In this article, we will discuss what a duty roster is, why you need one, and the tools available to set one up. Let’s start with the basics.
Duty roster is generally something we talk about in terms of the workplace. But wherever tasks and situations need scheduling, using a rota system may be prudent. Maybe you want to manage the time of your staff better. Or you may want to divide tasks between your workforce (or family if the rota is for home use).
Whatever the reason, a duty roster can be a time-saving device that allows you to allocate important or mundane tasks with ease.
But setting up a roster can be tricky. And ensuring it includes everything it needs to be efficient is difficult.
What is a duty roster?
A duty roster (also commonly called a rota) is a way to divide time into various tasks. These can then be allocated to individuals. It often takes the form of a calendar-like table, which is split into days of the week and individual times on the two axis. You can then slot tasks into the individual timings this creates.
Why might you need a duty roster?
We normally create a duty roster for work-based tasks, but they can equally be used in the home. Here are a few reasons you might create a duty roster:
- To divide up work-based tasks. In any workplace, there are a number of tasks that employees will need to complete every day. These can vary from mundane things like making coffee to more important ones like talking to clients.
- To divide up household tasks. There’s nothing more certain to cause an argument in a home than one person doing all the household chores. A duty rota can help allocate tasks to individuals. This way everyone pulls their weight.
What format can a duty roster take?
Most home or workplace duty rosters come in a variety of different formats. If you need a simple rota that governs only a few tasks and individuals, a paper-based system might suffice.
If the rota is more in-depth or needs changing often, then a spreadsheet is useful. Microsoft Excel is a great program for creating rotas because of its tabular format.
If the duty roster is for a large business that juggles lots of tasks, then dedicated duty roster software is available.
How good is duty roster software?
That depends on which one you use. There are many software applications available for creating duty rosters. Some are free and others cost a one-off fee or a monthly subscription. The one used will depend on the needs of the individual. The general benefits of duty roster software are:
- It makes setting up a rota incredibly easy and will include templates for many tasks.
- Changing a rota is as easy as moving a task around. It will also store individuals’ details, making it easier to attach them to tasks.
- Some electronic duty rosters are cloud-based, allowing you to access them anywhere.