Shift Rota Management for Team Members

Square Shifts and the Team App offer access to your rota and to be able to properly plan out your week. If your business uses Shifts Plus, you’ll also receive reminders to clock in and out for the shifts on your rota.

Shift Scheduling Overview


Review the table below to learn more about commonly used terms associated with your rota.

Term Definition
Shift A shift refers to a period of time that a team member works under one job title. Shift Scheduling includes multiple shift states, including: scheduled shift, current shift and completed shift. A team member can be assigned multiple shifts in a working day.
Timecard A timecard is the record of a set of shifts, generally associated with your business’s pay period. Depending on the time frame viewed, a timecard could include both in progress and completed shifts.
Working day A working day is a rolling 24-hour period of time where all business activity takes place. For most businesses, the standard day (00:00–00:00) aligns with their working day. For businesses that are open past midnight, the working day should align with when all team members have clocked out for the day (e.g. for bars, the working day may span from 04:00 to 04:00 to account for the few hours that they’re open past midnight).
Paid hours Paid hours refers to the total number of hours worked, minus any unpaid breaks. For example, if you work 09:00–17:00 with a 30-minute unpaid lunch break, you worked a total of 7.5 paid hours.
Availability Availability refers to the days and times a team member is able to work. In general, availability is recurring and is separate from one-off time-off requests. For example, a team member’s availability might state that they can work 10:00–21:00, Monday to Friday.
Time off Time off refers to one-off unavailability requested by a team member. Time off is not a recurring concept. A team member can request to be off for a single day or series of days.
Job title Job title refers to the position you hold within your business. Team members can have up to 12 job titles, with a wage assigned to each. The associated wage(s) will be determined by which job title your clocks in as. For example, a team member who has the job titles ‘Cashier’ and ‘Bartender’ may earn different wages under each job title.
Notifications Notifications refers to active messages that are delivered via email or push notification from Team app. Note: Your business must be using Shift Plus to receive some notifications (e.g. clock-in reminders, etc.).

Reviewing Your Rota

Once your employer has created and published your rota, you should receive an automated email and or Team app push notification with a direct link to view your upcoming shifts for the week. To ensure full visibility into new rotas and/or any updates to an existing rota, you’ll also want to make sure that you have updated your notification settings in the Team app. To do so:

  1. From the Home tab of the Square Team app, tap More.

  2. Tap Notification settings.

  3. Toggle on/off App notifications and/or Email notifications under the Rota published and Rota updated sections based on your personal preferences.

  4. Tap Save changes.

As a best practice, we also recommend that you contact your employer directly if you have any questions or concerns about your rota. They will have the access to make any necessary changes, should they arise.

Shift Scheduling Schedule In-App

Note: Visibility of other team members rotas is based on the individual’s user settings. This can be configured by going to Settings within the Rota section of the Team app.

Managing Your Rota

In order to set proper expectations regarding when you’re available to work, you’ll want to provide your employer with your availability. While your employer or any team member with full access permissions will have the ability to update your availability using the online Square Dashboard, you can also update your own availability at any time by using the Square Team app. To do so:

  1. From the Home tab of the Square Team app, tap More.

  2. Tap Availability.

  3. Tap on the day of the week that you’d like to edit to open up the Add availability screen and make any necessary changes.

  4. Tap Save changes to return to the Availability section and repeat for the remaining days that need to be updated.

Note: Team members without full access permissions will be able to update their availability when using the Square Team app, but are not able to update their availability through the online Square Dashboard at this time.

Open Shifts

Your employer may also choose to utilise open shifts, which will allow you to pick up shifts that have yet to be filled by other members of the team. Open shifts are easily viewable from the Team app and will appear to any team member that isn’t currently on the rota for that particular time frame, and is able to work under that job title. To get started:

  1. Log into the Team app and tap Shifts > Rota.

  2. Use the date selector to choose the appropriate time frame for the rota.

  3. Locate a shift that is noted as Open shift in blue > tap the shift in question to open up the Shift details screen.

  4. Tap Request shift.

Once an open shift has been requested, your employer will receive a notification in their online Square Dashboard. They will be prompted to Decline or Approve the Shift request, and you will receive a push notification from Team App confirming which action was taken.

Swap Shifts & Shift Covers

If you have a change in availability, or simply prefer a different shift, you’ll also have the option to swap shifts with other members of the team or ask other team members to cover your shift.

