Which Work Schedule Fits Best for Your Business?

Introduction to Work Schedule

There are different types of work schedules that business managers can use to effectively staff their establishment. But before they can start assigning shifts, executives need to determine which work schedule fits best with their business model. Perhaps an organization only needs their office workers to come and perform tasks 8 hours a day. Or maybe a fast-food restaurant needs line cooks at 4 a.m. every day. Whichever their business needs are, managers need to use an effective scheduling system to accommodate employees and boost productivity.

What is a Work Schedule? Types to Look Out For

A work schedule refers to a system that indicates what days and hours an employee is expected to be at their job. This will oftentimes come in the form of a weekly or monthly calendar. Depending on a business's scheduling system, managers will send out schedules every work week or month via text, email, or employee scheduling mobile app. There are different work schedule structures that organizations will use, depending on how often they need their staff members to work. The following are the most common types of work schedules to schedule employees.

1. Full-Time Work Schedule

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Full-time work schedules entail 37 to 40 hours per week, or around eight hours a day. A typical full-time hours schedule begins at 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. However, this will vary from company to company. For example, a tech company may have staff members begin their workday at 6 a.m. to connect with international teams. The schedule could be consistent every week if managers and employees prefer.

Since full-time staff members have to work long hours, employers will usually offer employee benefits. This includes vacation days, paid time off, health insurance, and retirement plans. Additionally, full-time employees that get paid hourly can receive overtime pay when they work over 40 hours a week.

2. Part-Time Work Schedule

Any schedule that entails less than 40 hours is considered a part-time work schedule. This type of work schedule allows employees to have more flexibility with their time outside of work. However, part-time staff members do not get the benefits that are offered to those working full time. Additionally, their schedules can be inconsistent from week to week, or month to month.

For example, a part-time team member at a coffee shop may work a 6 a.m.-12 p.m. shift on weekends one week. But another work week, they may work Monday to Thursday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Part-time schedules, like these, are most commonly used by retailers and restaurants.

3. Fixed Work Schedule

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Employees with a fixed work schedule will work the same number of hours and days each week. Typically, managers and staffers will agree on a set amount of shifts before they schedule employee members. This consistency ensures that employees do not forget about their shifts, effectively reducing tardiness and absenteeism.

4. Flexible Work Schedule

In contrast to fixed schedules, flexible work schedules will vary depending on the needs of the business and employee. To create a flexible work schedule, employers and team members must establish the number of hours and days that the member will work. Then, managers can staff the employee for a minimum amount of shifts or base it on customer demand.

5. Rotating Shift Schedule

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A rotating shift work schedule cycles and distributes day and night shifts among all employees. For example, one employee will work day shifts for a month and then transition to night shifts for the next month. The schedule changes ensure that no one team is stuck working an undesirable late shift every time. Rotating schedules are mostly used by organizations in the healthcare, construction, and military industry.

Before managers set schedules that rotate, they should assess their employees' preferences beforehand. Some staff members will have personal reasons, such as family and health issues that may restrict them from working certain shifts. Consistently changing shifts can also cause disruptions with sleep patterns and circadian rhythms, which will affect real time productivity. Therefore, managers should ensure that their employees could work rotating shifts and implement it for those that can.

Key Takeaways to Work Schedule

  • A work schedule delineates the days and times that an employee must come into their job.
  • There are different work schedules that companies will use. These vary depending on the business's needs, customer base, and employee preferences.
  • The most common type of employee schedule include full-time, part-time, and rotating shift schedules.
  • Before implementing an employee work schedule, operators and owners should assess their business plan and talk to employees. These best practices will help ensure productivity and efficiency.