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Shift swaps

Shift swaps provide a convenient way for on-call engineers to find team members to exchange on-call shifts in a schedule for a specified time span to covered planned or unplanned unavailability.

Make a swap request

To request a shift swap, you can use the OnCall mobile app or the web UI in a schedule details page.

In the app, tapping one of your shifts presents an option to construct a shift swap request for that and/or other shifts.

It is also possible to setup a request from a schedule view, tapping on the request a swap button () displayed in the top-right corner. Include shifts by tapping them and/or specify starting and ending datetimes (they don’t need to match shifts exactly). The optional description will be displayed when notifying other users about the request.

In the web UI, you can follow a similar flow via the Request shift swap button, available in the Rotations lane of a schedule, or clicking the button shown when hovering on a particular shift event in which you are on-call.

Note: no recurrence rules support is available when requesting a shift swap. If you need to recurrently change a shift, consider creating a higher level layer rotation with the desired updates.

Upon submitting the request, a Slack notification will be sent to the channel associated to the correspondent schedule, if there is one. A mobile push notification will be sent to team members who participate in the schedule and have the notifications enabled.

Push notifications are sent 4 weeks ahead of the requested shift swap, or shortly after creation in case the shift swap start time is less than 4 weeks away, but always during users’ working hours (by default 9am-5pm on weekdays, according to the user’s mobile device timezone).

As long as the request is open, there will be follow-up mobile notifications as well as Slack updates to remind about the request. The follow-up notifications will be sent at the following intervals before the swap start:

  • 4 weeks
  • 3 weeks
  • 2 weeks
  • 1 week
  • 3 days
  • 2 days
  • 1 day
  • 12 hours

You can delete the swap request at any time. If the swap has been taken, it will automatically be undone upon removal.

Note: if RBAC is enabled, a user is required to have the SCHEDULES_WRITE permission to create, update, take or delete a swap request. SCHEDULES_READ will be enough to get details about existing requests.

Check existing swap requests

To review existing swap requests, check the events identified with the swap request icon in a schedule view, in the mobile app or in the web UI.

Take a swap request

If you are not the request owner and the request is still open, you have the option to take the swap. By doing so, you will replace the requester in the given schedule for their respective shifts during the specified period.

If no one takes the swap request before its starting datetime, the request will be closed, and the original user will remain on-call if there is a shift at that time.

Before taking a swap, you can review the involved shifts times.

You can also check (and take) a swap request details in the web UI.

Once a swap is taken, the affected rotations and the final schedule will reflect the changes.