How to create a work schedule template (with examples)

Obraz współautora – zespół AsanyTeam Asana
10 kwietnia 2024
12 min czytania
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Summary

Use a work schedule to clarify which team members are working, when. A work schedule is a simple document—but you can take this document to the next level by adding project timelines and task assignments. In this article, we’ll dive into the different types of work schedules, how you can create one, and how an online tool gives you the flexibility to change your work schedule and collaborate with team members across projects.

A work schedule is a way to document when your team members are working and what they are working on. This type of documentation might sound simple, but it’s essential for your team’s structure. By visualizing your team’s tasks in advance, you enable team collaboration and keep projects on track. 

There are many types of work schedules to choose from, depending on your business needs. Although creating a work schedule template is complex, you can use scheduling tools to create endless customization options. Then, once you’ve created your work schedule,  bring it to life using online tools. 

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Why use a work schedule template?

Do you ever find your team juggling tasks, missing deadlines, or struggling to coordinate shift schedules effectively? A customizable work schedule template might be the solution you're looking for. By laying out who works when, and on what, templates eliminate guesswork and streamline operations across different departments and team members.

Using a work schedule template simplifies the scheduling process for managers by making it easier to allocate resources, anticipate workload, and manage time off. In essence, a well-crafted work schedule template is more than just a chart; it's a strategic scheduling tool that can balance workloads and propel your team towards greater efficiency and success.

How to create a work schedule template

[inline illustration] how to create a work schedule template (infographic)

A work schedule is a simple document that describes which team members are working when. But you can take this document beyond its core value by also adding information about what each team member will be working on when. Use these six steps to uplevel your work schedule template:

1. Align work schedules with your team

The first step in creating your work schedule template is to align on what your team's work schedule is. This step is a chance for you and your team to align on who will be working when. 

Tip: Always check with your HR and legal teams during this stage to ensure you're complying with local and federal guidelines about work schedules. For example, which team members are allowed to work overtime and which team members aren’t? 

2. Identify who’s working on what

Once you’ve aligned your team’s work schedules, you can take a comprehensive look at your to-do list. That way, you can create a big picture view of what needs to be done and what priorities others already have.

When you make your list, input the tasks you and your team need to complete into your online tool. You may want to start with a weekly or monthly task list; that way, you can make a habit of regularly updating this list. 

You should also include items that team members need to keep track of, like meetings, workshops, and performance reviews.  

Tip: When you make your list, input the tasks you and your team need to complete into your online tool. You can use a work breakdown structure to identify the required tasks for each of your projects. If you can’t think of everything, don’t worry. Team members can add to their work schedules once they view them online. They’ll have the best idea of what their daily schedule should include.

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3. Label tasks by deadline

In addition to capturing everything your team needs to work on in the coming days or weeks, ensure each initiative has an accompanying deadline. Without clear understanding of when work is due, your team won’t be able to effectively prioritize their tasks. 

Note that your deadlines may change as timelines adjust, and that’s ok. Clarifying task deadlines—even if they’re only rough deadlines—helps your team understand what they should be working on when. 

Tip: It’s okay if you’re unable to plan your work schedule months in advance. Aim to flesh out the details of one project at a time. Add those details into your project management tool to keep track of tasks, deadlines, and priorities. Then, if you need to make any changes, your virtual tool makes your work schedules flexible and easy to adjust.

4. Assign tasks to team members

Your work schedule gives you information about who’s working when. Combine that information with the deadlines and priorities of each task to figure out who needs to be working on what. In particular, seeing deadlines next to your tasks can help you determine how many people you need for each project, and when those people will be available. Use a RACI chart to outline what roles and responsibilities team members have for each project. 

As you assign team members to tasks, consider the following questions:

  • When are team members available?

  • How many hours does each team member have to work on this?

  • What days are team members available for work?

  • How can I align team member schedules with relevant work tasks?

Tip: Once you know your timeline and team, bring everyone together to nail down the project details. It’s often easier to identify team member strengths and find where people fit into a project when you observe their behaviors and receive feedback. 

