Although there’s no denying that working at night has drawbacks, it’s important to recognize that it has advantages too.
Surveys of people who work shifts reveal a number of benefits over working a traditional 9-to-5, Monday through Friday schedule. In fact, some night workers turn down the opportunity to move to the day shift.
More Relaxed Work Environment at Night...
Working at night means you can do your job away from the high pressure atmosphere that sometimes prevails in the daytime.
One nurse told the Working Nights Newsletter, “I enjoy working the night shift. The fact that there are fewer administrators around creates a calmer environment and gives me the chance to be independent and spend more time with my patients.”
A lot of shiftworkers agree with this point. The night shift tends to be more relaxed, often due to the fact that less people, including supervisors, are present at night.
Additionally, many shiftworkers comment that there is more camaraderie among people on the night shift.
Free Time During the Week...
Many shift schedules provide more days-off than a traditional Monday-Friday work schedule. This provides people with free time to pursue hobbies and hang-out with family and friends. Furthermore, many shift schedules provide days-off during the week. While sometime these off-days come at the expense of days off during the weekend, it’s important to recognize the advantages of having free time during the week.
For example, public places are less crowded during the week. You can breeze through shopping malls, grocery stores and banks without having to wait in long lines. It’s easy to schedule personal business such as doctor’s appointments and car tune-ups without interfering with work.
For recreation, many places offer weekday discounts. Go see a bargain matinee at the movie theater. Or go play around of golf. Many golf courses have special deals during the weekdays. And best of all you don’t have to worry about people rushing you through the course. Or if you’re in a scholarly mood, consider taking a morning or early afternoon class at a community college. It’s a great way to meet new people and learn more about a topic that interests you.
Furthermore, you may avoid one of the worst plagues of modern society – traffic. Late at night, the roads are likely to be empty, and if your shift ends at 7 or 8 a.m., you might be able to cruise home while traffic lines up in the opposite direction.
Another major advantage is financial. In many places, a willingness to work at night can help a person find a job that pays more than a daytime one. And even within the same company, shiftworkers often receive higher pay than those working comparable jobs.
If you’re a parent, a shift schedule can offer several advantages. For example, if you have pre-school age children, it can be easier to make child care arrangements because you’re home. Likewise, if you have older children, you probably have more free time during the day to attend events such as recitals and soccer games without taking time off from work.
Tips for Single Shiftworkers...
While single shiftworkers sometimes comment about having trouble maintaining a satisfying social life, there are things you can do to meet people. Here are some tips:
• Attend workshops and pursue hobbies that interest you on your days off. This can be a great way to meet people who have similar interests as you.
• Work out at a co-ed gym.
• Socialize with co-workers; they’ll have free time when you do.
• Volunteer with an organization that interests you. Organizations will be happy to have you help any time of day, and you’ll be doing something good for the community.
• Play sports – it’s a great way to keep in shape and meet new people. While shiftworkers might have to plan their lives in different ways than 9-to-5 workers, there are a lot of the advan- tages to shiftwork. The key to enjoying them often comes down to recognizing the advantages and making the com- mitment to enjoy them.