A rota (also known as a roster or duty roster) is a list or chart showing the times or dates when people are scheduled to work or perform a task or duty.

Rotas are commonly used in workplaces, schools, and even in people’s homes (for example a cleaning or kitchen rota in a shared house), giving the people involved clarity over when they’re required to perform a task, helping them organise their time outside it.

Etymology of the word ‘rota’

The word “rota” comes from the Latin for “wheel”, most likely due to the fact that work schedules rotate week after week.

In the past, rotas were usually drawn up by hand on sheets of paper. With the advent of personal computers in the 1990s, spreadsheet software also became used for the task, although this is not its main purpose and can often complicate matters for both staff and managers.

More recently, businesses and organisations requiring staff rotas use dedicated rota planning software such as RotaCloud to organise their teams, benefitting from the software’s “anytime, anywhere” accessibility and the fact that changes to the schedule can be communicated to staff in an instant via email, SMS, or push notification.

Online rota software

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