Rolling rota

A rolling rota is when staff alternate their days off and the days they work, or take it in turns to work a particular shift type.

Rolling rotas are particularly common in industries like healthcare, care, security, IT, and emergency services, where staff are required around the clock.

Example of a rolling rota

When working to a rolling rota, team of three employees’ schedule might look something like this:

Week Employee 1 Employee 2 Employee 3
1 Early shift Mid shift Late shift
2 Mid shift Late shift Early shift
3 Late shift Early shift Mid shift

After three weeks, the rota then resets, with the process starting all over again.

Of course, this is just a simple example; a real rota involving dozens of employees and different shift types would be much more complicated, but the same principle applies.

But by using a rolling rota each of your employees has a turn working each of the shift types, meaning that no one person is lumbered with always working the more unsociable hours or taking on the duties that come with working a particular shift.

Cons of using a rolling rota

Consideration should be taken into the impact that a constantly changing work schedule might have on your employees. While a rolling rota might work well for some, others would prefer to have more consistency in their lives — especially if they have children, are studying, or have other commitments outside of work.

Try experimenting with other shift patterns, for example the Panama shift pattern, DuPont schedule, or 7 on, 7 off shift pattern, to find a rota style that fits.

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