Should You Work in Shifts or Regular Hours?

Job Environment

Do you prefer to work in shifts or to work regular hours? I have worked both in regular and shift duty hence I could see the advantage and disadvantages of both sides.

Here are some benefits/advantages of working in shift duty as opposed to regular hours:

a. It’s very easy to run errands- you can make visits to the bank, post office, shopping for groceries while you are off duty.

b. When you work shifts, you generally do not commute to work during rush hour traffic- so you save a lot of time travelling. It was a breeze as I drove to town on my graveyard shift as the busy town roads were not as jammed at 11pm. And with the extra time, you get to spend more time with the family.

c. 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. In my previous shift duty, we were offered a fixed allowance each month.

d. Graveyard or night shift- tends to be less busy than daytime because most people are usually asleep. So some people can catch up on their studying, knitting, etc during graveyard shift.

e. 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

f. 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 for the folks on normal hours… especially a depressing rainy Monday morning.

Shift work or regular hours

The downside/disadvantages of working in shift duty:

a. 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

b. 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 at normal times. I did develop stomach pains often during graveyard shift.

c. 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.

d. It can be depressing working on weekends, and public holidays- lose out time on family, partying, social gatherings, etc

e. 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 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 and suited when you are single and carefree.

Eventually I 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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