What is Shift Work and What are the Common Types?

shift work

Shift work is one of the most effective ways to boost employee productivity. The reason for this is that it will alter the balance between employee rights, corporate burden, and applicable legal obligations. Here’s how to properly organize staff work shifts in a company.

What is Shift Work?

Work shift is defined as the number of hours an employee works in a 24-hour period. Companies typically adopt the following strategies to boost employee productivity by responding to a more structured workload. Although shift arrangements are not usually used in all areas, they are most commonly used in security, food and beverage, retail, and health.

What is Shift Work According to Experts

According to experts, there are numerous viewpoints on the concept of shift in a workplace, including:

Suma’mur (1994)

Shift working is a schedule of allotted time to workers for certain responsibilities, commonly separated into morning, afternoon, and evening shifts.

Muchinsky (1997)

Shift is a type of schedule arrangement that allows employees to use all of their available time to complete assignments

Agustin (2012)

Work shift is a method of scheduling a different individual or team’s daily work time in a sequence, which normally lasts 8 hours and spans a total of 24 hours.

Shift Work Types

Each business has its own policy for allocating the shift types that will be used. Despite the fact that work shifts are governed by law, most changes to corporate policies focus solely on who will be on duty.

The following is an explanation of how the type of shift is separated into four sessions.

Morning Shift or Afternoon Shift

Morning or afternoon shifts are like a normal working hour. The difference is employees who are on this shift will stay on duty throughout the holiday.

Night shift

Hospitals, fire departments, call centers, transportation, and the police are all examples of 24-hour services providers which use night shifts.

However, employees are not usually assigned to night shifts. This is because the night shift has been linked to issues including stress, job unhappiness, and underperformance (Newstrom, 1996)

Long Shift

This type of long shift permits employers to allocate employees to work 2 hours longer than normal working hours, or 10 hours each day, plus one hour of breaktime. Companies that use this shift typically aim for big long-term output targets. Long shift pay is calculated differently from regular shifts, instead it is calculated as overtime.


Flexible scheduling is a work-time that is viewed as a solution for achieving work-life balance. Employees in this shift are given the opportunity to choose their own working hours.

Remote working is one example of a flexible shift schedule. Employees can choose to work all day or take vacations according to their preferences. Employee happiness and productivity have been shown to be higher with this approach.

How to make a work shift schedule?

You can utilize Excel in making a work shift schedule. Following are the steps.

Title of the Label

Fill in the blanks in the table with information on the workers and their schedules such as name, working day, work date, job length, and work shift.

Description of Worker Presence

In monitoring employee attendance, you can use short codes such as:
P = Present
S = Pain
L = Leave

Excel Formulas for Work Shift Scheduling

COUNTIFS is used to count the number of employees that are present. Take a look at the example of a work shift schedule below.

Use =COUNTIFS(C9:I9; “>L”; C9:I9; “>O9S”; C9:I9; “>”) on the Monday (Mon) worker name section.

Example of a shift work schedule using Clockster app
shift work

Clockster is here to provide you with an application for easier leave and work scheduling through a computer or even mobile phone. It definitely would make any activities more effective and efficient.

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