Michael Young michael at mwyoung.ca
Sun Apr 17 18:17:25 UTC 2011

Having run 24/7 NOC, customer care and tier 3 engineering/dev support, for 20 years, my two cents are:

1) You need to rotate shifts and have overlap between shifts for training and communication purposes
2) Always rotate forward, due sleep cycles
3) If you want to retain staff and not burn them out, do not rotate more than one a month, I've tried from 2 week to 12 week rotations. Longer rotations mean more staff, when you try various shift schedules you will see why, but they work best. You make your cost on the extra staff by lowering turnover which is expensive to deal with.
4) Take your staff opinions in on schedule but you make the call, someone will always dislike the schedule no matter how hard you try,.......
5) make sure you support shift swapping within reason, so people can deal with personal schedule conflicts

Good luck!

Michael Young


On 2011-04-17, at 12:18, "John Levine" <johnl at iecc.com> wrote:

>> Some people claimed they'd have preferred it if we'd changed to the 
>> _following_ shift rater than the preceding shift each week but never 
>> having tried that I don't know how it would be.
> I've read stuff that confirms that changing to a later shift is much
> easier than changing to an earlier one.  It certainly matches my
> experience that the jet lag flying to Europe, where I have to get up
> six hours earlier, is much worse than flying back.
> It also makes the obvious point that fewer shift changes are easier on
> the employees than more.
> R's,
> John

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