Create basic shifts

The rules on the General tab in Shifts are required to build a rule set and create shifts. These rules allow you to define the start and end times of the shifts, the duration of the shifts as well as the base activity of the shifts and the shift category they belong to.

Create the shifts based on the agents' time zone, because that is the time zone the automatic scheduling will use.

First time creating shifts in WFM? Read Creating shifts overview for what to consider before, during and after creating shifts.


  • You have the Shifts permission.
  • The activities to use in the shifts are created in Options > Scheduling > Activity.
  • The shift categories to use are created in Options > Scheduling > Shift category.

Page location

Client > Shifts > General tab


Define basic shift settings

Create simple one-activity shifts by defining these shift settings. These shifts are then used as a basis for building more complex shifts with additional activities.

  1. Click the Rule sets tab to ensure it's selected.
  2. Click New to create a new rule set and name it, or click on an existing rule set to work with.
  3. Select a Base activity for the shift. The base activity will be the base layer of the shift and can be the only activity, but in most cases additional activities are added.
  4. Select a Shift category. All shifts created in a rule set belong to the same shift category. For separate shift categories, you need to set up more than one rule set.
  5. Select if the shifts should be by default Available or not.

    If you select Yes, the shifts can always be used except for on the defined dates and weekdays. If you select No, these shifts can only be used on the defined dates and weekdays.

    NOTE   Select the dates and weekdays when these shifts should be available or not available on the Availability date tab and the Availability day of week tab.

  6. Define the Start period for the shifts by setting three parameters.

    • Early—the earliest possible start time.
    • Late—the latest possible start time.
    • Segment—the increments of the start time between the early and late start.

    EXAMPLE   If Early is set to 09:00, Late to 10:00 and Segment to 0:30, the possible start times are 9:00, 9:30 and 10:00.

    NOTE   Avoid setting up long start or end periods with short segments, as that generates many shifts. It's often better to create more specific rule sets and not try to cover too much in one rule set.

  7. Define the End period for the shifts by setting three parameters. If the end time is after midnight, type +1 after the end time, for example 02:00+1.

    • Early—the earliest possible end time.
    • Late—the latest possible end time.
    • Segment—the increments of the end time between the early and late end.
  8. Define the Length (duration) of the shifts.

    • Min—the shortest possible shift length.
    • Max—the longest possible shift length.
    • Segment—the increments of the shift length between the min and max shift length.

    NOTE   The shift length only considers activities which are defined as contract time. Activities that are not defined as contract time, for example lunch, are not included when calculating the shift length.

  9. Select the Only for restrictions check box if the shifts only should be used in connection with restrictions like agent preferences, availability or rotations. If enabled, the shifts will still only be used if there are no other shifts that fulfill the rules of the restriction. The rule sets which are only for restrictions are highlighted with a little black dot before their names in the list of rule sets.
  10. Click Refresh to show the shifts generated based on the current rules.

    NOTE   There might be few or no shifts to show yet. This is usually because you have planned to add non-contract time activities, for example lunch, and based start and end time and shift length on that. If this is the case, add all non-contract time activities and refresh again. The shifts shown now will be of all possible shift lengths and start and end times based on the current rules.

  11. Click Save to save your rule set. Continue to add activities to your shifts. See Add activities to shifts.

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