22 Examples of Work Schedule Types for Professionals

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 24 June 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

A professional's work schedule can depend on their employer and job title. Some careers have specific schedules, while others have more flexibility. If you're searching for a job, it's helpful to understand different types of work schedules to consider your work-life balance when choosing a career. In this article, we describe 22 work schedule types to help you determine which is best for you.

22 work schedule types

Understanding the differences between work schedule types can help you find a career that fits your lifestyle. Here's an explanation of 22 common work schedules that employers may offer:

1. Fixed full-time

A fixed full-time schedule applies to companies that have over nine hours of operation each day. In a fixed full-time schedule, you may be required to work from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. while a coworker is required to work from 2 p.m. to 11 p.m. Different shifts work fixed full-time schedules at different times.

2. Fixed part-time

A fixed part-time schedule is the same as a fixed full-time schedule, except you work less than eight hours a day and less than 40 hours a week. Your schedule remains the same each day and week. For example, you may work from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. from Monday to Thursday for a fixed part-time job.

3. Job share

Job sharing is when two employees work part-time schedules to fulfil a full-time schedule of a standard employee. This is helpful for smaller organisations with fewer employees, especially if the employees have other commitments such as school or a second job. Having two part-time employees allows for more flexibility in scheduling.

4. Freelance

Freelance work schedules are often flexible and up to the freelancer. Freelance professionals work on a contract basis and complete their work according to pre-determined deadlines set by clients. This allows them to work whenever they choose, as long as they're meeting their deadlines.

Related: Career Options Working as a Freelancer (With Skills)

5. Unpredictable

An unpredictable schedule is any work schedule that changes every day or week. You may work four hours one day and eight hours the next. You may work five days one week and two days the next. When working an unpredictable type of shift, professionals can request certain times when they're unable to work and the management team can make a more informed schedule using this information.

6. Compressed work week

A compressed workweek schedule allows employees to work full-time hours in fewer days. Instead of working for eight hours a day and five days a week, you may work 10 hours a day for four days a week. This may be the ideal schedule for those who want more days off from work.

7. Compressed workday

A compressed workday schedule is when you work fewer hours in a day. Employers usually require employees to work a certain number of hours a week rather than each day. Employees who want to work on a full-time basis may work more days per week to ensure they accumulate enough hours on a weekly basis.

8. Rotating shift

Rotating shifts can be daily or weekly rotations, and employers set them up so that employees work different shifts each day or week as the hours rotate among employees. Every rotating shift employee works the same rotation at varying times. This may be more common if a company is open for 24 hours and doesn't hire professionals specifically for night shifts, so each employee can have a fair schedule.

9. Shift work

Shift work is any schedule that's part of a consistent change of shifts. Companies that operate over 10 hours each day commonly use shifts, and any business that operates 24 hours a day uses shifts. Companies can have two or more shifts in a day depending on their hours of operations.

Related: What Is Work Shift? (Definition, Types, Common Jobs and Tips)

10. Split shift

A split shift schedule is when an employee works two shortened shifts during a day with an elongated break in between. An employee might work from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. and take a break until their next shift from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. This may be an ideal schedule for someone whose work revolves around when others need them. For example, bus drivers for schools work in the morning to drop the students off at school and then again in the afternoon to take the students back to their homes.

11. On-call

An on-call schedule is when an employee is required to be available to work at any time during hours of operation on a specific day. You may work on-call on one day of the week that requires you to work for as many hours as your employer needs. During on-call shifts, professionals may not be required to be at work or actively working until needed. This is a common schedule type for contractors that perform repairs, that may receive random requests throughout a workday.

12. Remote

Professionals with remote work schedules complete their tasks from home and don't frequent the company office space. These professionals can work varying hours depending on a company's policies. Some employers require remote professionals to be active and available for communication within a certain set of hours, while others offer more flexibility.

Related: Working Remotely: Definition, Types, Tips and Benefits

13. Overtime

Overtime describes a schedule that allows professionals to work over forty hours per week. Professionals with this type of schedule receive additional compensation for each hour of work past the specified full-time schedules. This is common for skilled labour positions, particularly in the construction field as they work under strict client deadlines and may not be able to work on certain days due to weather conditions.

14. No schedule

An employer with a no-schedule policy allows employees flexibility over their hours as long as they complete their tasks. An employee's workday may end if they finish their tasks in four hours instead of eight. No-schedule policies are most common for jobs with undetermined amounts of work each day.

15. Seasonal

Seasonal schedules apply to professionals who only work during a busy time of the year for that company. For example, retail companies often hire more employees near the holiday season. Professionals with these schedules may work full-time or even overtime hours for a few months out of the year and then leave their position. Some businesses only operate during certain seasons. For example, ski resorts may only open during the winter when there's snow.

Related: What Is a Temporary Worker? (With Benefits and FAQs)

16. Customised

A customised work schedule allows employees to choose their own working patterns. Professionals with a customised schedule may have complete freedom to choose when they work in some companies. Other employers may have specific requirements, such as certain mandatory days for work or the number of hours that an employee completes.

17. Telecommuting

A telecommuting schedule allows employees the freedom to work remotely some or most of the time, but requires the employee to work at the place of business for a determined amount of time each week or month. As a telecommuting employee, you may complete most of your tasks at home and come to the office for a client or team meeting.

Related: What is Telecommuting?

18. Results work environment

In a results-only work environment, employees can work as little as they want if they produce the expected results. This may be an ideal schedule for self-motivated professionals. Result-based work environment often offers commission-based compensation and rewards productivity rather than the amount of time a professional spends on a task. Specialised sales roles are often results-based.

19. Standard

With a standard work schedule, employees work for the duration of the company's business hours. This is common for retail stores. For example, if a shop's opening hours are from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., the employees may work from 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

20. Overnight

Professionals with an overnight schedule exclusively work the night shift at a company. They often start their shift late in the evening or early in the night, such as 9 or 10 p.m. Some employers offer employees monetary incentives for working this shift since it's more irregular than the day shift and requires a change in the professional's sleeping patterns.

21. Every other weekend

Professionals with an every other weekend schedule may experience a changing routine in which they work the weekend days twice per month. These professionals can work on a part-time or full-time basis. The aim of this work schedule is usually to ensure each employee is able to have at least a few weekends of free time per month and offers a fair arrangement to all employees despite their seniority status within the company.

22. Flextime

A flextime schedule requires an employee to work part of their hours during a specific time while allowing the employee to choose the rest of their hours. You may be required to work from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and be able to select your other five hours between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. This arrangement allows employees to decide their schedules amongst themselves to provide them with more flexibility.

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