The previous sections explain two types of workload: time-dependant and time-independent. I’ve taken the liberty to explain them this way so that it is easier to categorize and relate to how most people see it. Some folks even distinguish the vocabulary by calling them jobs (time dependant) and tasks (time independent).
But when you think about it, there are only two variable at play here: the quantity of work and the timeframe to accomplish it. Everything can fall in line with just these two variables. For example, if we have time independent workload that is on a one-hour resolution, we could say that a workload of 8 people at 9am is the equivalent of saying there is 8 hours of work to be accomplished between 9am and 10am.
The same goes for time independent work where a six-hour task needs to be done on Monday is the equivalent of 6 hours of work to be accomplished between 9am and 9pm.
Some industries do express their workload this way and measure accordingly. Other industries simply create a schedule based on their resources. For example, casinos have opening and closing times for different tables which basically represent shift work, but for a table. The schedule then becomes an exercise of matching two schedules: one representing the workload and the input to the employee’s schedule.
Mining and oil industries need to fly their employees to the mine or the platform. The employees work there for a week or a month before coming back. But when they are there, they also have a schedule. In these cases, you have a schedule of presence and a schedule of work when present. It’s kind of a schedule within a schedule. In these cases, although they are measured differently, there is only one workload that drives both schedules.
There are other ways of expressing the workload. The planner must simply pick the workload that can be easily measured against an employee’s schedule. The point of expressing a workload is to be able to assign it to employees and measure accurately at all times.