What To Include in a Shift Report Template

Ever wondered how healthcare, hospitality, transportation, and other industries that depend on shift workers seamlessly run around the clock? The answer isn’t magic—it’s through clear communication between a team’s shifts, and the manager likely used a shift report template to make it happen.

Behind the scenes, 24/7 businesses use the humble-yet-helpful shift report to bridge the gap between morning, afternoon, and overnight shifts. And small businesses with many shifts do the same, so that everyone on the team is on one page. 

Could your business benefit from a smooth flow of communication between teams from one shift to the next? If the answer is a resounding ‘heck yes’, we think you’ll dig our guide on shift reports. Plus, we’re throwing in a nifty, shift report template to get you started.

What is an end of shift report?

An end of shift report is like a helpful handover note workers leave for their managers and the shift worker that takes over for them. It typically summarizes completed tasks and activities, and what still needs to be done during the next shift. 

Think of a shift report as passing the baton in a relay race—you want to make sure the next runner has everything they need to seamlessly continue the race. If issues arise during the morning shift that affect the next worker on the schedule, the end of shift report acts as a heads up so they can effectively handle the situation.

A shift report helps ensure employers, managers or supervisors, and employees stay on the same page, even with a revolving door of people completing daily tasks. 

An end of shift report keeps teams informed about:

  • Ongoing tasks
  • Safety concerns
  • Challenges or incidents that need to be addressed
  • Special instructions
  • Status of equipment, tools, and machinery 
  • Operational changes when it comes to procedures and/or protocols

Does your business need shift reports?

The end of shift report functions as an important communication tool that has two main purposes: reporting and problem-solving.

Reporting on what happens during each shift helps improve continuity of operations. A report includes:

  • Coordinating tasks and responsibilities to avoid duplication and oversight.
  • Safety and compliance.
  • Documentation of incidents and activities.
  • Notes on efficiency and productivity. 

This report also helps to reduce the domino effect that occurs when problems come up during one shift and spill over onto the next. As a central document where workers can record everything that happens during a shift, incidents and issues can be directed to the right department or personnel and effectively addressed. 

Whether or not you need a shift report depends on the nature of your business and the industry in which it operates. 

Common industries that benefit from shift reports.

  • Healthcare: hospitals, nursing homes, hospice centers, midwifery care, and other medical facilities that operate around the clock.
  • Hospitality: restaurants, hotels, resorts.
  • Transportation: airports, train stations, bus depots, public transport systems.
  • Manufacturing: factories and plants that produce things like clothing, automobiles, electronics, and paper products.
  • Retail: department stores, pharmacies, grocers, convenience stores, and other businesses that sell goods directly to consumers.
  • Public safety: police and fire stations, emergency response teams, and security services.
  • Energy and utilities: power plants, water treatment facilities, and utility companies.
Did you know? End of shift reports are also useful during audits or employee evaluations. 

Example: Say you run a diner that’s open 24/7. A disruptive regular customer comes in for a morning coffee, but ends up causing a scene—leaving a mess, yelling at the server, and walking out on the bill. The morning shift worker who dealt directly with the customer documents the incident in their end of shift report, which the afternoon team is then briefed on.

When the same problematic customer returns for dinner, the workers are on guard and prepared to handle things should sh*t hit the fan. 

Bottom line: Any business that uses a rotating shift schedule and requires a smooth transition of information between workers can benefit from shift reports. It’s all about making sure the next shift starts off informed and ready to tackle whatever comes their way.

The elements you need to create a good change of shift report.

Now that you’ve determined what a shift report is and if your small business needs one, it’s time to get down to brass tacks—what exactly should be included in an effective change of shift report?

Employee information.

The first section lists specific details about the employee who fills out the report, and typically includes:

  • Employee name.
  • Shift schedule (date of shift, start and end times).
  • Date completed (when and what time did they fill out the form?).
  • Work location (e.g., on-site, remote).

Tasks completed.

This section lists the specific tasks completed by the employee during their shift and provides a status update for the next person taking over. Managers can use this section to monitor job progress to ensure each worker stays on track.

Tasks pending.

This section lists the tasks that were not completed during the shift and need to be handed off to the next worker. It’s especially helpful to include space for the worker to explain why they weren’t able to complete certain tasks during a given shift, such as starting late due to an appointment or getting caught up with other duties. 

Tip: Encouraging transparency between shift workers and managers will help improve overall communication and teamwork, and avoid feelings of resentment. 

Issues encountered while on shift.

We’d all love problem-free shifts, but unfortunately, life—and work—can be unpredictable. Incidents and disruptions like personal injuries or equipment mishaps are inevitable in most workplaces, so it’s vital to document them properly. Keeping detailed records will help to resolve issues efficiently and serve as a reference point in case they should happen again.

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the construction industry experiences the highest levels of safety incidents—and violations. But that doesn’t mean problems won’t arise in other types of job sites. 

The best thing you can do to protect your business and your workers is to ensure all incidents are recorded in detail and filed as soon as they happen. 

Action items.

You can take a further step toward avoiding future issues by including a section that lists possible solutions. Assigning specific tasks to the appropriate people will help resolve issues faster and keep workers safe. 

Important notes for the next shift.

This last section is for any extra notes when handing over the shift to the next person. It typically includes the following:

  • Updates on recent meetings and communications.
  • Highlighting tasks that need immediate attention.
  • Suggestions for improvement and constructive feedback.
  • Deadline reminders.
  • Instructions for follow-up actions.

