What Are Some Examples of Shift Schedules?

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Common shift schedules are five days on, two days off; four days on, three days off; the DuPont and the 2-3-2. The five days on, two days off schedule, also known as the five-day work week, is by far the most common shift schedule for full-time employees working eight-hour shifts. The other shift schedules are more common for employees working 10 or more hours at a time.

The DuPont work schedule takes its name from the DuPont chemical company, which first implemented the system. In this system, employees work three day shifts of 12 hours and receive a 24-hour rest before working three night shifts. While this seems exhausting at first glance, the DuPont shift schedule also includes a full seven days off during each 28-day work period.

The four days on, three days off schedule sees employees working four days a week and getting three days off. This system is common for workers on 10-hour shifts, as they still get a full 40-hour work week, but only have to commute four times a week while getting a three-day weekend every week.

The 2-3-2 is a two-week pattern that gives employees a full three-day weekend every other week. This is a common schedule for police officers and security guards, who are often asked to work multiple day and night shifts during a pay period.