the day shift. 

You might also want to use a field day rotation schedule for your offsite employees, alternating who is at headquarters for certain shifts and who is in the field completing jobs. Other businesses may create a rotating weekend schedule template so one employee isn’t stuck working on the weekends more than another. 

The easiest way to plan a rotating schedule is to use a rotating schedule maker like Homebase, not to memorize the Excel formula for rotating shift schedules. The Homebase work scheduling app does the hard work for you, regardless of if you’re creating a rotating schedule for 4 employees, or for 10. Our shift scheduling software makes it easy for you to implement the right schedule that works best for you and your team.

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Why should I use a rotating schedule template?

As a business owner, you should want your employees to think they’re being scheduled fairly through your workforce management practices. This is why many businesses use a schedule rotation generator to create scheduling practices that work for the team. 

Weekend, early morning, or late night shifts are acceptable from time to time, but changing the shift work schedule is key to keeping your employees, and their sleeping patterns, happy. And switching from the day shift to the night shift can seriously increase earnings for employees in tipped positions.

Many managers don’t use a rotating schedule because it’s easier to keep the same schedule each week than having to learn how to make a rotating shift schedule in Excel for example. This is especially true when using a static schedule template. But that’s where a more advanced rotating shift schedule software like Homebase comes in handy.

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What are the benefits of a rotating schedule?

In many restaurants, employees working different shifts won’t make the same amount of tips. If employees are available for both shifts, consider rotating who’s on duty for the afternoon and evening shifts to even out the amount of tips they’re able to make. Your employees rely on tips to make a living, and a rotating shift schedule will keep employees happy.

Rotating schedules also help with providing crucial experience to your team. If you have employees that only ever work day shifts, they may have a hard time the first time they have to work during peak hours. With occasional shift swaps, it’s likely that these employees will eventually need to cover a busy shift. 

It’s important to make sure they’re prepared. With Homebase, leaving shift notes will make sure that an employee working a new shift is ready to go. When employees have worked a rotating shift pattern, you’ll know you can count on them around the clock.

When an employee needs time off, you’ll need to find someone else to fill in. Having employees that are comfortable working each shift means that you will have a ready and willing group to take their spot.

Having flexibility in your schedule means that employees can make room for other things they need to do in their lives. For example, if you have a set schedule, an employee might need to take the day off to make it to an appointment or family event.

Instead, if you have a rotating schedule with more flexibility, they may be able to schedule around their shifts and not have to miss work after all. It’s a win for employees and a win for business owners as well.

These benefits will impact your team greatly, but instead of learning how to create a rotating schedule in Excel, get started with Homebase’s employee scheduling tool to make the job easy for you. 

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How do I get a rotating schedule right?

Rotating schedules work best with shifts that aren’t too extreme. After all, asking employees to work 3-night shifts and two daytime shifts in the same week may not work out well.

When sleeping patterns are off, your business will suffer. You don’t want an exhausted staff because it will be harder for them to get their work done and they may even start looking for work elsewhere. Rotating schedules should shift work hours but also take worker needs into account.

Once you decide to implement a rotating shift, employees will need an effective way to check when they are working and even get notifications of upcoming shifts. If an employee has worked only dinner shifts for several years, giving them plenty of reminders that they’re working lunch shifts occasionally will make sure it doesn’t slip their mind. Using the free Homebase team communication app, employees can check when they are working and swap shifts easily.

Switching to a rotating schedule can be a great way to keep scheduling fair. In a mobile-first world, giving your employees the ability to check their upcoming shifts and even clock in on their phone will keep your business running smoothly. Streamline scheduling and keep employees in the loop with our free scheduling software..

If you want to give a rotating schedule a try, Homebase can help schedule your employees effortlessly.

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