Well it depends!
Given the same staff headcount and the same number of production hours there is no difference in operating costs between staff schedules based on 12 hour shifts and 8 hour shifts. That is, when compensation is paid on hourly or salaried rates. However, if compensation is paid on daily rates the staff schedule based on a 12 hour shift pattern is 33% cheaper.
Well that’s obvious. Is it?
Many get caught out when the headcount and production hours remain constant, and the ‘rate’ is the same for everyone. The assumption when ‘everything’ looks the same it ‘works’ out can be an expensive one. Here are the outcomes for 4 staff deployed over a 7 day period:
The interaction between staff headcount, staff costs, and production hours can be a complex one to those not used to dealing with them on a regular basis. When it ‘all’ looks the same it does not follow they are all the same. For the employee you end up with less in your pocket; and for the employer you end up paying more for the same production hours.