To request to swap a shift:

  1. Log into the Team app and tap Shifts > Rota.

  2. Use the date selector to choose the appropriate time frame for the rota.

  3. Tap the shift in question to open up the Shift details screen.

  4. Tap Swap shift.

  5. From the list of available shifts, select the shift that works best and tap Request swap.

From here, the team member whose shift was requested for swap will receive an email and/or push notification from the Team app (depending on their Notifications settings). This will alert them that another member of the team wants to swap shifts, which they can accept or decline. Once the team member has taken action, the account owner or manager will be notified and asked to accept or decline. Note: You should always assume you are working your original shift until approved by the account owner or manager.

To request to have a shift covered:

  1. Log into the Square Team App and tap Shifts > Rota

  2. Use the date selector to choose the appropriate time frame for the rota.

  3. Tap the shift in question to open up the Shift details screen and select Request shift cover.

  4. Choose to send your shift cover request to everyone at your location > tap Request.

Once submitted, your shift cover request will be pending and you’ll receive notifications from the Square Team App once a shift cover has been approved or declined by a manager or team member or if the shift cover request has expired. If your shift cover request expires, you can resubmit the request by following the steps above. If you need to cancel a shift cover request, go back to the Shift details view and tap Cancel shift cover request.

Other team members can accept or decline shift cover requests from the Rota view in the Square Team App and select the shift in question.

Time Off Requests

In addition to swapping shifts, you can request time off directly from the Square Team app for any unpublished rotas if your employer is subscribed to Square Shifts Plus. Once you submit a request, your employer will receive an email notification, as well as a notification in their online Square Dashboard. From here, they can approve or decline the request and you’ll receive an alert letting you know their decision. To get started:

  1. Log in to the Team app and tap More.

  2. Tap Time off  > Request time off.

  3. Use the date selector to choose the time frame you want to request off and add a note under the Reason section.

  4. Tap Request off.

You can monitor your requests, as well as cancel any pending or approved requests, by visiting the same section of the Square Team app. 

Note: You can only request off for unpublished rotas – if a rota is published, you won’t be able to submit a time off request.


Can I swap shifts with another team member if I’m unavailable to work my own?

With Shifts Plus, once a rota has been published, you can swap shifts with other team members if you’re unable to work your own. Simply open up your Team app and tap Shifts > Rota to view the shift(s) in question. From the Shift details, tap Swap shift to view the shifts available for trade, and Request trade to send a notification to the team member whose shift you’d like to swap. If they are able to accommodate your request, an updated rota will be sent to you through your preferred notification method once the edits have been saved. Note: The team member whose shift you’d like to swap must accept the swap request in order for the swap to go through.

Alternatively, you can request to have a shift covered by another team member. You can follow the steps outlined in this article above to request to have your shift covered, which will be sent to your manager for approval. You’ll receive notifications through the Square Team App if your shift cover request has been approved, denied or if it expires.

I never received my rota. Can I request it again?

Yes, you can do so by working with your employer or manager directly to request they publish the rota again. In addition, you should check the Notification settings in your Team app to confirm that you’re able to receive push notifications from the app. There is also a possibility that the rota email went to an out-of-date email address or into your spam/junk folder. As a best practice, please confirm that the email address associated with your team profile is up-to-date and that you have double-checked your inbox. Note: You should also have the ability to view any published rota in the Team app.

My availability has changed at the last minute. How do I update that?

You can update your availability at any time through the Availability section within More in your Square Team app. If this change happens during a work week that is already in progress, we recommend partnering with your employer or manager to make them aware of any changes to your availability. This way, affected shifts can be filled as quickly as possible. Note: Each team member is allowed up to four blocks of availability.

I need to edit my timecard for one of my past shifts. Can I do that?

You can edit the timecard associated with any past shifts directly from the Square Team app, as long as your employer is subscribed to Shifts Plus.

To edit your timecard:

  1. Open the Square Team app and tap Shifts > Timecards.
  2. Select the appropriate timeframe and tap on the shift you want to edit.
  3. Update the necessary information (eg Job title, Clock-in time, Clock-out time, Breaks, Notes, etc.) and tap Request Changes. Your manager will get a notification asking them to approve or decline your request.

Note: Until your manager approves or declines your request, you won’t be able to make another edit request for that same shift – however, you can include multiple edits (eg change clock-in time and add a missing break) to a shift in one request.

Will my employer have the option to distribute tips among myself and other team members?

Yes. With Shifts Plus, your employer can use tip pooling to equally divide each payment card tip across all clocked-in tip-eligible team members.

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