5. Create start dates for tasks

Deadlines show team members when to complete tasks, but you’ll also need to map out task start dates. Team members need both start and end times for tasks so they can plan out the rest of their schedules. That way, they can make room for unexpected meetings, professional development, or personal to-dos.

Tip: An alternative to creating start dates for tasks is to assign hours to a project. This gives team members flexibility on task start dates, while still providing the needed structure. Estimated hours also set benchmarks for utilization rates. Once a team member completes a task, they'll clock the actual hours it took them and you'll compare this time to the time you assigned. 

6. Automate and change as needed

One of the best things about online work schedules is using built-in rules and automation. Work life can get busy—that’s no surprise—and there are a lot of moving parts in a work schedule. Use project management automation to track what your team is working on to prevent burnout and overwork. 

[Product UI] Workload management in Asana (Workload)

Some helpful ways to automate your work schedule include: 

  • Assigning hours to individual tasks

  • Moving work around when one team member is overloaded

  • Adjusting deadlines when projects get extended

Tip: You should now have a comprehensive task list with people assigned and task timeframes for each. At this point, you can make any necessary changes to your work schedule and ask team members for feedback.

Read: The best alternative to Microsoft Excel templates and calendars

Essential work schedule templates for every team

Ever struggled to nail down a work schedule that keeps your team fully in sync? Streamlining time management and team coordination demands clear, efficient tools, and these free work schedule templates fit the bill perfectly. 

Not only are they customizable, these templates can be duplicated and recycled to align perfectly with the specific needs of different teams and project schedules. Offering a workflow that's both printable and tailor-made, work schedule templates are essential in the workplace, especially for small businesses or startups looking to quickly improve their scheduling processes.

Employee schedule template

An employee schedule template allows for precise recording of individual employee shifts, availability, and absences. This ensures the efficient deployment of labor and resources, which is key for maintaining smooth operations and meeting project deadlines.

An effective employee schedule template should include the following elements to provide accurate scheduling and time tracking:

  1. Employee names: List all employee names clearly to personalize and identify schedules easily.

  2. Employee work schedule: Show each employee's work days and shifts for a full view of the schedule.

  3. Start time: Set each workday or shift's start time to set daily expectations.

  4. End time: Add the end time for workdays or shifts for record keeping.

  5. Timesheet: Log the actual start and end times daily for time tracking. Record approved time off, like vacation or sick days, to keep attendance accurate for payroll. Sum up total hours worked and any overtime to manage workloads and ensure correct pay.

  6. Notes: Provide a space for any additional notes or comments related to the work schedule, such as shift swaps, special instructions, or temporary adjustments.

Read: How to find the right work schedule template for your team

Planner templates

Individual productivity is just as important as team coordination. A planner template is a personal organizational tool for team members that helps them manage daily tasks, deadlines, and meetings efficiently. This personalized approach ensures that each member can contribute their best to the team's collective milestones.

Weekly planner

A weekly planner supports planning and prioritizing weekly tasks and schedules by providing a broad overview of the upcoming week. Here are a few items to include in your weekly planner template:.

  • Weekly goals: Outline objectives to achieve by the end of the week.

  • Daily tasks: List tasks for each day to support weekly goals.

  • Priority tasks: Highlight the week's most important tasks.

  • Meetings and appointments: Schedule meetings and appointments for the week.

  • Weekly work schedule: Provide an overview of work hours or shifts for the week.

  • Notes: For reminders or additional tasks that come up during the week.

Read: 4 tips to create the best weekly work plan

Daily planner

A daily planner focuses on detailed day-to-day task management and scheduling. Consider adding the following to your daily planner to increase productivity and time management:

  • Daily goals: Set specific objectives for the day.

  • Hourly schedule: Break down the day into hours for precise time management.

  • To-do list: Make a detailed list of your daily tasks.

  • Priority tasks: Mark tasks that require immediate attention.

  • Daily work schedule: Include start and end times for work or specific shifts.

  • Reflection: Space at the end of the day for notes or reflections on the day's work and accomplishments.

Read: How to make a daily schedule

Both planner templates promote an organized method of handling daily and weekly workloads, making sure that assignments line up with your team's work schedules.

