Employee Shift Schedule Generator

Creating a shift schedule could be confusing and time consuming especially if it has to meet a certain criteria, for example, number of shifts, number of people, maximum working hour per week, certain off day, and many other requirements that could be different among different types of companies. The main challenge should be, how to create a comfortable pattern to be implemented to company’s employees that will give them enough rests and maintain their productivity within their working hours to maintain company’s product and service quality on serving clients.

Because it has become major issues among many companies, there are many wellknown shift patterns have been designed by experts to help those companies solve the issues. Some are very popular and widely used in many industries.

Employee Shift Schedule Planner for Excel

Here, I didn’t create an excel template to generate a new shift pattern or formula. I just adopted common patterns and map it into a 52 week shift schedule (lite version is only accommodate 4 week shift schedule). This template should help you finding the most suitable shift plan and map your employees into a printable shift schedule and distribute it to your employees within minutes. And if you can’t find one, there is a custom shift plan feature that will allow you to create your own pattern. It should remove your duty works on planning from the scratch.

It is more suitable for small scale industries where the companies have no more than 200 employees and want to implement simple shift patterns. If you are working in a big company with more than 200 employees, I don’t think this template is a good fit for your needs. Using more sophisticated software should be more beneficial for you where those software should help you not just to plan a suitable shift schedule but also will help you managing all shift schedule related activities, such as attendance related activities.

These are available common shift plans that you might get in this template :

NoCommon NameWorking Hour/DayPattern# of Teams/ShiftsHours/Week
12 Team 1 Shift24/5, 24/6, 24/71/5/6/7 On 1/5/6/7 Off2/160/72/84
33 Team 1 Shift24/5, 24/6, 24/75/6/7 On 10/12/14 Off3/140/48/56
43 Team 5-Day Shifting24/5, 24/61 On 2 Off3/140/48
53 Team 7-Day Shifting Model 1 (24/48)24/71 On 2 Off3/156
63 Team 7-Day Shifting Model 224/71 On 1/4 Off3/156
73 Team 7-Day Shifting Model 3 (Kelly)24/71 On 1/4 Off3/156
83 Team 7-Day Shifting Model 4 (48/96)24/72 On 4 Off3/156
9Early and Late10/5, 10/65/6 On2/240/48
10DNO24/72 On 1 Off3/256
11DDNNOO24/74 On 2 Off3/256
12Four On Four Off24/74 On 4 Off4/242
1312 Day24/76 On 6 Off4/242
14Pitman24/72/3 On 2/3 Off4/242
15Five n Two24/73/2 On 3/2 Off4/242
16Extended 1224/714 On 7 Off3/256
17DuPont24/73/4 On 1/3/7 Off4/242
182-2 3-2 2-324/72/3 On 2/3 Off4/242
19Panama24/72/3 On 2/3 Off4/242
203 Team 3 Shifts24/5, 24/6, 24/75/6 On3/340/48
2121 hour day24/73 On 1 Off4/336.75
22Metropolitan24/76 On 1 Off4/342
236 On 2 Off24/76 On 2 Off4/342
24Continental24/77 On 2/3 Off4/342
254 Team Rotating Shift24/77 On 2/3 Off4/342
264-2 4-3 4-324/74 On 2/3 Off5/342
275-3 5-4 5-324/75 On 3/4 Off5/342
286-4 6-4 6-424/76 On 4 Off5/342
294-324/74 On 3 Off5/340
3028-hour day24/62 On 1 Off6/428

Here are some short explanation regarding several common shift plans

Two Shift Plan :
One well known plan is called “Early and Late”, commonly used in services industries, or industries which have services department to support their products. For example Customer services department (help desk, complain department, etc), convenience stores, child cares, where they need more employees to cover those busy hour at certain time period. This plan will divide employees into 2 shifts where there is a time overlap between those shifts, for example 1st shift will work from 8:00 am to 16:00 pm while 2nd shift will start at 10:00 to 18:00 within 10 hour working day. You can use pre-designed plan with the same name, and there are variations that you can implement in this plan. You can change the working day time, shift time period, and start time of each shift to more suit your company working hour. Another common shift plan is “Four On Four Off”, that is being adopted in the United Kingdom and some parts of the United States. Here, employees are working for four days, usually in 10 to 12-hour shifts and then have four days off.

Three Shift Plan :
This is the most common shift plan which has been widely used to cover 24/7 period in most industries. Here, 24 hours per day is divided in balanced 8 hour shift time where each daily shift period will be covered by the same or different groups based on company policy. There are plenty of variations applied based on this plan and of them is Continental plan, which has been adopted primarily in central Europe. It is a rotational three-shift system that is usually worked for seven days straight and get 2/3 days Off before starting another consecutive 7 working days again.

