Companies

${ company.text }

Be the first to rate this company Not yet rated ${ company.score }

Career Resources

${ getArticleTitle(article) }

Topics

${ tag.display_name }

Community

${ getCommunityPostText(community_post) }

Writers

${ author.full_name }

${ author.short_bio }

InHerSight logo
Jobs Community For Employers

Join InHerSight's growing community of professional women and get matched to great jobs and more!

Sign up now

Already have an account? Log in ›

  1. Blog
  2. Career Development
  3. September 24, 2019

What Is a Rotating Schedule & Who Is It Good For?

Pros and cons of rotational scheduling

What Is a Rotating Schedule & Who Is It Good For?

What is a rotating schedule?

There are generally two kinds of work schedules:

  • A fixed schedule, which means you go in at the same time or for the shifts every week (for example: 4 p.m. to 12 a.m, Monday–Friday)

  • A rotating schedule, which means you work shifts on a rotating basis (for example, 4 p.m. to 12 a.m. for one week, then 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. the following week)

How common are rotating schedules?

Rotating schedules are common in industries like healthcare and hospitals; protective services like police, fire, and emergency medical services; hospitality services like hotels and food service; and transportation services like trucking and airlines.

Rotational schedules are ideal for any business or organization that needs workers beyond the standard 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

In hospitality and food service, where employees earn tips, a manager might use a rotating schedule in order to keep work hours as fair as possible—giving employees an equal shot at working the coveted dinner shifts where bills are higher and therefore tips are higher too.

Read more:The 20 Best Companies for Flexible Work Hours

Types of rotating schedules

There are several variations to the rotational schedule besides the night-and-day switch. A few other common rotation schedules include:

The Pitman shift schedule

This form of rotational schedule means employees get every other weekend off, typically composed of 12-hour shifts in the pattern of two shifts on then two days off, three shifts on then two days off, and two shifts on then three days off.

DuPont shift schedule

A 12-hour shift in the pattern of four shifts on then three days off, three shifts on then one day off, three shifts on then three days off, and four shifts on then seven days off.

The 2-2-3-2 2-3 rotating shift schedule

A variation of the Pitman schedule, uses 12-hour shifts with the pattern of two shifts on then two shifts off, three shifts on then two shifts off, and two shifts on and three shifts off, and so on. After the cycle is complete, workers switch from day to night and vice versa.

Read more:What Flextime Is & Why You Should Have It

The pros of a rotational schedule

  • Can make it easier to schedule child care and family care services or other household duties because employees know which shifts they will be responsible for in advance.

  • For workers who rely on tips, a rotating schedule ensures that they’ll get an equal share of shifts during the busiest hours, ensuring more tips.

  • By working different times during the day and doing different tasks, employees gain a better understanding of the ins and outs of the job and can fulfill training requirements.

  • It shares the load of rush hours so workers don’t get overloaded and can have some weekends off.

The cons of a rotating schedule

  • Some employees may prefer a consistent schedule instead of one that rotates all the time.

  • Rotating schedules can make it hard to attend school or other educational training that operates on a fixed schedule.

  • Working long, 12-hour shifts can exhaust or overwhelm workers, affecting safety and productivity.

  • Employees on rotational schedules often get fewer hours of sleep than workers on a fixed schedule.

  • Long work hours can increase your risk of obesity, injuries, and chronic diseases.

Read more:What Are Part-Time Hours in the U.S.?

Rate this article

Share this article

Photo of Abbey Slattery

Abbey Slattery

Contributor

Abbey Slattery is a writer, editor, and pop culture aficionado, most interested in the world of arts and culture and its intersection with politics. Throughout her career, she has contributed to newspapers, magazines, and websites, but is most prolific on Twitter. Abbey firmly believes in the importance of knowing your desert island movies and ranks Scream, Easy A, and Clue as her top choices. 

Don't Miss Out

Create a free account to get unlimited access to our articles and to join millions of women growing with the InHerSight community

Looks like you already have an account!
Click here to login ›

Invalid email. Please try again!

Sign up with a social account or...

If you already have an account, click here to log in. By signing up, you agree to InHerSight's Terms and Privacy Policy

Success!

You now have access to all of our awesome content

Rate Your Company

Your experience in the workplace matters! Anonymously share your feedback on a current or former employer. It only takes three minutes!

Popular

  1. ${post.title}

About InHerSight

InHerSight is the career navigator for working women. Founded on the belief that data measurement leads to advancement, we manage the largest database of women-rated companies, and we use those insights to match our users to jobs and companies where they can achieve their goals. Anonymously rate your current or former employer now to unlock our one-of-a-kind resources.