Shift work is notoriously tough. Unusual sleep schedules and the required lifestyle changes for workers asked to pull the “graveyard” shift can be taxing on you and your family. So when thinking about working the 3rd shift, it’s hard to look beyond the negatives. But there are some surprising benefits to working the graveyard shift. Here are five advantages of working a night shift that you might not have considered initially, but which might sway your decision making.
- Financial Incentives
The most obvious advantage of working the night shift may be the most significant advantage, the financial incentives. To find skilled workers to cover the late shift, many employers are willing to make it worth your while both in terms of hourly pay as well as benefit packages.
- Less Traffic
If you are working the night shift, you are driving in when everyone else is already at home. The reduction in time spent in traffic is a genuine benefit to working the third shift. 3rd shift commutes are generally smoother, quicker, and overall less stressful. If you are not willing to spend hours of your week sitting in your car, the night shift might be an excellent fit for you.
- Increased Productivity
The third shift is understandably a quieter shift than the others. There are fewer meetings to attend during the night shift. There are fewer people to interact with because rarely is there a full crew staffed on the third shift. Frankly, quieter shifts mean fewer disruptions, less distractions, and more getting things done.
- More Free Time During the Day
The obvious change to your lifestyle due to working graveyard will be to your sleep timings. Plan for it and be strict with yourself; otherwise, you do risk burnout on the job. But if you are thoughtful about how you adjust your sleep patterns, you can make great use of your resting daylight hours. It takes discipline, but with the proper planning and acknowledgment that this is to be your new routine, you can make sure you are balancing both your work and your rest needs as well as getting some very nice free time during the day.
- More High-Value Social Interactions
Understandably, it can be challenging to maintain strong social connections when you are regularly working the night shift. But those interactions are still an essential part of your health and wellness and shouldn’t fall entirely out of your schedule. It can be tempting to cut short your sleep time to spend some extra time with friends, but doing so risks important sleep opportunities.
The best way to leverage this opportunity is to focus instead on the most high-value social interactions you have in your life. Spend the time you need with your family, with your kids, with your closest and most supportive friends. Because you are making those interactions more of a priority, you will be getting more out of the relationships daily. Just make sure you are getting the value you need from spending time with people because you need to remember that getting the sleep you need during the day will be what keeps you on the right track when you work the graveyard shift.