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Employee Scheduling Example: 10 hours a day, 7 days a week, rotating 4-on 3-off work schedule

“I am running a technical support center 10 hours a day, 7 days a week, from 8 am to 6 pm. I need 4 employees each day and would like to schedule them to work 40 hours a week, 4 days on, 3 days off. How do I set it up in Snap Schedule with rotating days off to allow everyone to have long weekends?”

The first step in designing a schedule plan is to determine the work load requirements. The minimum coverage requirement is 4 full time employees each day for 7 days so the weekly hours of coverage is 4 x 10 hours x 7 = 280 hours. Using a 40 hour work week, we’ll need at least 7 employees (280/40). For simplicity, we’ll plan for 7 employees and assume that overtime will be used to take care of sick leaves, vacations, and holidays.

The next step is to determine the days on/off and rotation patterns. There are a number of patterns that would fit the 4 on 3 off requirements. The most obvious one is to schedule employee number 1 to work Monday through Wednesday and rotate this pattern one day for subsequent employees so employee number 2 will work Tuesday through Thursday and so on. In this scheme, each employee will return to his/her original schedule after seven weeks as shown below.

Shifts and rotation patterns

To enter this schedule plan in Snap Schedule:

  • From the Getting Started screen, create a new empty schedule to start
  • On the Manage tab, click on the Employees to add 7 new employees. While creating a new employee, use the Schedule Team dropdown list to create a new team and assign the employee to the team. When completed, there should be 7 employees and 7 teams as shown below.
    Entering employees
  • On the Manage tab, click on the Employees button to add 7 new employees. While creating a new employee, use the Schedule Team dropdown list to create a new team and assign the employee to the team.
  • On the Manage tab, click on the Schedule Plans button and select Manage Schedule Plans to create a new schedule plan. Enter the schedule plan using 7 shift patterns (A through G) to implement the entire 7 weeks rotation cycle as shown below. In Snap Schedule, employees on the same team follow the same days on/off pattern and rotation so shift patterns are associated with teams. This way, additional employees can be easily added or move around without affecting the schedule plan.
    Schedule plan
  • To generate employee schedules from this plan, click on the Generate Schedule button and follow the on-screen instructions. Once completed, review the schedule assignments and make adjustments as required. Use Snap Schedule to manage vacations, holidays, time offs, and to print and distribute schedules.
    Sample schedule printout

You can use Snap Schedule Employee Scheduling Software to try out this shift schedule.


Click here to download the schedule file (2.5 MB) for this example. Once downloaded, use Snap Schedule to open the file and make changes as required.