Shift planning can be a complex art. Get it right, and your business can boost productivity and staff retention. But most companies try a few schedules before finding the ideal timetable.
What's the best shift pattern for your business? Since our blog post on popular types of shift pattern, WhosOffice has seen more companies trialling 4 on 4 off schedules.
Why is the 4 on 4 off shift pattern so attractive? And how can you introduce a 4 on 4 of schedule without disrupting workflow? Let’s take a deeper dive...
4 on 4 off is a regular repeating shift pattern. Staff work four consecutive daily shifts, followed by four days off. The week becomes eight days long rather than seven days.
Usually, 4 on 4 off is a rolling schedule. This means the schedule doesn’t take weekends or public holidays into account. The shift pattern repeats every eight weeks.
While there’s no extra time off for weekends, employers can choose to change the start time of each shift block. For example, someone doing 4 on 4 off might have a block of night shifts starting at 9pm. Then, after their four-day break, they have a block of day shifts.
There are many use cases for the 4 on 4 off schedule. But it’s often best suited to organisations that need 24/7 staffing, such as:
There are many reasons why 4 on 4 off shifts are growing in popularity. They benefit employers and employees in several ways, including:
Another great benefit of a 4 on 4 off shift plan is its simplicity. You’re not trying to juggle several shift patterns to schedule the right number of staff each day. As a result, you don’t need a complex staff roster template to introduce 4 on 4 off shifts.
However, adding shifts takes time if you’re planning staff rosters on spreadsheets. There’s also room for human error – which can still happen with repeating schedules.
The 4 on 4 off shift pattern is popular because it’s easy to understand and gives people a good work/life balance. But you don’t want to cause stress setting it up.
The quickest way to move to a 4 on 4 off schedule is by using shift planning software. WhosOffice includes a shift pattern generator, so you can create schedules in minutes.
A shift pattern planner makes it easier to experiment with new rosters. For example, you could trial the 4 on 4 off schedule with one department and gather their feedback. If it works, you can roll it out across your organisation. If it doesn’t, you can switch back to your previous shift pattern.
Are you ready to experiment with the 4 on 4 off shift pattern? Start your free WhosOffice trial to use our online shift pattern generator. Select the pattern you want from our staff roster templates, which include 4 on 4 off.
WhosOffice offers a longer free trial than most shift planning software. Sign up today and you’ll get the rest of this month plus next month free!
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