White Paper: 10-Hour Shifts: Expensive Luxury, or Effective Deployment?
Long a favorite of shift workers, the 10-hour shift has also frequently been the subject of management complaints about the difficulty of matching on-duty staffing to workload over the 24-hour day and seven-day week. A recent report from the Police Foundation titled The Shift Length Experiment (http://policefoundation.org/indexShiftExperiment.html) has added new empirical evidence to support the staff preferences, but the challenge remains to justify the schedule. We will answer that challenge here.
In order to cover the 24-hour day with 8-hour shifts there must be at least three shifts per day starting eight hours apart. Given that workload varies continuously during the day, and given that with this plan the on-duty staffing can change no more than three times per day, then there must be periods of time when the staffing level is either above or below the demand.