Sharing Rotas

A good rota sharing system will allow staff to see their schedules from wherever they work. Does your system do it? We can help you implement one on the move.
  • Author: Siva
  • Last updated: August 18, 2022
  • 5 Minutes
sharing rota at workplaces

If you run a business, scheduling staff to ensure you are covered while keeping them happy can be a nightmare. Making sure that each time slot has sufficient staff levels while dealing with absences and leave is never easy. On top of this, you may find it hard to get the rota into staff hands, especially if changes are required at the last minute

Employee scheduling software can help. Good scheduling software will allow you to create rotas with ease and share them with the affected staff members at the click of a button. This can help to keep staff informed of their working commitments and allow workplaces the flexibility to change rotas when necessary. 

In this article, we are going to discuss what rota sharing is, why it is useful, and how it can benefit a workplace.

What is a rota?

A rota is a way to manage time and tasks efficiently in a workplace. They are normally set out in a table or calendar format which allows control of what needs to be done and who needs to do it at any given time.

Rotas can be created in many formats, including:

  1. Paper-based. Paper-based rotas are written on a sheet of paper, usually as a table. The table will detail each time slot, the tasks that need completing, and the people who are responsible for them.
  2. Spreadsheet-based. Software like Microsoft Excel is great at creating rotas. The tabular format of Excel makes it a good fit for designing calendar-based task allocation systems. Interested in free rota spreadsheets and excel templates? Use Papershift’s free excel rota templates in the meantime you research for a good rota planning software. Download free rota template here.
  3. Specific rota software. Many apps and software programs are designed to help create rotas, as well as complete other common HR tasks. Rota software is one of the easiest ways to share timetables.

Why might you need a rota schedule?

There are many reasons to create a rota schedule. These might include:

  1. Cleaning rota. If you live in shared accommodation, keeping it clean may be problematic. A cleaning rota will help ensure the property is tidy, and that everyone does their part.
  2. Household rota. If you share a house with others, you may set up a rota to divide up chores. Similar to a cleaning rota, this will show who does what at any given time. It may involve non-cleaning tasks like shopping, gardening, etc.  

In the case of small and medium-sized businesses rota schedules are often created to manage the working times and activities of staff.

What is rota sharing?

Rota sharing is the act of sharing rotas with all stakeholders. Stakeholders can take the form of:

  • Staff or employees.
  • Line managers.
  • Human resource staff.
  • Senior management.
  • Clients (if they require access to appointments and schedules).

How can a rota be shared with stakeholders?

Whenever a rota is created it needs to be disseminated to all those that it affects. There are many ways to do this, including:

  1. Sending rotas to staff via email.
  2. Sending rotas to staff via an internal computer system that they have access to.
  3. Publishing rotas by placing them on a noticeboard that staff can access.
  4. Using a dedicated e-roster software package that sends rotas to stakeholders automatically on a schedule or when changes are made.
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What are the benefits to rota sharing?

There are many benefits to rota sharing. These include:

Less confusion

Having a good system for sharing rotas with stakeholders allows businesses to keep everyone in the loop. If all staff can see their schedule easily, they will find it easier to understand what they are doing at any given time and will be less confused about what their priorities are.

Less errors

This goes hand in hand with the point above (less confusion). If staff can see what they should be doing at any given time easily, they are less likely to have a scheduling error. This can lead to less lateness and absenteeism from staff and better coverage of work tasks.

Common rota mistakes can be avoided
Check our guide on common rota mistakes that can be avoided to provide a simpler & happier rota schedule to employees.

Easier to change

If rotas are shared with staff proactively (or ideally automatically), changes can be made easier and with more confidence. Changes to scheduling can lead to confusion and errors if the changes aren’t relayed to those affected effectively. 

Allows last-minute changes

This point is an extension of the one above. If rota changes are effectively shared with staff, then last minute tinkering is easier to accomplish without issue or confusion.

Keeps everyone in the loop

A good system of sharing rotas allows employees to access their shift schedule either at work or on the move. With updates transmitted to all users instantaneously, employees receive immediate notifications of any changes. This will allow all those affected by the change to be kept in the loop.

Allows teams to work remotely

If your business has staff working remotely or from their own home, letting them know what their schedules and work tasks are for each day can be difficult. After all, sticking a paper-based rota on a wall in the office is pointless if the staff members are never present in the building.

A good rota sharing system will allow staff to see their schedules from wherever they work.

Is rota sharing required by law?

There are many rules, laws, and regulations that relate to the rota and workplace. And while many of them do not specifically refer to scheduling, their reach can affect how businesses create rotas.

If a workplace requires a rota or schedule, it is contractually obliged to provide one in good time. The law does not specify how long this time is other than to say it must be reasonable. Because of the vague nature of this law, the length of notice can change from business to business. How they share it is entirely up to them.

How can rota sharing be made easier?

There are many software tools out there that will allow businesses to share rotas and schedules with stakeholders easily. Many will automate the process and send changes to staff when they are made.

While many of these software tools are free, some of the best options require either an upfront fee or a monthly subscription.

In conclusion

Rota sharing is important for any business and needs to be managed carefully to avoid confusion and errors.

We hope you have enjoyed this article. For more comprehensive workplace guides, check out the rest of our website.

Written by Siva

I write & describe the value & benefits delivered by Paperhift's rota planning, staff time tracking, and employee payroll management software. Especially useful for Shift Planners, Rota Managers, Team Admins, and HR Teams :-)