Stop Forgetting You’re On-Call with Handoff Notifications

- February 6, 2014

79% of on-calls admit to forgetting about their shifts. Instead you receive a critical alert that needs your attention, but you are far from mentally prepared to deal with the incident at hand.


After talking with our customers, it was clear that we needed to create a feature to help on-calls everywhere remember that they are on pager duty.

PagerDuty On-Call Handoff Notifications Are Here!

Over the last couple of months we have quietly begun rolling out PagerDuty’s new On-Call Handoff Notifications. Now Handoff Notifications are available for everyone via email, SMS or push notification.

You can find this feature on your profile page. At the bottom of the page you will see On-Call Handoff Notifications nested below your alert Notification Rules.


Select when you would like to receive a notification, either before you go on-call or off-call, or both. To customize an alert method for going off-call versus on-call you can select them independently.

Then simply chose your preferred contact method for the second drop down menu. You can chose from any of your email addresses, phone numbers for SMS notifications or by push notifications via PagerDuty’s mobile app.

We’ll give you a heads up a couple of minutes before you go on or off call.

As always, we love to hear from you. Please send any questions or feedback to

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  • vrgruver

    This will be helpful

  • Rahil Sondhi

    This is good news. I was surprised this feature didn’t exist before. Good work!

  • Dennis

    Wait, people go off call?

  • kd

    Much needed feature – thanks – What will be helpful to have a time component – Like, notify me x days / hours before I go on-call.

  • Alex Dixon

    it’d be nice to get reminded earlier as well (e.g. a week before, so I notice that I have vacation and can schedule a shift change, for example).

  • Pat

    I feel like this would be better if it could be assigned on the schedule so everyone on that schedule gets the notification when they are up. So now instead of forgetting they are on-call they just forget to set up their on-call notification.

  • Chris

    +1 Alex. Great feature but needs configurable notification time. A couple of minutes before is not going to help us much. If you forgot you were going on call, you are probably already at the restaurant or in the bathroom a couple of minutes before. Should at least be configurable to 24 hours, although a week would be nice, so that plans could be adjusted, mobile connectivity assured, etc. in advance of the fun times.

  • Kit Pierce

    Agree with previous comments – being able to configure the amount of time before a user goes on/off call would be a most welcome addition.

  • Brad

    Would be much more useful if I could turn this on for my users rather needing to remind them to remember to enable the reminder 😉

  • Dan Khersonsky

    Thank you for your feedback. This is one of several enhancements we are looking at.

  • Dan Khersonsky

    Thank you for the input. This is also one of the feature-enhancements we’re considering.

  • Anna

    Agree with Brad. Such a feature would be super useful.

  • nenslo

    It would also be good to have the ability to get messages when someone adds me to a scheduled override!

  • / PagerDuty

    You will get notified for overrides as well.

  • alexf

    Excellent feature , missing the notification time and text to be delivered to recipient. sometimes person on call need an additional instructions that could be part of customized message

  • Whitney

    I like the reminders very much, but the critical alert could still not be handled if the person who gets the reminder doesn’t do anything about it. Not that it ever happens. :-)

    We change the on-call frequently, rather than having long stretches of on-call, such as an entire week.

    I’d love to see a handshake of some sort for transferring on-call. The person going on-call acknowledges he’s taking over and the person going off-call receives a confirmation. If the person going on-call doesn’t acknowledge, then the on-call doesn’t switch over, or switches over to the manager.