How do I build a long term Rota?

Building a long term Rota can be a quick and painless process. The option to Populate from Work Schedules removes the need for multiple copying and pasting of shifts within the Rota. This feature allows Users to insert up to 12-months worth of employee Work Schedules into the Rota in a single action. This guide will look at:

  • Populating the Rota from Work Schedules
  • When a User cannot Populate from Work Schedules

Populating the Rota from Work Schedules

  1. In the Rota, navigate to the date from where you wish to begin populating.
  2. Select the top left cell in the Rota. The entire week will become highlighted.
  3. Select ‘Populate From Work Schedule’. 
  1. In the box that appears, change the finish date (‘To’) to where you wish to end populating. The start date (‘From’) will default from where you navigated to in the Rota.
  2. There are two ways of selecting which ‘Work Schedules’ to use.

Option 1: Use Defaults (with offset)

Focus will look in the Rules tab of an Employee Form to see if a Work Schedule has been assigned to it. If it has, it will use it when populating the Rota. If no Work Schedule has been assigned, then no shifts will be applied to that employee. In the example below, Focus would use Distribution 1 to populate the Rota for this employee.

Option 2: Choose a Work Schedule to apply to everyone

This will apply the chosen schedule to all employees, regardless of whether they have their own assigned Work Schedule or not.

  1. ‘Rules’ acts as a further filter. Schedule A will be the default option. This schedule is the one that an employee would usually be expected to work. This can be changed if required, assuming there are other schedules to choose from (see the Work Schedule example below).
  1. Select ‘OK’.
  2. If you are populating more than the week that is visible to you, a warning message will appear below the word Rota. This highlights the fact that a number of shifts are being allocated to the Rota on dates that you cannot see.
  3. If you are happy to proceed, then Save.

The population is now complete. Navigate to any of the selected weeks to check your handiwork.

When a User cannot Populate from Work Schedules

There are certain situations where Focus will prevent you from populating the Rota. These restrictions are designed to prevent human error and unwanted changes.

  • If another User is editing the Rota on any of the days in the selected date range, the whole population process will end. No changes will be applied to the Rota.
  • You can only populate into the future (starting from the week that you are viewing). If you select a start date in the past, Focus will prompt you to change it.
  • The maximum number of days that you can populate at any one time is a calendar year. If your selected date range is more than that, Focus will prompt you to change it.
  • The furthest in the future that you can populate is 13 full months from today’s date. If your selected date range is more than that, Focus will prompt you to change it.

For example, if you wish to populate the entire Rota for the next calendar year, you would not be able to do so until November of the current year.

Additional information

Populating from Work Schedules will not overwrite and replace shifts that already exist in the Rota. It will attempt to merge with any existing shifts, ignoring any matching ones and only adding new ones.

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