If you are thinking about joining a company that runs 24/7, you may be looking at shift work. What shift is the best to work? What will your schedule look like? Is the day shift better than the night shift?
Traditionally, the day shift runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. However, some companies begin an hour or two earlier from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. or 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Many people prefer first shift;
- Your schedule probably will fit better with your friends and family; and
- Regular working hours may help you led a healthier lifestyle.
- Most likely, you will have a busier and longer commute; and
- Entry-level employees often must work their way into 1st
The swing shift covers the hours between the day and night shifts. Hours usually go from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m., 4 p.m. to 12 a.m. or 5 p.m. to 1 a.m.
- Even with less traditional hours, you could still get a full night’s sleep;
- You may have a shorter commute when travelling during off-hours; and
- You can run errands during less busy times (late morning/early afternoon).
- Working every evening makes it more difficult to connect with friends and family;
- You may need to adjust your sleep schedule to make sure you get enough rest.
The graveyard or night shift runs overnight. Typical hours are 12 a.m. to 8 a.m. but, as with the other shifts, starting and ending times may vary by an hour or two.
- Offering to work the night shift is a smart way to get your foot in the door;
- Some companies pay more for third shift work;
- With fewer people and fewer distractions, you might find you get more done;
- You may have a shorter commute when traveling during off-hours;
- You can run errands during less busy times (early morning); and
- Parents who work opposite shifts may be able to reduce childcare costs. Although, this generally works best with school-age children.
- Working at night and sleeping during the day makes it difficult to connect with friends and family;
- Scientists have linked long-term shift work to several chronic illnesses including obesity, cancer and heart disease;
- Shift work disorder also increases the risk of mental health problems like depression;
- A natural dip in alertness at night leads to an increase in on-the-job injuries;
- You will need to pay close attention to your sleep schedule to make sure you get enough rest; and
- When you take time off, you may struggle to adjust and then readjust your schedule.
Additional Questions You Should Ask Yourself
- Are you a night owl or a morning lark?
- Could you start at third shift and eventually move your way up to second or first?
- Would you have to switch between shifts on a regular basis? (This increases the number of health risks.)
Are You Searching for a First, Second or Third Shift Job?
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