Shift Schedule Template

Teams operating on rotating shifts will find a shift schedule template particularly beneficial. It not only simplifies the scheduling process for complex shift patterns, but this type of template also helps to create a fair schedule planner, which is critical for operations that run around the clock.

A shift schedule template should include:

  • Employee names: To assign shifts clearly and track who is working when.

  • Shift times: Include start and end times for each shift to define work periods.

  • Roles and responsibilities: Specific tasks or roles associated with each shift for clarity.

  • Rotation pattern: Outline how shifts rotate (e.g., morning to night, day on/day off) to manage expectations.

  • Days off: Scheduled days off within the rotation for rest and recovery.

  • Notes: For any special instructions or exceptions to the regular shift pattern.

Weekly work schedule template

The weekly work schedule template is designed to offer a clear view of the week ahead. It helps teams align on short-term goals and tasks by ensuring everyone is prepared and aware of their responsibilities. A weekly schedule template should include:

  • Employee names: To identify who is working on what.

  • Date and day: For each day of the week being planned.

  • Tasks and responsibilities: Detailed daily assignments for each team member.

  • Shift times: Start and end times, if applicable, to outline daily work hours.

  • Goals for the week: Key objectives or milestones to achieve by week's end.

  • Meetings and deadlines: Scheduled times for meetings and task deadlines.

  • Notes: Any additional reminders or special instructions for the week.

Read: 7 tips to start time blocking today

Monthly work schedule template

The monthly work schedule template offers important insights into long-term project schedules and deadlines for a more complete view of operations. It helps establish specific goals for the month and allows teams to plan ahead and distribute resources more effectively for upcoming projects.

  • Employee names: For assigning and tracking tasks throughout the month.

  • Week number or date Range: To segment the month into weeks or specific dates.

  • Key projects and tasks: Major assignments and milestones for the month.

  • Deadlines: Important project milestones and due dates.

  • Time off: Scheduled vacations or personal days for team members.

  • Monthly goals: Objectives and targets set for the month.

  • Notes: Space for any long-term reminders or additional planning details.

Read: 29 time management templates and examples to enhance efficiency

Why use work scheduling software?

When you think of work schedules, does a traditional print out come to mind? If so, we’re not surprised. That’s because traditional work schedules are static documents that are typically printed out and posted somewhere in the office.

But writing your work schedule on paper comes with a whole host of problems. From losing the paper to not having enough space for edits, work schedule printouts don’t leave room for error. The point of a work schedule is to make things more clear—so if you’re getting lost among a sea of papers, something is amiss.

Instead, uplevel your work schedule by creating it in an online scheduling tool. You’ll be able to streamline team schedules, see who’s working when, and capture real-time data about the initiatives each team member is working on.

Managing your work schedule in an online view also takes it beyond just a simple list of team working hours. With a virtual tool, you can also manage project requirements and team member responsibilities in one place. Then, when you make adjustments, you can easily share those updates with team members in real-time so everyone is on the same page about who’s working when, and on what.

Read: Project management software and tools

Ways to view your work schedule template

When you use an online tool to create your work schedule, you’ll have options for how to view it. This is a benefit of using scheduling software because different visualization methods can show you things you may not have seen otherwise. 

For example, if you view your work schedule as a calendar, you may notice deadlines more easily. But if you view your work schedule as a Gantt chart, you’ll see project dependencies more clearly.

[inline illustration] 4 ways to view work schedules (infographic)

Here are some ways to view your work schedule with Asana:

  • Gantt chart: A Gantt chart is a horizontal bar chart that displays your work schedule. It’s a great visual tool to understand the tasks your team needs to complete over time, along with key milestones and dependencies.

  • Calendar view: With calendar view, you’ll have a clear idea of when tasks are due and how those tasks relate to other tasks or events happening in your day, week, or month. 

  • By list: When you view your work schedule as a to-do list, you’ll see every detail that accompanies each task. These items will show up in drop-downs menus for things such as priority, assignee, attached docs, deadlines, and notes. 

  • Kanban boards: Kanban boards organize tasks in your work schedule in columns. Traditionally, each column represents a work stage. Your Kanban board might have columns labeled, “to do,” “in progress,” and “done.” Individual tasks—which are represented as cards on the board—move through the columns until team members complete each task.

