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How to Make a Staff Rota


Anyone who has had to make a staff rota knows how difficult and time consuming it can be. Staff rotas are necessary when an organisation needs to service its customers over a prolonged period of time with a large number of staff. Typical examples are restaurants, hotels and customer help desks. The days and hours that an organisation needs to service its customers are mostly known, however planning when staff do their work is more of an unknown. Staff can’t work all day, every day. They need holidays, breaks and there are times when staff have other commitments. This is where a staff rota comes in. A staff rota details when staff members will do their work, how long they will work for and what they will do.

Basic Solution

A basic solution is to use a spreadsheet application. Add all your staff to the first column. Enter the work days that you are interested in across the top of the spreadsheet in row one. Then enter the hours that each staff member will work in the corresponding cells. When you are happy with your staff rota you must let your staff see when they are working. This normally means emailing the spreadsheet to all your staff.

If this works in your organisation then great, you have a solution. Unfortunately this solution often fails to work in most organisations because communicating with staff in this way is very slow and time consuming.

Online Solution

Anyone who has had to manage staff time keeping for a while, has turned to an online solution to manage their staff work patterns. Online solutions solve a lot of the problems associated with paper or email staff rotas. Online solutions rotas provide the following features:

  1. Staff can quickly and easily view staff rotas from their computer or smart phone.
  2. Rotas can be made far in advance, giving staff plenty of notice as to when they will work.
  3. Changes to a rota can be made quickly and easily.
  4. Reports can be generated detailing time worked and pay earned.
  5. Data is backed up for free.
  6. Worked shifts can be approved.
  7. Holidays and sick days can be recorded.
  8. Communication with staff members is made simple.

Easy viewing of Rota

Once a rota is available online then your staff members can view it any time. Nowadays website content can be viewed from many devices. Most people today own a smart phone which is a great tool for viewing the content of an online staff rota.

Future Rotas

One of the biggest problems when managing staff work shifts is agreeing with staff when they are going to work their shifts. Planning well in advance helps to pin staff down to specific dates and times and helps to make rota planning easier in the long run.

Rota Changes

When a change is needed it should be easy to do. Online solutions allow for shifts to be dragged and dropped to other staff members. Information can be easily cut, copied and pasted.


Having all the data in one place allows reports to be easily generated and downloaded. This helps integrating the staff rota with other computer systems in your organisation.

Backed Up Data

Data stored on online systems is normally backed up for free. This means if the worst happens, then you can restore your rotas and all the time it has taken to make the rota is not wasted.

Shift Approval

Once shifts have been worked then they can be approved my the appropriate manager. Shift approval can be viewed by staff and mangers making everything very transparent and allows for issues to be resolved quickly.


In addition to recording work shifts online staff rotas can also record holidays taken and sick days used. This makes it simple to tally holiday and sick day usage throughout the year.

Staff Communication

In general using an online staff rota system creates an environment where staff communication is improved and better records exist detailing who has worked when.



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