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Our book tells you how to
calculate how many staff
you need, and is available
from Amazon.

The Basics Behind Efficient Staff Rostering Introduction

Specification
I created a staff schedule for a call centre manned by 2 shifts over 7 days Morning(7am-
3pm) & Afternoon(1pm-9pm). Both are 8 hour shifts. Staffing 7 days a week. There is a 2
hour overlap in the afternoon when all staff are on duty. This could be a problem with
equipment, etc., where we would need 8 desks, 8 phone lines, 8 computers, twice as
much room space at a rental of $£xx etc.,
We will have 4 staff on each shift.
Maths Part (it really is easy)
Example 1 We need to have some idea of how many staff we need to schedule, so
we do some calculations. At this time, we ignore staff holidays, sickness, training and
requests.
For 2 shifts/day x 4 staff = 8 shifts/day = 56 shifts/week. 56 shifts/week = 11 staff working
5 shifts & 1 shift left over.

A few more examples of this type of problem are;
Example 2: For 7 day 24 hr cover using 8 hr shifts which have 6 staff on early, 3 on
evenings & 2 on nights, we have,
early shift = 6 staff x 7 days = 42 shifts, evening shift = 3 staff x 7 days = 21 shifts, night
shift = 2 staff x 7 days = 14 shifts.
Total number of shifts/week = 42 + 21 + 14 = 77 shifts. 77 shifts/week = 15 staff
working 5 shifts/week & 2 shifts left over.

Above shows how to set up the shift pattern so they do 7 consecutive shifts. Below
shows how to set up the shift pattern so they only do 5 shifts in a week.

Example 3
For 7 day cover, where 6 am Monday-6am Saturday is covered 24hrs/day by 3 x 8 hr shifts, Saturday has 2 x 8 hr shifts
6am-10pm, and Sunday has one shift 9am-5pm. Shifts(earlies, evenings & nights) are variously manned depending on
past experience, Monday to Friday Earlies, have 8 staff(=8x5=40 shifts), Monday evening has 4 staff=4 shifts, Tuesday,
Wednesday, Thursday evening have 6 staff=18 shifts, Friday evening has 4 staff=4 shifts, Saturday early has 9 staff=9
shifts, Saturday evening has 4 staff=4 shifts, Sunday has 3 staff=3 shifts. For nights, Monday-Thursday have 3 staff=12
shifts, Friday has 2 staff=2 shifts

The shift pattern for 19 staff as
described above shows one
possible way to staff the
operation. There are, in fact,
limitless possibilities in the
number of ways we can
arrange the shift pattern.
We can ‘play around’ with the
shifts making new ways of
scheduling the staff until we
are satisfied. Our software
tracks the shifts, hours and
many other factors. It colour
codes the results so you can
easily check if everything is
going well, and points out
where you haven’t done as well
as required.

The maths can be extended over longer period if the work is cyclical or periodic. A cyclic period could be
monthly, as in producing a monthly magazine. A periodic period could be seasonal, such as heating repairs
reaching a max. in Autumn, or fruit and vegetable picking. The shift totals can be calculated whenever you have
repeatable periods which can be estimates, or they can be based on last years shift scheduling. But sometimes
your best guess just has to do.

Example 4 We use the same shift patterns and staffing levels as example 3 above, but as a policy we decide
to have half the staff as part-timers working 3 shifts/week, the reasons for this are numerous, but at the heart of
it is the ability for the staff to have more weekends off. So, if half the staff work 5 shifts and half the staff work 3
shifts a week, how many staff is that in all? Let's call it X, and we still have 96 shifts to cover. Therefore, (0.5X x 5)
+ (0.5X x 3) = 96, and by using a bit of algebra, X = 24 exactly. So we have 12 part time staff.
This time when we put the employees names in, we separate the part timers out. We can call them PT1, PT2, etc.,
or we leave a few blank lines between the two groups. Then when we start allocating shifts, we do it just the
same way, except that for the part timers we start by only giving them 3 shifts at first in each week.
Calculating part time staff, this is quite complicated as there are several different types of part time staff. Some
have fixed shifts each week and some have fixed reduced hours but are flexible regarding shifts. There are as
many different ways of doing this as there are people, so it is not something we can plan for until the actual
situation arrives.

Holidays
Holidays and how they affect the roster is an extremely
important aspect of Staff Rostering. In fact, most staff roster
are centered around the staff holidays in one or another.
Holidays should be neutral to the company, but they are
never neutral to the staff. This important area is covered in
our training program and our books. Click to our short video
about the importance of holidays in designing a staff roster.

BLOGS
•
Holiday Entitlements,
•
Cover Shifts,
•
Easter,
•
Fair Holiday Scheduling,
•
High Sickness,
•
Forward Planning,
•
Skiing,
•
Frosty Mornings,
•
10-hour Shifts,
•
How Good is your Maths,
•
Unlimited Holidays,
•
Stagger Lunch,
•
Optimise Equipment,
•
Absence Management,
•
Christmas Presents,
•
Wedding Planners,
•
Bank Holidays,
•
Annualised Hours,
•
Inventory Modeling,
•
How Many Staff are needed,
•
Flexi-Time,
•
Cover for Sickness,
•
Global shift planning.
•
and many more

Modelling shift operations just got easier!