You can find and read more complete shift schedule information of those Pre-Designed plan in many internet sites.

There are 3 easy steps to use this template :

Step 1 : Select Shift Plan
1. Go to SHIFT PLAN worksheet (click SHIFT PLAN tab above or SHIFT PLAN tab worksheet below)
2. Type your company shift starting date at cell F4. It will be used as a starting day of the week as well.
3. Select your shift plan by typing “v” at column E, next to your shift plan choice. Selected row will turn into blue color. There are 46 pre-designed Shift Plan and 1 Custom Shift Plan you can select. Remember to remove this “v” if you plan to select other plan. There is a built-in option button can be implemented to avoid this problem, but some excel version, especially used with Mac/Apple operating system, can’t process this built-in option button well.
4. You can change some values in pre-designed shift plan cells. Cells that are available to be modified are surrounded with blue borders.
5. You can modify shift starting time on pre-designed plan in column  P, R, T, V. Shift ending time will be calculated automatically based on shift time period
6. If you select CUSTOM shift plan, you have to fill all values in its row and type your own pattern in the table below CUSTOM shift plan row. Type “A” for the first group, “B” for the second group, until “F” for the sixth group, depends on the number of teams/groups that you have set.

Step 2 : Distribute Employees
1. Go to EMPLOYEE NAME worksheet
2. Type your employee name in column D. Other columns in employee table are optional.
3. Distribute your employees into shift groups. There is conditional formatting to help you identify duplicate entries (employee name cells will turn into pink color) and allocated employees (employee name color will turn into blue in employee table while unallocated employees will stay black).

Step 3 : Personalize Shift Schedule
1. Go to SHIFT SCHEDULE worksheet
2. Personalize your generated shift schedule worksheet. There are 2 options to view generated shift schedule, Shift View and Group View.
> Shift Time View will visualize shift schedule based on shift time where each group will be placed in corresponding shift time.
> Shift Group View willl visualize shift schedule based on shift group where each shift time will be placed in corresponding shift group. “

You can download the Lite version to test it before purchasing the Pro version. The Lite version accommodate 24 employees only, while the Pro version can accommodate until 210 employees. There are several other feature limitation in Lite version that you can read in About part of the spreadsheet. There is an advanced version that you can test in the bottom part of this post, if you are looking for a shift schedule generator that could generate for more than one pattern for different group with attendance tracking feature.

  Employee Shift Schedule Generator Lite - V2.48 (769.0 KiB, 45,614 hits)

If you already tested the spreadsheet and want to buy the Pro version, you can process it through paypal button below or paypal button in about worksheet.

Employee Shift Schedule Generator Pro – USD 24.99
Buy Now

Shift schedule generator spreadsheet above has no attendance tracking feature. If you are looking for the attendance tracking feature where you can swap employees, mark absent employees and calculate their working hour daily, you may consider this spreadsheet below.

Shift Schedule Manager with Attendance Tracker Spreadsheet

It generates shift schedules based on similar engine with above spreadsheet, but it has employee swapping capabilities and others as mentioned. Plus, you can combine until three different shift schedules to three different groups within one worksheet. Features that you will have in this Shift Schedule Manager with Attendance Tracker spreadsheet are :

– Generate as many as three different shift plans to three different groups with similar/different member names. For example, you can set similar employees for first group that are assigned to work in the morning from Monday to Friday, and then include their names again into the second groups who assigned to work at night on Saturday and Sunday.

– Set different time duration or overlapping time for each generated shifts. In daily and weekly working hour, there are formulas to calculate their total working hours based on those duration automatically

– Plan employee’s vacations and swap them when they are scheduled to work on those days. It is as simple as putting their names in vacation list table, then see color marker (orange) shown up in generated shift schedule worksheet on respective dates. You must swap them with other employees by using the drop down list from the cell at the right side of respective employees.

– Mark absent employees. Just select the ABS code in the generated shift schedule table and then put the absent code in attendance tracker worksheet. Their working hour won’t be included in their daily and weekly working hour calculation.

There is no lite version for this spreadsheet, but there is a demo version you can try some of those features before you deciding to purchase the spreadsheet. And there is no recurring fee. It has multi user license (within one company) and you can use it forever to generate yearly shift schedule and track your employees’ attendance.

  Shift Schedule Manager with Attendance Tracker V3.2 - Demo (1.3 MiB, 439 hits)