Skip to main content

Continental shift patterns Vs Panama shift patterns

The third post in our series of shift pattern guides looks at continental shift patterns Vs Panama shift patterns.
It covers:
  • What is a continental shift pattern?
  • How do continental shifts work?
  • What are Panama shifts?
  • What does a Panama schedule look like?
  • What shift pattern is best?

What is a continental shift pattern? And how do continental shifts work?

The continental shift pattern is one of the most widely used shift patterns available. It describes the shift pattern practice of quick rotations within a run of shifts for example for 12 hour shifts:
  • Two days, two nights followed by…
  • Four rests or for 8 hour shifts
  • Two mornings, two afternoons, two nights followed by…
  • Two rests.
It is preferred by a lot of organisations due to its simplicity. However, it does create issues in respect of arranging cover and the percentage of weekends off is low.
Many customers of Totalmobile therefore choose to customise shift patterns using the powerful shift pattern calculator and shift pattern generator functionality of the Shift Pattern Design Tool in our Organise software.

What are Panama shifts? And What does a Panama schedule look like?

When comparing continental shift patterns Vs Panama shift patterns it’s important to understand what are Panama shifts?
Unlike continental shift patterns, Panama shifts keep shifts together in a run to create a more “blocky” shift pattern.
The working and non-working days include two or three shifts on and two or 3 days off.

This is why this can also be referred to as a 2-2-3 shift pattern. A key benefit of this pattern for employees is that it delivers 50% of weekends as rest periods in a 12 hour shift pattern as well as shorter runs of shifts. A downside though is that it necessitates 3 consecutive nights as well as having shorter rest breaks.

What shift pattern is best?

What shift pattern is best depends entirely on your organisation’s specific requirements. There is no ‘one size fits all’ approach to shift work. A 4 on 4 off shift pattern is one of the most common and we have looked at what is a 4 on 4 off shift pattern in the linked article. Another post reviewed some of the best shift patterns for 24/7 working too.
This article also looks at examples of shift patterns and traditional approaches to shift working in more detail and makes the point that traditional approaches to shift working are not always the best.

As you can see there are many shift pattern options to consider. Ultimately the best shift patterns for your organisation will balance many factors such as demand volatility, operational considerations and employee preferences.

If you’d like to compare continental shift patterns Vs Panama shift patterns for your organisation, then contact our shift work experts. Our consultants use their insight and the powerful shift pattern calculator and shift pattern generator capabilities of our Shift Planning software to help you develop shift patterns that are customised to your organisation.
Our Organise solution will help you with Rostering and Employee Scheduling to continental shift patterns and Panama shift patterns, ensuring the administrative burden of accurately managing these shift patterns on a day-to-day basis is reduced.
For further information on our products, demo's and sectors we serve :
Close Menu

Contact Us

Totalmobile Ltd
Pilot Point, 21 Clarendon Road
Belfast, BT1 3BG

T: +44 28 9033 0111
E: info@totalmobile.co.uk

© 2021 Totalmobile