Shift Patterns in a Book


Current Industry Trends

How would you like up to 30 weeks of holiday a year?

Holiday Included Shift Patterns (HISP) are gaining in popularity. Many organisations already have them in place especially in continuous 24/365 operations. A HISP is where everyone takes their holidays in turn all the way through the year.

If you haven’t been on a HISP, then you probably cannot visualize the advantages to an employee. In fact, where an organisation uses a HISP  already, then any new shift pattern we set up is also a HISP. No one, including employees, wants to return to a system that relies on requests for holidays.

In our Shift Pattern book, we show one HISP with 31 weeks of time off in a year.



Monthly Picks

My ipad has a really cool free application iBooks to read books and pdfs. So now I can view my shift pattern on the go with an ipad. Just email the latest copy of the shift pattern in pdf and it’s accessible any time any place. I also have the  shift pattern books on my ipad to  ensure I have all the information at my fingertips literally. I feel like I’m part of the Enterprise’s crew.

C-Desk Technology creates new shift pattern! It may seem obvious that our main activity is creating new shift patterns for our clients, but how do we do it? We start from the premise that if something has worked before, then it is likely to work again in similar circumstances. Hence by starting with an existing solution, we can tailor-fit it to a new, but similar operation. To help us in this, we have a design book of shift patterns and our new book contains 300 of the most popular shift patterns that we use on a regular basis. These are assembled into one ebook

that can be emailed or sent on a CD.

The shift patterns use 4 or 5 Teams (or individuals of course) to provide 24-hour & 365 days of staffing. The book explains, using examples, how the shift patterns can be easily expanded to provide different numbers of staff on shift, such as 2 on Days and 1 on Nights in a regular rotation, or as two distinct groups such as a ‘Day Team’ and a ‘Night Team’.

Each shift pattern covers a complete year of 365 days for all the teams, along with calculations  detailing the number of

shifts and the number of hours everyone works in a year.

More details can be found on our website at

The shift patterns are also available as part of the VisualrotaX software package, so you can copy them straight into the roster.

Once you have the new shift pattern, our other book How To Manage Your Shift Pattern: Holidays and Absences, gives you helpful tools and techniques to ensure your shift pattern runs smoothly.



This Month’s Q&A Technology Tips

Q: How can we calculate the average working hours according to the EU WTD.

A: Iteration: a recalculation based on the results of the previous calculation. The Working Time Regulations force you to iterate the calculations to determine the average number of hours worked in a week. Maybe they didn’t realise this and hadn’t appreciated that mathematically this is very difficult to do. Our experience is that at least two iterations are required if you want to find the actual hours worked in an aver

age week. As the regulations make clear(sic), you have to extend the number of weeks in the reference period by the amount of time taken as holiday and absence. As this time extension will usually include a bit more time taken as holiday or absence, you need to extend the time period by that amount again. As this time extension will….. (I’m sure you get the picture) Hence we end up with a different time period for each individual and for each of their reference periods every time. VisualrotaX can calculate this reference period and then calculate the average number of hours worked. In fact, it does this continuously and can alert you to someone exceeding the limit before it is too late to rectify the problem.


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