Frequently Asked Questions... and answers

If you've used our schedule search tool and your schedule is not in our database, you can easily create one yourself. You'll need a shift pattern and a reference date.

You can use our shift pattern editor or you can do it manually as described below.

A shift pattern consists of a series of shifts separated by commas. Don't place a comma after the last character.

  • For the early shift (morning shift), type an E or an M
  • For the late shift (afternoon shift or swing shift), type an L or an A
  • For night shift, type an N
  • For day shift, type a D
  • For a rest day, type an X
  • For on-call duty you can use an R

Example: E,E,E,E,E,X,X,L,L,L,L,L,X,X,N,N,N,N,N,X,X

Choose a shift after a rest day in your schedule. Type the name of that shift and enter all consecutive shifts until just before the schedule would repeat itself. The last character must then be the rest day and should not be followed by a comma.

Now look at the first character of the pattern you just entered and choose any date when you've worked that particular shift. It doesn't matter whether the date is in the past or in the future. That date is the "reference date".

Example: 25/04/2017 (day/month/year with 4 digits)

You can use your schedule in all applications of this website. Just replace the preset shift pattern as well as the reference date, it doesn't matter what's selected in the schedule and shift/team dropdown boxes.

Save your schedule (pattern + reference date) in a text file on your device for further use.

If it's a regular shift schedule that is not in our database, please send us an email with the pattern and the reference dates for all the teams (shifts) (not just the reference date of your shift).

The number of teams needed to ensure the proper functioning of your department, production plant, unit,...

If you have an early shift, a late shift and a night shift, then at least one team has a day off. In that case you need a minimum of four teams.

Most companies name their teams (shifts) A,B,C... or 1,2,3... Unfortunately the B team of company X does not necessarily work at the same time as the B team of company Y. By choosing e.g. for A,B,C in a five-team system, the names of the teams would only match for about 20% of the companies. By choosing for T,U,V,... nobody is favored or disadvantaged. You only have to find the right team once; check the schedules page.

The clearest way to describe a schedule is the shift pattern, but a shift pattern can be very long and can hardly be used as a reference in a text. The easiest way to describe it, though, would be with numbers or characters (linked to a database). But characters don't provide any additional information.

With our shift schedule "naming convention" we tried to combine "the easy way" with a maximum of information

  1. A shift schedule name always begins with a digit that represents the number of teams (shifts) in a schedule. For a 5 team 333 schedule you need 5 independent teams.
  2. A shift pattern consists of working days and rest periods, only the working days are taken into account.
  3. The early shifts (or day shifts) are chosen as a reference point. The first digit after "team" represents the number of those shifts, followed by the number of late, night or other shifts, with a maximum of 3. When we talk about the "5 team 222" schedule, you can deduce that it involves a five-team schedule with groups of 2 different shifts. In this case 2 early shifts, 2 late shifts and 2 night shifts.
  4. If two equal schedules differ only by an additional rest period, an underscore "_" is used. The "5 team 22_2" schedule differs from the "5 team 222" schedule because there is an addional rest day between the late shift and night shift.
  5. If a schedule differs from another only by the reference date, then "alt" is used. For example, "5 team 222 alt" starts one day later than "5 team 222", but it could also be 2 or 3 days later.
  6. If two equal schedules differ by additional day shifts, this is denoted by D behind the digit range. For example, "7 team 777D" is a seven team schedule that includes 7 early shifts, 7 late shifts and 7 night shifts. Somewhere in the schedule are day shifts.
  7. If there are long periods of rest in a schedule, this is indicated with an X behind the numerical sequence. For example, the "5 team 223X" schedule includes 2 early shifts, 2 late shifts and 3 night shifts. But this schedule also has a period of 10 rest days.

Fortunately this is not an exact science. Due to the multitude of schedules we've had to deviate from these "rules" several times. The most important is that someone finds his own schedule relatively quickly and that he can remember it.