The different schedule views help you visualize team tasks and gain insight into your entire project. Some of these tools combine the benefits of scheduling with project management so you can view and work on projects as they progress through each stage.

[Przeczytaj] 3 sposoby na wizualizację planu projektu: osie czasu, kalendarze i tablice

Types of work schedules

Work schedules vary between industries, roles, and countries. A software engineer may work the night shift to keep systems running for daytime workers, and an operations manager may have extended shift schedules to watch over manufacturing. 

While your company may stick to a traditional full-time schedule, it can be helpful to familiarize yourself with other work schedule types. Your team members may appreciate flexibility with their day instead of sticking to a 9-to-5 schedule. But before making any changes to your team’s work schedule, make sure to check with your internal legal team. Always make sure to follow local and federal laws when assigning work schedules.

[inline illustration] types of work schedules (infographic)

Some of the most common types of work schedules include:

Full-time

A full-time schedule means your team members are working a traditional work week. For example, in the United States, a full time schedule means team members work 40 hours per week—traditionally from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Other countries, like France, might have other legal definitions of what “full time” means—so always check with your internal legal and HR teams if you haven’t already. 

If you use this work schedule, you’ll usually work at the same time as others on your team. This will make communication with partners or stakeholders easier. You can set up a full-time schedule for your team members by keeping deadlines and task start dates within these hours.  

Part-time

Part–time team members work fewer than a full work week. You may have part-timers for roles that don’t require as much work, or because a team member doesn’t want to work full time. To set up part-time schedules, make a note of when these people are available to work and assign them tasks that they can work with others on during those allotted times. 

There are a variety of local and federal laws that govern what part time work schedules may be available in your area. When in doubt, check with your internal legal team to learn what part-time options are available for your team members, if any.

Remote/Flex

Many companies have adopted remote/flex-time schedules to give team members more freedom. Flexibility can reduce employee turnover, which results in reduced labor costs. A flex-time schedule might require core work hours of 10am to 2pm, while the other four hours are team members' choice. In this example, as long as each team member works eight hours per day, they’ve met their daily work requirement. 

Flex schedules aren’t available for every team, company, or country, but it may be a good solution to give your team the flexibility they need to get their best work done. If you do try this type of work schedule, ensure you schedule team gatherings like meetings and workshops within the core hours when you know everyone will be at work.

5-4/9 work schedule

The 5-4/9 work schedule is a creative way to adjust your team members’ full-time hours. In this setup, team members work 80 hours over two weeks, but they do so by working five nine-hour days during week one, and four nine-hour days during week two. This benefits the team members because they receive a three-day weekend every other week. This change to the team work schedule could improve work-life balance without disrupting communication with others in your industry. As with other work schedules, check local and federal guidelines before trying to implement this schedule.

2-2, 3-2, 2-3 work schedule

The 2-2, 3-2, 2-3 work schedule is more common for team members who work around the clock, but it could inspire your work schedule template. In this schedule, team members work in 12-hour shifts. They work two days on, followed by two days off. Then, they work three days on, followed by two days off. Next, they work two days on, followed by three days off, before the cycle continues. This schedule can switch between day shift cycles and night shift cycles. 

This type of cyclical work schedule is great for industries where team members need to be available around the clock. But before you move forward with this template, confirm with your internal legal team that this is in line with local and federal guidelines in your area. 

4/10 schedule

A simplified version of the schedule above is the 4/10. In this schedule, team members work in 10-hour shifts. Team members work four days of the week before having three days off. Your team members might appreciate this work schedule because it only adds two hours to their average workday, but it gives them three-day weekends every weekend. Similar to other adjusted work schedules, this template may not be available in your area, so check with your company before moving forward. 

Visualize team member work schedules with Asana

When you use a tool like Asana, you open up possibilities for your team. Your work schedule will be more than a simple list—it will be a living document that others can interact with, change as needed, and integrate with task management.

Putting your work schedule online will ensure you’re managing your team effectively while juggling other responsibilities. With the right structure in place, your team can accomplish their best work.

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