7 Types of Shift Rosters You Should Consider

shift roster

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shift roster

What is a Shift Roster?

Scheduling and organising shifts for a team regardless of the size is time-consuming and can pose a bit of a headache. That’s where shift rosters come in. A shift roster is a formal schedule that determines the work hours of a shift-based employee team. Shift rosters make admin easier. Most shift roster management systems have integrations for things like staff codes of conduct and employee contracts.

Below we unpack employee rosters and the critical components you need to consider when implementing your scheduling solution.

Free Shift Roster Excel Template Download

The 7 Types of Shift Rosters 

1. Full-Time Shift Rosters

A typical full-time workweek schedule in South Africa is 45 hours excluding lunch breaks. This means that full-time workers require a commitment of 9 hours per day for five days or less in a week, or 8 hours per day for five days or more in a week. Full-time work schedules vary from company to company and depend on the operating hours. But for the most part, full-time workers can expect to work the same shifts every week.

2. Part-Time Shift Rosters

The most obvious difference between full-time and part-time work schedules is the number of hours employees are required to work. Any work schedule with fewer hours than that of a full-time schedule is considered part-time. Some staff may prefer part-time employment as it allows them more flexibility. 

3. Rotating Shift Rosters

For companies that operate on a continuous or 24/7 basis rotating shift rosters work best. Rotating shift rosters include day, night and swing shifts that cycle weekly, monthly or quarterly depending. This is the sort of roster that’s popular in military, construction, roadwork, powerplant and medical industries. Some may find this type of schedule difficult to adjust to because it impacts sleep and eating patterns and time to spend with loved ones will become less frequent.

4. Split Shift Rosters

Working split shifts means that employees split their work hours throughout the day. For example, if someone is required to work for 8 hours per day, they could opt to work 4 hours in the morning and 4 hours in the evening. This is a popular shift roster among businesses that are open on a continuous basis, and among teams that need flexibility. 

5. Alternate Shift Rosters

This kind of shift roster is a broad term for any work schedule that is not “full-time”. Alternate rosters include flexible schedules, part-time schedules and rotating shift schedules among others. In typical workplaces, these types of schedules are implemented to accommodate the special needs of staff, such as medical requirements or pregnancies. 

6. DuPont Shift Rosters

The DuPont roster is a common shift schedule and works as follows: The work schedule is broken into shifts and works in a 12-hour shift rotating pattern. Employees are divided into four teams. During a 4-week period, each team will work a set of 4 consecutive night shifts, followed by 3 off duty days in the first week. They then work f 3 day shifts, followed by 1 off day and then work 3 consecutive night shifts. Thereafter, the team has 3 off days which are followed by 4 day shifts and then 7 days off. This roster repeats every four weeks. 

7. Pitman Shift Rosters 

Commonly known as the “Every Other Weekend Off” schedule, the Pitman shift roster is when employees are split into 4 teams working two 12-hour long shifts per day. This roster operates in 2-week cycles, and with it, teams have every other weekend off and employees never work more than three consecutive days.


Things to Consider when Choosing a Type of Roster for your Security Company: 

  • How big is the team you’re creating a schedule for? 
  • What are the operating hours of your business?
  • Do you want to give your team(s) an opportunity to provide feedback? 
  • How do you want to handle leave and availability requests? 
  • Which is your busiest time, day, shift, and season? 

Pro Tip: Allocate your busiest shifts to your most skilled or experienced staff.

EasyRoster Scheduling Software

How can EasyRoster Help with Creating, Implementing and Managing your Shift Rosters? 

Unlike other standard workforce management software, EasyRoster helps companies manage more than just the schedules of staff at their internal locations, it can be used for staff at client locations as well. This makes EasyRoster perfect for companies whose teams are on the road or very rarely located at company-owned offices, i.e. security companies

With EasyRoster, you can create, implement and manage multiple rosters from one program. This makes identifying and correcting issues a breeze. The process of allocating overtime and adjusting shift schedules has never been more efficient. Big or small, we’re here to help your business and sell your man-hours with ease. Contact EasyRoster and book your productivity demo today.

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