Availability patterns are a way of defining when an employee can and can't work shifts. In other systems you may have heard it referred to as a "work pattern".

On Rotaready, patterns are incredibly configurable and can be used to accommodate even the most obscure availability, such as "I can only work every other Wednesday between 9am and 8pm, and every alternate Friday but not between 3pm and 4pm".

It's best to add an availability pattern when you hire a new joiner as it will appear on the rota, making it easier for you to accommodate their availability when you schedule. However you can add, change and delete availability patterns at any time.

⚠️ If you like, you can give your employees permission to modify their own availability patterns. Most organisations choose not to, so it's disabled by default.

Adding an availability pattern

It's possible to have multiple patterns for each employee, but it's more common to just have one. They can overlap and they can also be time-boxed with a start and an end date. It's also possible to toggle specific patterns on and off.

  • Click Staff in the navigation menu

  • Search for an employee

  • Click on the Availability tab

  • Click Add new pattern

  • Choose whether this pattern should be weekly, monthly, or custom (your choice of an arbitrary number of days long)

  • Give your pattern a good name that helps you identify it in the future, like "No Wednesdays" or "Flexible over the summer".

  • Pick a start date for when you'd like the pattern to take effect

  • Optionally pick an end date if you'd like the pattern to stop, otherwise it will continue into the future. You can always come back and add one later.

  • For a weekly pattern, you'll need to choose the number of weeks. A two week pattern is a 14-day repeating block, which is perfect if you can only work "every other Tuesday", for example.

  • Now, for the days within your pattern, you can specify whether they're available, unavailable, available AM only (midnight to midday), available PM only (midday to midnight), available custom (you choose the hours of the day when they're free) or unavailable custom (you choose the hours of the day when they're not free).

If you're unsure if you've defined your pattern correctly, just save it and review their schedule on the Schedule tab. It'll appear immediately, making it easy to see how the pattern applies and if it's what you intended.

Making an exception

Sometimes an employee is available when they wouldn't normally be. Perhaps they want to work extra hours. Whatever the reason, there's no need to change their availability pattern. Simply make a pattern exception.

This can be done in two places:

  • On the rota: simply click where it says someone is unavailable and choose to make an exception. The cell will become empty allowing you to add a shift.

  • On the employee's personal schedule: click on an unavailable event on any day, and click to mark they're now available. The unavailability will disappear.

You can reverse this exception if you later change your mind. Just look for the Edit exceptions button, found below their schedule calendar.

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