Working always takes a toll on us, but we still got to do what we have to do. We all got to work for our survival. In a world full of ‘typical’ office hours, we are witnessing a rise in shift work hours. Rather than working within the traditional hours, people are turning towards shift work hours. To provide services round the clock, the employees provide 24 hours services all round the week, with each employee working on their respective time. There are three known shifts; morning, evening, and night or overnight shifts. Here, we’ll discuss the Overnight Shift hours.
A typical morning shift begins around 8 a.m. till mid-day, giving way to the evening shifts, which usually begin from 3 o’clock till midnight. Overnight shift hours usually take place during the nighttime hours, taking over from the evening shifts when much of the world is sound asleep. As per an article, on average, 2.4% of the night shift workforce work rotating shifts, choosing the night time over the other two. Usually, an overnight shift starts when the clock hits 10 o’clock in the night to midnight, however, these too may vary depending on the circumstances. It lasts till 6 o’clock or 8 a.m. With the growing need for 24/7 services all over the globe, the demand for overnight shifts has increased as well.
Advantages of overnight shift hours
Even though the overnight shifts are generally not much preferred, they indeed have their perks. Surprisingly many people prefer to shift work during the night hours or ‘odd hours’ thanks to its benefits, although personal reasons may vary.
Away from noise
One major perk of the night shifts is the absence of noise to a greater extent. During the night hours, being quiet helps in relaxation and soothes the mind. With less noise, the employee focuses on the work better.
With much of the world sound asleep, the employees have only a few customers to handle. This also gives them the liberty to handle situations with ease, without any rush.
The employee can focus on their desired task as there will be fewer customers to cope with alongside fewer noise distractions. The employee can solely focus on their tasks or work, consequently increasing productivity.
Being the only employee on duty or with a few others gives the employees the liberty to make decisions. Overnight shifts allow them to be more autonomous with the management of the required work. This quite a lot of times highlights the leadership qualities and much of the time, the teamwork of the employee(s).
One of the reasons many employees prefer the night shift is because of the better pay that comes with it. Since the work is during the odd hours, making the bodywork in different hours, the pay too is different. And by different, we mean good different. Many companies pay extra for the services provided during the odd hours. This certainly attracts people who are in tough financial conditions.
With only quite a few of you on duty, the chances of comparison between the employees decrease to a certain extent. This helps in reducing stress from their minds consequently, helping them focus on their work and leaving them at their liberty, free from any restraints of behavior or thoughts.
More leisure time
Since the work is at night, the employees are left with quite a lot of leisure time during the afternoon and evenings. This helps them in maintaining a healthy lifestyle and spending time with their families, especially during the evenings when the typical office hours ends and schools and colleges shut off.
Time for school
If you are a student, night shifts come in handy for you even more. Overnight shift hours give the students working part-time a fair chance to attend school/ universities during the academic hours, saving them from missing their classes. This way, students let two birds die with one stone.
Traveling in the night times for your work shifts is much less stressful as compared to the morning timings, during the usual rush hours. The night timing saves you from the congested roads and traffic and all the exhaustion that comes along with them.
Disadvantages of overnight shift hours
Nonetheless, a coin has two sides. With as many benefits, the overnight shift hours can come with a lot of hurdles too. These may also vary from personal experiences, but on an overall basis, these general flaws make people walk the other way.
Let’s just admit it, it is not easy to stay awake all night! It takes strong willpower to be able to make your body work at a time when it learns to rest all your life. This gets worse when the night shift hours are only for a ‘temporary basis’, eventually destroying your daily schedule.
However, once the body adjusts itself to staying awake overnight, it makes life much easier. Much better if the shift continues for a longer time, giving your body time to adjust on its own.
Disruption of the daily schedule
Having your bodywork during a period when it was taught to be resting disrupts your internal system, consequently affecting your daily schedule. When you start working overnight shift hours at first, you feel tired the next whole day even though you must have slept for good hours. It slowly starts affecting your diet, mood, and much more.
However, with time, your body starts remembering your schedule and adjusts to it. The body gets used to the schedule and again, it makes things much easier.
At first, working overnight shifts takes a toll on the sleep schedule. The insufficient amount of sleep may also affect the behavior and mood of the employee. Moreover, chronic sleep loss can also result in various health risks such as high blood pressure, heart diseases, diabetes, etc.
But for someone sure enough to be working in the overnight shift for a long time, a well-managed schedule/timetable can help them go a long way.
Since you may not be able to get sufficient sleep, you may start feeling tired, even when you do nothing. Sooner or later you lose the will to do anything, such as exercising or going out in the sun, making your health much worse.
With strong motivation and will, one can overcome tiredness. Surely there will be days when you might feel tired and might not want to leave the bed, but surrounding yourself with encouraging people can be quite helpful in getting rid of the tiredness and laziness.
Disrupt digestive cycle
Working late at night also affects the employee’s eating habits. Eating habits in an unusual hour along with sleep deficiency can have adverse effects on the digestive system. Usually, the employee ends up eating cold food, or leftovers and misses out on the freshly made breakfasts and dinners. This causes the employee to lose out on a nutritious diet.
But if managed properly, the employee can maintain a healthy diet. During the overnight shift hours, the employee might even have to eat homemade food since the restaurants and food places might be closed during midnight. In this way, one can avoid eating much junk food and focus on healthy meals.
Missing out on social events
Your schedule makes you shift your sleeping hours during the daytime, when much of the world is out there, working and socializing. Different sleeping schedules, tiredness, and many other reasons make you miss out on social events which sooner or later may take a toll on your mental health.
However, you can make people around you aware of your schedule, and you can work and modify your schedules and make sure it does not clash with the work hours, be it a night shift or a morning shift. This way, you can be a part of the social events and also make sure to not miss your work hours without grudging over either.
Nighttime is somewhat equivalent to less crowded streets and other public & office places, that may be threatening to your safety. Safety is seen to be one of the major reasons why people do not prefer the night shift hours. With fewer people around, the risks for crime happening around you or on your increase. Traveling alone, working alone, and many such scenarios can be quite dangerous for the safety of the employees.
Safety issues are a major concern all around the globe. To tackle such problems surveillance cameras can be installed around dark allies and public & office places. The employee working overnight shall also keep safety gadgets, just to be sure in case of emergency, such as pepper spray, personal alarm, etc.
To sum up, the overnight shift hours come with certain pros and cons. However, if you are curious, you should give the overnight shift a try! The overnight shift hours may give you a hard time, but what in life is good that comes easy? After all, you have to face the thorns to touch the flowers. You may have a hard time at first, but if adjusted and managed properly, you can have much more perks while working overnight shift hours.