29 Free Rotating Schedule Templates (Excel / Word)

free rotating schedule template 7

A rotating schedule template is a type of work schedule wherein the employees take part in a rotation where they find themselves working the night, day, and swing shifts as required. A fixed schedule is the opposite of this type of schedule.

Moreover, a rotating schedule template is also known as work calendar schedule. By following this type of schedule, you can work on one set of shifts then have a changed shift at some preset point. For a specific company, on the basis of the work load, employers can apply these shifts to either full-time or part-time positions.

The main purpose of creating rotating schedule is to complete tasks 24/7. This usually involves manufacturers who want continuous production as much as possible. Roadwork crews, utility and repair companies, hospitals, and so on are other places of employment that use rotating schedule templates.

What is a rotating schedule?

A rotating schedule is an arrangement followed by employees in which they work day shifts for some time, then switch to night shifts for a while, and then go back to day shifts and vice versa. It is named as rotating schedule as the employees keep rotating between different shift times.


Common types of rotation schedules:

Let us discuss the most common types of rotating schedules;

Rotating 8-hour shifts

The employees who follow this type of rotating schedule work for 8 hours a day, 40 hours each week. From Monday to Friday, covering both day and night three shifts complete 24 hours. Companies who use this shift usually closed on the weekends.

  • The 1st shift: It is the day’s earliest shift and starts at 8:00 am. Employees work their compulsory 8-hours having one or two breaks. This shift is usually preferred by those people who want to spend time with their families at the end of the day. By having such shift, they easily manage their time.
  • The 2nd shift: this shift starts when the 1st one ends. There could be some overlap time in between in some cases. It begins at 4:00 pm then lasts for 8 hours also having some breaks in between. This shift has the odd timing but many have a preference for it.
  • The 3rd shift: it starts when the 2ndshift ends at around midnight. It ends at 8:00 in the morning. Due to its timing, it’s also referred to as the “graveyard shift.” Employees who work this shift also get some sort of extra compensation. This is because it is the least desired among the three shifts.

Rotating 2-2-3 shift

This shift has many variations. In this type of rotating schedule, the company employs 4 teams of employees having 2 shifts that last for 12-hours for a total coverage 24/7. Use a rotating schedule maker to create this schedule in order to ensure that there are different teams through the night and day shifts and on off-duty days.


It may be challenging to use this kind of shift. Here, with 2 hours of overtime, each employee works 42 hours a week.

The benefits of a rotating schedule:

Rotating schedule has a lot of benefits. Some of them are as follow;

  • It keeps the employee’s enthusiasm to work better in restaurants and similar work settings as they know that they’ll have their share of busy high-dollar shifts.
  • During peak hours, it enables employees more adept on their responsibilities.
  • It assists in establishing a better customer experience by including the most senior or the most skilled workers throughout the day. This promotes sales which will automatically benefit everybody, both employers and employees alike.
  • Additionally, it gives employers with enough time to train their employees at different times. You can decide on the training schedules that involve all of the employees at different times after setting up your rotating schedule templates.
  • Since all the workers get to try the different shifts, they receive the same experiences and opportunities. Whenever you implement the rotating work calendar schedule, all workers such as from engineers, managers, and other types of company personnel, everyone gets assigned to different shifts. That way, you promote equality among all of the workers.
  • To have a good balance of the skill levels on all of the shifts, you can disperse the senior workers evenly among the teams.

The drawbacks of a rotating schedule:

Before creating a rotating schedule, you should also know about the drawbacks of such a schedule. Rotating schedules might not suit your own needs and preferences whether you’re an employer or an employee. Following are the drawbacks of a rotating schedule that you must know;

  • The main drawbacks of a rotating schedule are regarding the employees. Employees usually prefer to have a fixed schedule. They don’t like the one which keeps on changing from time to time. The reason behind it is that by having a fixed schedule it’s easier for them to plan their activities, vacations, and more.
  • Another drawback of this schedule is that the employees may not like the fact that they have to keep track of their schedules every week or every month. On the other hand, by having a fixed schedule, they don’t have to check whether they have to come into work or not.
  • This type of schedule also affects the employees physically. Following a working schedule that modifies time and again might begin taking a toll on their bodies as our bodies function on a 24-hour cycle or the circadian rhythm. Never force your circadian rhythm to change due to work because this may have negative effects.

Hence, you should re-think the schedule if your employees start experiencing cardiovascular disorders, gastrointestinal disorders or sleep deprivation. However, some people may have no issue with changing their circadian rhythms while some people may have to face a very hard time with this.

How a rotating schedule works?

Let us discuss that how a rotating schedule work with an example.


Suppose it you are running a restraunt that opens 24/7 and have 3 shifts like;

  • First shift: 8 am –4 pm
  • Second shift: 4 pm – 12 pm
  • Third shift: 12 pm – 8 am

In a fixed schedule, some staff will always work the first shift, other will work the second shifts, and the third shifts. On the other hand, in a rotating schedule some workers work the first shift for 1 week, and then move to the second shift for next 1 week, and the cycle continues.

How a rotating schedule work for your business?

Have a meeting with your staff

Every business and industry have different working schedule. If you want to adopt rotating schedule then first have a meeting with your staff because they are the ones in charge of the shifts so you must ensure that they are willing and agree to follow this schedule. You must discuss the benefits and challenges of this type of schedule with your staff. Also, you have to describe and discuss the importance of this schedule if it is necessary for your business.

Inform your future applicants

If you are hiring new candidates then inform them that you have decided to use a rotating schedule for your business. It would be better to let them know during the interview process.

Make use of employee scheduling software


It can be difficult for both employees and employers to implement a rotating schedule. It isn’t easy to manage a schedule that needs constant adjustments. If you don’t want to harm your staff’s mental and physical health then use good employee scheduling software to make your work schedules.

How to create a rotating schedule?

Here are the steps to follow for making a rotating schedule;

Select a type of rotating schedule

You can select one type of rotating schedule on the basis of your business, industry, and staff preferences and then adjust it to suit your scheduling planning.

Divide the workers into teams

Determine the total number of your workers and divide them into teams. While making teams, keep in mind all the necessary roles. Assign each team a title so that you can easily arrange the shifts.

Assign shifts to each team

Assign shifts to each team after selecting the method and dividing the employees into teams.


In conclusion, a rotating schedule template is a tool used to make a schedule wherein an employee moves from one shift to another every week. By having such a schedule, the employee can change their shifts every 2 weeks, months or in some cases, yearly. This type of schedule is beneficial in case the pay-off is greater in one shift than the others.


How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!



Average rating / 5. Vote count:

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

As you found this post useful...

Follow us on social media!


You Might Also Like