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Weekly Work Schedule Template

A clear weekly work schedule template is the perfect tool for a project manager to effectively handle their employee resources and control a project’s workflow as it progresses towards completion. Listing the involved team members, their location and working times, as well as their responsibilities over a definite period of time, a weekly work schedule helps everyone be more productive and efficient.

Using a weekly work schedule template in project management has several benefits because it helps to:

  • better plan and track a team’s workflow.
  • get the underlying tasks completed in an organized manner.
  • reduce the cost of resources and maximize the amount of work done in the timeframe scheduled for the project.
  • enhance focus on goals, make the workload more manageable and, thus, meet deadlines more easily.
  • define and clarify the efforts required to bring a project to fruition.
  • prioritize tasks by laying out what needs to be done and when.
  • improve team members’ work-life balance.

On this page, you will find useful information on how to create a well-defined weekly work schedule, as well as a professional template that you can download and customize for free to get started faster. 

How do I make a weekly work schedule?

To build an effective weekly work schedule, follow the steps below:

  1. Make a list that include your employees’ names, their full- or part-time status, skills, responsibilities and overtime restrictions. This will help you better understand your team’s capacities.
  2. Assign work shifts to your employees – make sure to delineate the shifts around the employees best suited for that particular time. You also want to ensure that enough time between a person’s shifts is allowed.
  3. Liaise with employees and allow them to have a say in the schedule – consider scheduling one or two of your employees for the first shifts, and then give everyone access to this incomplete schedule so they can fill in  the rest of the schedule.
    This way, you not only delegate and take some of the scheduling burden off your shoulders, but you also make the employees more engaged in their work. Allow changes to the initial schedule for a set period of time, and then close it to external alteration.
  4. Review the schedule – go through the work calendar that has resulted so far and make the necessary final adjustments.
  5. Create an availability chart – this will act as a backup solution for the situation when a team member cannot cover their shift. Creating a list of substitutes ensures that no one falls behind with the set workload.
  6. Create a timeline that clearly illustrates the structure of your work schedule and share it with the entire team. Using a visual plan will make it easier for everybody to understand who is scheduled to work and when.
    You can build your weekly work schedule either by using a timeline template like the one available on this page or explore our tutorials to learn how to make a timeline with the help of various office tools.

How do I create a weekly schedule template in Excel?

You can manually create a weekly schedule template in Excel by following these steps:

  1. Open a new Excel spreadsheet.
  2. Type in the weekdays along the first row of your spreadsheet, starting with the cell under Column B.
  3. On the second row of column A, type in the time at which your schedule starts (e.g. 8:00 AM). Then drag the cell handle down the column until Excel fills it through to the time that marks the end of the working hours.
  4. Enter the name of the person who will cover the first shift in the cell next to the starting hour of your work schedule.
  5. Select all the cells down the same column until you include the allotted hours of that person’s shift, and then click on the “Merge” button on the Excel ribbon.
  6. Continue inputting the rest of the team members.
  7. Format and color-code the shifts to better demarcate them.

If you want to learn more about how to make a timeline or a work schedule using Excel and other office tools, please check out our tutorials.

Using and updating the Weekly Work Schedule Template

The free weekly work schedule template was built to help business and project managers schedule work for their staff and teams. Designed as a clear, simple-to-communicate PowerPoint slide, it can be used for a wide range of planning needs, from simplifying staffing schedules and coverage charts, to creating weekly agendas or shift schedules.

The template is a free, downloadable slide, enabling you to quickly make a weekly work schedule, coverage plan or graphical timetable which will be easy to view, update, print and share. Creating a work schedule as a visual, rather than as a list or table, is a useful scheduling technique because visuals are easier to understand and simpler to communicate. Update this weekly work calendar sample and send it to your team members or work force so they are focused on their assignments over the duration of a week, ensuring that tasks will be completed on time.

The template can also help you plan shifts more efficiently. It was created in an hourly Gantt chart style that will be familiar to teams, management and other staff. Additionally, the template supports schedule overlapping, which makes it easier to see shift scheduling overlaps or if there are any gaps in coverage that require attention. It was created to help people or organizations who need to manage work schedules that vary across departments, employees, time zones or shifts.

The weekly work schedule template was created natively in PowerPoint, so customizing it to communicate or publish work schedule plans is easy and familiar. All you have to do is to download the free template and open it in PowerPoint. Then begin to customize the data, fonts, colors or style using any of the PowerPoint controls. Alternatively, you can use the free version of Office Timeline to automatically manage all of your schedule updates.

Office Timeline is a schedule maker that plugs into PowerPoint to automatically update and change the template, or to create new, similar templates. If plans change, the tool helps you to update the weekly work schedule template automatically, in just a few clicks straight from inside PowerPoint. It can also be used to add other work scheduling details such as today’s date, progression or color code employees to track shifts and overlapping schedules more easily.

Frequently asked questions about weekly work schedules

Here are our answers to some of the questions that people ask about weekly work schedules.

What is a weekly work schedule?

A weekly work schedule is a timeline that summarizes the tasks and activities that an individual or team needs to accomplish during the week. It typically outlines an employee's work hours and job responsibilities and includes:

  • the days an employee is scheduled to work,

  • the start and end times of each shift,

  • and any other important information, such as break times or specific projects they will be working on.

By following a weekly schedule, you can easily keep track of the tasks you need to accomplish for the week, plan when to do them, and see how much time you have for each.

Employers can manage their staffing needs more efficiently and ensure that there are enough employees available to meet the demands of the business. The schedule may be set in advance or may vary from week to week based on the needs of the business and the availability of the employee.

