As companies increasingly move to offer 24/7 services, the requirement for staff to be available throughout all hours of the day has become stronger. Many industries require someone always to be available to monitor systems to act quickly if something goes awry. And with more competition than ever, other businesses use shift work to get more done each day, making the company more efficient, agile, and useful to customers.
This means the work schedules have evolved. Gone are the days of everyone clocking off at five pm and returning to work the next day at eight am. Shift work is now increasingly the norm, with employees working different sets of hours in a set rotation.
Good employers can use shift work to make life better for their employees. Let’s look at three ways shift work can be highly advantageous to the employee.
1 – Flexibility and Convenience
Properly managed shift work gives the employee a lot of choices about when they work. Shift workers may choose to work when their kids are in school and clock off ready to pick them up. Others may choose to work a night shift, resulting in higher wages or a less stressful work environment.
Working outside the traditional 9-5 means you’re not locked into the same patterns as most other people. You no longer get stuck in morning traffic, as you’re not part of the usual rush hour. You can head to the grocery store when there are few other people there, and many establishments like gyms, restaurants and movie theaters offer discounts if you visit them during off-peak hours.
Working in shifts can feel like you have more free time. You can better arrange your free time for your hobbies, get some exercise, and meet friends, all because you’re not locked into the typical 9-5 grind.
2 – Reduced workload
When people work in shifts, there are fewer times when overtime is required. You’re not so often compelled to stay late after your shift to finish off your work, as there’s always someone who is coming in to pick up where you left off.
People working on shifts experience better work autonomy. Night shifts often have a skeleton staff, which means you have more breathing room to be resourceful. This can mean better job satisfaction overall.
Because of the nature of shift work, you can work fewer days in the week. If you’re penciled in to work 36 hours per week, this could be achieved over three days if you work 12-hour shifts, leaving you four days of the week free! Or, you may prefer to work just five hours each day over the course of seven days to earn the same amount. This is the beauty of a flexible shift work schedule.
3 – Financial incentives
Shift work, particularly night shift, is often paired with a financial bonus. An extra few dollars per hour really adds up, especially when there are additional bonuses for working on holidays or over the weekend. Many workers seek out these “anti-social” hours as they pay much better, and the off-peak work is often quieter and less stressful, too.