Well the short answer is YES!
We regularly get asked, especially by those working in the public sector, what is the answer to the 37.5 hour week and 12 hour shifts? Usually from people who have spent many weeks of frustration with spreadsheets.
What probably isn’t realised there is a neat side effect which spins off this kind of shift pattern that would be an interest to the public sector wanting the benefits the compressed working week has to offer – and without “killing” yourself with extended hours of fatigue. There is not much point packing all the hours in only to have that extended break where you are ‘fit to drop’. On the other hand no manager is likely to be interested in stripping an operation down to ‘bare bones’ with a risk of not delivering services.
Our Workforce Factors Team designed a series of shift patterns to meet the austerity about to break over the public sector landescape. We had three goals in mind:
1. A more imaginative alternative to the tedious traditional office hours;
2. Increased flexibility of service delivery without increasing the staff headcount;
3. Meet the growing demand for 24/7 and extended hours working.
The popularising of 12 hour shifts does not rest easy with the standard 37.5 hour week; and traditional office hours are not that flexible for both the people that work them, and for a society that continues to demand services beyond traditional working hours. We came up with the following and reckcon both employers and employees would be happy working this setup:
– An average 37.5 hour week;
– 12 hour shifts;
– Conforms to the EEC WTD;
– Low to average HSE Fatigue and Risk Index;
– Delivers a constant or variable staff supply;
– Regular 3 and 4 days off a week;
– Five continuous 9 day breaks a year;
– One continuous 17 day break a year;
It’s all in the shift pattern.