How do I create an employee schedule template?

An employee schedule template is a pre-designed format that can be used to create a schedule for employees. It saves you time and effort as it provides a ready-made structure that you can reuse, so you don’t have to create a new schedule from scratch every time you need to make a change. Here are the steps for making a schedule template:

  1. Choose a format and a software

    Choose the schedule format that works best for you. For example, if your ideal template is a spreadsheet, then you’ll most likely use Excel or Google Sheets. If you need a more complex schedule, you’ll need a more advanced, specialized timeline professional software, such as Office Timeline, that offers automation features for fast and easy scheduling and a multiple choice of templates.

  2. List the tasks and shifts

    Determine the tasks and shifts that need to be scheduled. This can include the start and end times of each shift, break and lunch periods, and any other relevant information.

  3. Create the template and customize it

    Use the software to create a blank template that includes the necessary information for each shift. Include fields for the employee's name, date, start and end times, and any other important information. Once you have created the basic template, customize it to fit the specific needs of your business. You may need to add more fields or change the layout to make it easier to read.

Does Excel have an employee schedule template?

Yes, Microsoft Excel has several pre-designed employee schedule templates available. To access them, follow these steps:

  1. Click on File in the top left corner of the screen and select New.

  2. In the search bar, type "employee schedule" and press Enter. Excel will display a list of available templates that you can choose from. Select the template that best fits your needs and click Create to open it.

  3. Customize the template to fit the specific needs of your business by adding or removing columns, adjusting the layout or formatting, and entering the necessary information.

Also, you can put your Excel data in a visually appealing format in PowerPoint by using one of the professional templates from Office Timeline. Simply copy-paste or import your data from Excel and automatically generate a schedule that showcases multiple time scales, swimlanes, task dependencies, and other advanced features.

How do I create a work schedule in Word?

While Microsoft Word is primarily a word processing tool, it does allow you to create a basic work schedule by using tables. Here are the steps to create a work schedule in Word:

  1. In a new Word document, click on Insert > Table and select the number of rows and columns you need for your schedule. You can add or remove rows and columns later, if needed.

  2. Enter the days of the week as column headings and the times of day as row headings and fill in the table with the employee names and the times they are scheduled to work.

  3. Customize table, font and background as needed. To add borders, click on the table and go to the Design tab in the menu bar. To make the schedule more visually appealing, you can add color to the cells or use customization options for the text or background as needed.

To create a professional-looking schedule that is visually appealing, you can design it in PowerPoint and then easily convert it to Word by clicking on File > Export > Create Handouts. The main advantage is that you can make a high-quality timeline in just minutes with the help of the Office Timeline add-in that can automatically generate visually stunning graphics with multiple time scales, swimlanes, and task dependencies. Additionally, the tool offers a variety of templates to jump-start your schedule-making process.

How do I create an employee schedule in Google Sheets?

Creating an employee schedule in Google Sheets is relatively straightforward. Here are the steps:

  1. Create a table. In a new Google Sheets file, enter the days of the week as column headings and the times of day as row headings. Fill in the table with the employees’ names and the times they are scheduled to work.

  2. Format. To format the table or the borders, go to the Format or Borders tabs in the menu bar. From there, you can change the font, background color, and other formatting options.

  3. Share. To share the schedule with employees or other team members, go to the File tab in the menu bar and select Share. You can then enter their email addresses and choose the level of access they have (e.g. view or edit).

Google Sheets also features pre-designed templates. To access them, go to the File tab in the menu bar of a Blank sheet, select New, and then select From template gallery. From there, you can search for and select an employee schedule template to use.

How do I make an employee work schedule free?

There are several free options for creating an employee work schedule:

  • Use Google Sheets. You can create a new sheet, input your schedule information, and share it with your employees for free.

  • Use Word or Excel. If you already have Microsoft Word or Excel installed on your computer, you can create a schedule template using tables and share it with your employees.

  • Use free scheduling software. There are some free scheduling software options. For example, our automated scheduling tool, Office Timeline, helps you to quickly create and share schedules with your team. In addition to the add-in for PowerPoint, Office Timeline also provides an online scheduling tool that enables you to create schedules from scratch or import data from other software. This tool makes it easy to assign tasks, manage resources, and keep track of important deadlines, ensuring that your team stays on track.

The free versions typically have some limitations, such as the number of features available, but they can still be useful tools. If you need more advanced features or have a larger team, you can try Office Timeline for free for 14 days and enjoy full benefits.

Is there an app for work schedules?

Yes, there are different types of apps available for creating work schedules. Typically, such an app offers basic scheduling and time-tracking features. These include the ability to create and share schedules, track employee time-off, as well as assign shifts.

We suggest a multi-use scheduling tool, Office Timeline, featuring both a desktop version (with free trial) and a free online scheduling tool, that can be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection, making it ideal for collaborating teams. Among the benefits that come with both the offline and online versions of this flexible app are:

  • user-friendly interface,

  • collaboration features,

  • automated schedule creator, offering the option to import data from other software,

  • resource management (assign tasks, manage resources, and keep track of important deadlines),

  • multiple time scales on a timeline,

  • customizable templates that you can easily update.

To kickstart your project scheduling process, simply use the free template available on this page, which you can swiftly customize with Office Timeline.

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Updating your template is simple and fast.

Use the Office Timeline PowerPoint add-in to quickly update any of these timeline templates or create your own project visuals. Easily change the texts, dates, colors, shapes and styles of your timeline, right from inside PowerPoint.

Free PowerPoint Timeline and Swimlane Maker