Work Schedules

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How to Organize Work Schedules

When the work week is not the usual one, from Monday to Friday and resting the weekend because the activity of the company requires them, it is necessary that the staff be organized in schedule to guarantee productivity and the objectives set.


Shift work means that the worker's work schedule changes over a specified period of days or weeks. Rotating schedules are established so that all workers, except those exempted by their circumstances, go through all shifts. Usually the night shift is voluntary.


For management schedule have to take into account the production or delivery needs of the service company and should meet the needs of compatibility workers with a fulfilling life outside of work so that it can be reconciled with personal life in addition to minimizing the consequences it can have on health.


For this to occur it is important to consider different aspects when configuring schedules in a company.

Legal and organizational aspects when making schedules

Among the legal aspects to be taken into account in the configuration of the shift quadrant, it is established that no more than two weeks in a row can be carried out at night (from ten at night to six in the morning) unless it is on a voluntary basis. UPS company provides same benefits on their Employees portal. In Case, UPSers Register here.These restrictions appear both in article 36 of the Workers' Statute and, in more detail, in collective agreements, since the activity will determine the needs of personnel in different schedules on many occasions.


Also according to the law, you have to spend a break between one working day and the next for the same worker. No less than twelve hours may elapse between the two days .

Organizational issues will also be taken into account in the sense that schedules must be adapted to the service offered or the type of company according to size, location (travel times to the job and its difficulties will be estimated). Night shifts will only be left for those essential tasks .


The work schedules will be indicated in the shift quadrants. Depending on the company or the agreement, these quadrants can be annual, monthly or weekly.


Health in the preparation of work schedules

When the company's activity requires the establishment of shifts, it is important to take into account some aspects to guarantee the satisfaction of all parties. As far as possible meet the personal needs of workers and agree on schedules.


To avoid a disturbance in the biological rhythms of workers, it is advisable that the day does not start in the morning before 6 a.m. In the afternoon between 2 pm. and 3pm. and at night no later than 11pm. In this sense, it is preferable that the cycles are repeated every two or three days so that the circadian rhythms (the physiological functions are cyclical) are hardly altered. Although these short cycles are a problem in another aspect and it is that it is more difficult to make this cadence compatible with personal , family and social life.


Another consideration will be that preferably the afternoon and evening shifts are shorter than the morning shifts since tiredness, which can carry a higher risk of accidents or errors, is more often reported at night.


It is recommended that the corresponding days of weekly rest be provided after the night shifts to favor the restoration of wakefulness and sleep rhythms.

Types of work schedules

Depending on the level of activity that the company needs, work schedules can be continuous, discontinuous or semi-continuous.


The continuous shift system implies that the service is offered continuously 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It takes more than three shifts.


In the discontinuous system of shifts, the service is interrupted during the night and on weekends, which implies that there are only two work schedules: morning and night, and breaks on Saturday and Sunday.


The semi-continuous involves three shifts: morning, afternoon and night and only rests on Sundays.


Employees who work schedules suffer the consequences on their health and personal life since making it compatible with working hours becomes very complicated. It has negative health implications because it alters the circadian rhythm, hinders extra-work life and affects the possibility of further training.


As far as possible, and sometimes covered by agreements, the schedule of rotations should be available in plenty of time so that employees can organize their time away from work.