Is there a difference between shift patterns and staff schedules?

Yes there is…a big difference! and we have decided to consolidate all our staff scheduling resources into one Knowledgebase to get round what for many is a problem.

A shift pattern is simply a pattern of shifts. There are two basic types: a week based pattern and a sequence based pattern. The week based pattern is based on the 7 day week. A sequence based pattern is independent of the days of the week. For example 4 days on followed by 4 days off = 8 days; and the eight day week does not exist. The purpose of a shift pattern is to consistently define a sequence of shifts and days off in a specific order. The idea being to achieve balance and even distribution of working hours at different times of the day – or 24 hour period. Shift patterns are independent of calendar dates and staff.

A staff schedule on the other hand is dependent on calendar dates and staff, in fact its sole function is to align shifts with named staff to specific calendar dates. The purpose of a staff schedule is to inform staff when to turn up for work, nothing more nothing less. If you have a shift pattern, or a combination of shift patterns you can automate the production of your staff schedule. If you do not have a shift pattern then creating a staff schedule will be hard work, probably unfair and almost certainly expensive.

So you need both, and this is where to find them; and the tools to deliver unlimited combinations of both.

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8 comments on “Is there a difference between shift patterns and staff schedules?
  1. Randy McGee says:

    Interesting, I didn’t know that there is such a difference between the two. I am understanding it a little better since been thrown in the deep-end creating our department rosters.

  2. Diane H says:

    Am I right in thinking that I need Resource Manager to design shift patterns? Thanks Diane .H

  3. Andrew Evans says:

    We use several different shift patterns in our call centre, dependent on call volume/weekends/nights etc. Can I insert them into just one schedule or do I need a seperate schedule for each shift pattern?

    • Admin says:

      Hello Andrew,

      Schedule24 Resource Manager schedules can contain multiple shift patterns – there’s no limit. I know of one customer currently running 44 shift patterns in one schedule but that is an extreme example.

      Hope that helps answer your question.

      Best regards,
      Chris White
      Intellicate Team

  4. Marcelle LaGarde says:

    Thank you so much for this article much appreciated :)

  5. tshoehlisi says:

    Thank you very much explained different between shift and week.I work as security officer for a period of 4yrs under sectorial dertamination and stated that 1yr regareded as 1week but pravite company pays pair shift not pair week.thank you very much.

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  1. […] Designed specifically and optimized for business analysts, and consulting professionals to work out combinations of shift patterns faster than it takes to format your next worksheet. Through a seamless integration, Schedule24 Shift Pattern Add-In for Microsoft® Excel® adds a new dimension to your Excel® shift pattern designs and staff scheduling. […]

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