6 questions your shift report should answer.

Each team may use a different shift report format, but as a crucial communication tool used by teams doing shift work, the shift report should clearly answer the following questions. We’ve outlined them here, but your free shift report template will include everything you need.

1. Who was working?

This includes the names and positions of the employees who worked during each shift. It helps identify who was responsible for carrying out specific tasks and responsibilities.

2. What are the tasks to be completed during the shift? 

This part outlines the tasks and objectives that were scheduled to be completed during the shift. It serves as a roadmap for the team, improving clarity and collaboration on priorities and goals.

3. What got done during the shift?

This is where workers summarize the tasks and activities that were successfully completed during their shift so their co-workers and managers have a clear understanding of what they achieved. 

4. Is there any slack for the next shift to pick up?

This question addresses whether there are any pending tasks or unfinished work that the next shift needs to address. It helps ensure continuity and smooth handover between shifts.

5. Did any problems arise during the shift?

In this section, document any issues, challenges, or incidents that occurred during the shift. It should include details about the nature of the problem, its impact, and any actions taken to resolve or mitigate its effects.

6. Are there any processes that need to be tweaked? 

This question prompts reflection on whether there are any procedures, workflows, or processes that could be improved. It may encourage innovative thinking and efficiency, and empower workers to provide honest feedback. 

In the wild: An example of a shift report.

Now for the fun part! We’ve come up with a fictitious hotel and employee to create a sample shift report so you can see one in action. Hopefully this example will help get you started even without shift report templates, regardless of your industry. 

Shift report: Sunrise Hotel

Date: June 17, 2024

Shift: 3:00pm – 11:00pm

Location: Sunset Beach, Miami

Prepared by: [Name], Front Desk Supervisor


Today’s shift focused on ensuring excellent guest service and operational efficiency at Sunrise Hotel.

Tasks completed

  • Checked in 20 guests and assisted with room assignments and amenities.
  • Handled guest inquiries, requests, and reservations via phone and in person.
  • Conducted end-of-day audit and reconciled transactions for accuracy.

Pending Tasks

Room maintenance request for Room 305 pending. Maintenance team scheduled for early morning inspection.

Issues and concerns

  • Experienced brief Internet connectivity issue affecting guest check-in process. Resolved within 15 minutes with IT support.
  • Guest slipped on lobby stairs but did not suffer injury. No visible hazards (water, sand, etc.) were found on steps. Guest blamed their inebriation and laughed it off. 


  • Coordinated with housekeeping for room turnovers and special guest requests.
  • Briefed incoming shift on guest preferences and any outstanding issues.

Safety and Security

  • Conducted regular patrols of public areas to ensure guest safety and security.
  • No security incidents reported during the shift. All safety protocols followed.

Special instructions

Notify morning shift about pending room maintenance for Room 305 and ensure it’s prioritized for inspection.

Additional notes

  • Received positive guest feedback regarding staff friendliness and hotel amenities.
  • Room occupancy rate maintained at 85%, meeting daily targets.

Prepared by: [Name]

Signature: [Signature]

Date/time: June 17, 2024, 11:00pm

Reviewed by: [Name]

Signature: [Signature]

Date/time: June 17, 2024, 11:15pm

Start using shift reports for your business with our free shift report template.

When it comes to shift management, you don’t have to start from scratch or reinvent the wheel. Leaning on a shift report template not only streamlines your daily tasks, it also helps improve communication and efficiency across your entire team. 

When should you start incorporating shift reports in your business’s daily routine? Well—no time like the present!

Download your free shift report template for Google Slides here: Google Slides shift report template

Or, download a Microsoft Word shift report template here: Homebase Shift Report Template

While you’re at it, why not try Homebase for all of your scheduling needs? Our all-in-one app makes managing your team a whole lot smoother. Our app allows you to schedule from anywhere, and your team to track their time in the same place. You can even share important notes for next shift using built-in team communication, so you can put your team’s schedule on cruise control. See for yourself with our free plan

Shift report FAQs

What is a daily shift report?

A daily shift report is a form used in industries that rely on shift workers. Its main function is to summarize the activities, accomplishments, challenges, and other relevant information that happened during a specific shift. 

Whether you work in a hospital, factory, hotel, or any other workplace that runs around the clock, this report serves as a communication tool to help ensure a smooth handover between shifts. Essentially, it’s a summary of your workday that keeps everyone in the loop.

How do you write a shift report?

Writing a shift report is easy peasy, especially if you use our shift report template. But here are a few tips to help you hone your writing skills:

  • Try to write clearly and concisely—or at least legibly!
  • Keep it simple. Go straight to the facts when recording updates and reporting issues, avoiding extra fluffy details that might muddle the message.
  • Document all relevant information about your pending, ongoing, and completed tasks so the next person knows what they need to get done.
  • If you have the option to add photos or videos to a digital report, it’ll help provide more detail.
  • Consider using templates to standardize reporting across the team, making everyone’s work day a bit easier. 

What should be included in a good end of shift report?

A quality end of shift report should include the key details and activities you completed during your shift. Here’s a breakdown of exactly what you should do:

  • Write down all relevant employee information like your name, role, shift schedule, date, and location.
  • List the responsibilities and activities assigned to you that day.
  • Describe your specific tasks and label their status accordingly (not started, in progress, completed, and so on).
  • Note other important updates like safety concerns, incidents, faulty equipment, and coordination with other departments.
  • Sign off on the report with your manager.
  • File it in the correct place, then head home—or to happy hour!

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