Should You Work in Shifts or Regular Hours?

by Yin on December 20, 2008

in Career

Do you prefer to work in shifts or to work regular hours?

Here are some benefits of working in shifts:

  • it’s very easy to run errands- you can make visits to the bank, post office, shopping for groceries during day hours
  • when you work shifts, you generally do not commute to work during rush hour traffic- so you save a lot of time travelling. And with the saved time, you get to spend more time with the family
  • shift jobs are generally better paid than the same job but not in shifts. If you work on public holidays, you also earn extra allowances.
  • graveyard or night shift- tends to be less busy than daytime. So some people can catch up on their studying, knitting, etc during graveyard shift.
  • suitable for a non-morning person, ie someone who is more of a night owl (awake at night) but have problem waking up early in the morning
  • you do not suffer from Monday blues, because your off day is not constant- ah….that element of constant change. Monday blues can be real depressing.

The downside of working in shifts:

  • it affects your biological clock- your sleeping, waking and eating patterns changes. One week you are on graveyard shift and the next, you are back on morning shift. This throws your body off balance and will slowly age you, whether you believe it or not
  • you tend to suffer from insomnia or hangover feelings- after the night duty. You may find that stomach cramps or gastric occurs much more often because you no longer eat regularly.
  • if you have young kids, you have to constantly plan with your spouse (especially if he/she is also working) and make arrangement for the children’s daycare.
  • it can be depressing working on weekends, and public holidays- lose out time on family, partying, social gatherings, etc
  • it’s not easy to take leave on holidays or the days you want. Everyone will want to be off on Christmas and New Year Eve/New Year day

Shift work experience for me

I have worked shift for 18 months. I could go shopping, run errands and take my family out during the time when others are working. It was during that time that I started my first geocities website (blogs were virtually unknown then) and spent lots of time doing craft work in the daytime. Sometimes when my shift finishes at 12am, I reach home by 1am and I will stay up on the internet till 3 or 4am. Then I will sleep at wake up at 11am to prepare to go to work the next day. Or wake up earlier if I am going shopping. It was bliss. I eventually gave up my shift work as got more active into social voluntarily work that requires ‘regular hours’.

While I generally enjoy my shift work since I am not a morning person, I also noticed I aged a lot during that duration. No matter if we are morning person or otherwise, I still believe that we are built biologically to be away in daytime and sleep from night to dawn. But still, we can still experience the life of working in shifts for a few years just to see how it is and while we are still young.

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