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What is a 4 on 4 off shift pattern?

This post is the first in our series of shift pattern guides. It explains what a 4 on 4 off shift pattern is, as well as how many hours a year is 4 on 4 off and how does a 4 shift system work. Totalmobile are shift pattern experts. We can help you find the best shift patterns for 24/7 working or the best shift pattern for your specific organisation.
We know shift planning and shift rostering can be challenging without the knowledge, experience and access to the best scheduling software and workforce management software.

How many working days are in a 4 on 4 off shift pattern?

A 4 on 4 off shift pattern gives 24/7 coverage 365 days of the year. It is a continuous shift pattern that can be alternated between day and night shifts. The 4 on 4 off 4 team pattern repeats every 8 weeks. It involves runs of 4 shifts followed by four rests before returning to another run of 4 shifts. Shifts can be grouped in runs of 12 hour days and 12 hour nights or 2 days followed by 2 nights and then four rests. For some organisations this may be one of the best shift patterns for 24/7 working as a 4 on 4 off 12 hour shift pattern works in many other environments.

How many hours a year is 4 on 4 off?

We are often asked how many hours a year is 4 on 4 off? Also, many people want to know what is a 4 4 work schedule? To help we’ve included a simple calculation below which assumes all rest breaks are paid:
  • 168 hours per week / 4 teams = 42 hours per week
  • 52.18* weeks x 42 hours = 2,192 hours per annum

*52.18 weeks is the average number of weeks in the year given a leap year every 4 years (365.25 days / 7 days on the week = 52.18 weeks)

How does a 4 shift system work?

The answer to this really depends on your organisation. For example, you can have 4 team or 5 team working 4 on 4 off. Typically, if you operate with 4 teams, the 4 shift system will be holidays on request.
You can operate with 5 teams using rostered holidays. In this 5 team scenario employees would work 4 on 4 off for 8 weeks and then have a couple of weeks off.

Is a 4 on 4 off good?

A 4 on 4 off shift pattern can be perfect for your organisation. But there are many other things to factor in when considering is a 4 on 4 off good solution for you?Matching your demand profile to the number of employees and agency workers you have available is key to productivity and efficiency. You also need to factor in wellbeing and of course how best to service your clients or customers. There are almost infinite options available for planning shift patterns, rotas and rosters. Expert insight and software can help you balance the considerations above and create the best shift patterns for your organisation.
Our consultants and customers use the Shift Pattern Design Tool in our Organise software which is the most powerful shift pattern calculator and shift pattern generator available on the market. It uses unique algorithms to find the perfect alternatives to 4 on 4 off shift patterns which can then be transferred into a shift pattern calendar for ongoing rostering and employee scheduling activity.
We know that things can change quickly in organisations that implemented a 4 on 4 off shift pattern calendar in 2020 or 2021.
If you require a new 4 on 4 off shift pattern calendar in 2022 or want to explore other shift pattern examples or roster patterns contact us today.
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