15 Work Schedule Types Every Manager Needs To Know

Calendar for creating work schedule types

In today’s rapidly changing business world, work schedule types are as varied as the companies that adopt them.

Because of the diversity in work schedule types, it’s easy to become confused — both with the terms used to describe the schedule and with the hours each one indicates. But the management experts at Sling are here to help.

In this article, we’ll explain the 15 most common work schedule types so you can find the one that best suits your business and your employees.

15 Work Schedule Types

Flight schedule

Before we begin, it’s important to understand that many of these work schedule types are similar to one another. Each term may describe a slight difference in days or hours worked.

Because of these similarities and differences, you can combine individual work schedule types to create your own unique plan. For example, you could combine terms to develop a fixed part-time seasonal morning shift or a full-time rotating on-call shift.

It all depends on the needs of your business and the availability of your employees.

1) Standard

A standard business schedule is one where employees work set days (usually Monday through Friday) and set hours (usually 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.). This is often referred to as a “9-to-5 work schedule.”

2) Fixed

Fixed is similar to the standard work schedule — set days and set hours — but can apply to alternative work times, such as Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

3) Full-Time

Tools for creating work schedule types

A full-time work schedule type indicates that an employee will work 37-40 hours per week. They may work five 8-hour days, four 10-hour days, or six 6.5-hour days. The days worked don’t matter, just the total amount of hours.

4) Part-Time

A part-time work schedule is one in which an employee works fewer than full-time hours. Because of the reduced hours, employees may only work two or three days per week and may not work the regular eight hours per day.

5) Shift

Another of the more common work schedule types, shift work is usually reserved for businesses that operate more than 10 hours in a single day.

If a business stays open around the clock (24 hours), they will usually set up a first shift (e.g., 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.), a second shift (e.g., 3 p.m. to 11 p.m.), and a night, or third, shift (e.g., 11 p.m. to 7 a.m.).

6) Freelance

Calendar on the wall

A freelance schedule is relatively new amongst work schedule types. Essentially, a freelancer can work whenever they choose as long as the work gets done by a set deadline.

7) Unpredictable

An unpredictable work schedule changes from week to week in an erratic manner (i.e., not following a regular pattern). Many states have laws regulating and even prohibiting unpredictable work schedule types.

8) Seasonal

A seasonal work schedule is in effect for only a few months out of the year. Typical seasonal work schedule types include holiday (November through December) and summer (June, July, and August).

9) Flex

On a flex schedule, you require your employees to work a certain amount of core hours (e.g., 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.) in a certain place (e.g., the office). The employee can then work the remainder of their hours when and where they want.

10) Alternate

Woman on an alternate work schedule type

An alternate work schedule is a broad term used to refer to any work schedule type that is different from the schedule used by others in your business. Alternate schedules are usually implemented to accommodate employee needs (e.g., pregnancy, medical requirements, family issues).

11) Compressed

A compressed work schedule type is one in which employees work the same amount of hours in fewer days when compared to the standard “9-to-5” model. An example might be 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

12) Rotating

A rotating work schedule type is usually applied to shift work. It is set up so that employees work first shift one week, second shift the next week, and third shift the following week. You can also rotate shifts from day to day.

13) Split

A split work schedule means that an employee may work a few hours at one point during the day, have several hours off, and then work the rest of their hours during another part of the day.

For example, an employee might work 7 a.m. to 9 a.m., be off for five hours, and then finish working from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.

14) On-Call

Employee on-call

An on-call schedule is one where the employee is available to work any time, day or night, as the employer demands. On-call work schedules typically rotate between employees so that one person doesn’t have to work all the time.

15) Overtime

An overtime schedule means working more than the standard full-time hours each week. Wages for overtime work are usually higher than that for hours fewer than 40 (e.g., time-and-a-half or double time).

Handle Any Work Schedule Types With Sling

Sling shift feature

Regardless of the myriad work schedule types you have to choose from, the best way to stay organized when creating your employee work plan is to use a specialized suite of software tools like Sling.

Sling shift feature

Sling makes quick work of even the most complicated work schedule type thanks to its flexibility and built-in artificial intelligence. What once took hours now takes mere minutes thanks to:

  • Templates that make recurring work schedule types as close as the click of a button
  • Notifications that reveal overlapping shifts and double-bookings
  • Reminders that keep time-off, availability, and shift-trade requests visible while you schedule
  • Budget and overtime restrictions that prevent you from exceeding the numbers your business needs to thrive
  • Open shifts that let your employees pick when they want to work on a first-come, first-served basis
  • Automatic messages sent right to your employees’ mobile devices informing them when their shift starts, if a new shift is available, or if someone would like to trade shifts

Sling app

Then, once the schedule is set, you can harness the power of Sling’s other features — onboard time clock with geofencing, labor cost tracking and analysis, group communications, newsfeed, and task list — to simplify and streamline the time it takes to organize and manage your workforce.

For more free resources to help you manage your business better, organize and schedule your team, and track and calculate labor costs, visit GetSling.com today.

Get started today

Schedule faster, communicate better, get things done.