Night shift workers face more health issues than daytime workers. But, working the night shift isn't all doom and gloom. There are a few perks to working and earning money while the rest of the world sleeps. Before you take a night shift job, consider these advantages as well as the many disadvantages of working at night.
PRO: You enjoy a higher pay than your daytime colleagues.
Night shift differential is around 10% of the employee's regular wage per hour. If you're working as support staff at night for $10 per hour, then you'll be earning a dollar more than your co-workers in the daytime.
In the United States, a night differential is not required. It depends on the agreement between the employer and employee. However, it's a different scenario in the Philippines. All employees - whether they're probationary or regular - are entitled to extra pay when they work at night.
CON: Your boss may be asleep or awake - either way is an advantage.
Some people may prefer to not have their boss looking over their shoulder. Working the night shift gives them that advantage. They have autonomy over their work.
But, when you're working at a remote location, it's easier to get the job done when you can get hold of someone from headquarters thousands of miles away. Solutions to problems are immediately implemented.
PRO: Your colleagues are younger and more fun to be with.
Employers understandably would rather hire younger and healthier employees to work the night shift. That's why the night shift crowd has a younger and more energetic vibe than daytime workers. If you're working at night, expect your co-workers to be boisterous and more talkative than usual.
There's a different vibe when you're part of the night shift. While you're going to work, you don't encounter much traffic. Everybody else has gone home, so you'll be seeing empty streets rather than crowded ones. The shops and malls may not be open, but 24-hour convenience stores like 7-11 become your sanctuaries for good food and camaraderie with friends.
CON: Your body clock is whacked.
It can't be helped. You're not sleeping at the right time and you're not exposed to sunlight as often as you should be. Working at night will eventually destroy your body clock. If you're not careful, you'll get sick sooner or later.
The best way to sleep during the day is to wear dark glasses while going home and cover all the windows when it's time to sleep. Expose yourself to as little sunlight as possible during the day. Your body perks up whenever the sun is out. You'll have difficulties falling asleep afterwards.
Perhaps, the best schedule for the night shift allows workers to go home before sunrise, which is around 6 or 5 in the morning.
PRO: You have time to go on errands and take care of important things.
When you're working during the day, your time to go on errands and process documents you need is sorely limited. But, you'll have a few hours before noon to take care of those things that you needed to do when you're in the night shift. This flexibility works well in your favor when you have to attend a PTA meeting at your son's school.
CON: You drink coffee and eat more when you work at night.
The urge to consume more coffee and food is stronger among night shift workers because they're active at night. At night, the human body shifts into stasis and starts repairing itself. Because they'll start feeling sluggish and sleepy, night shift workers need to produce more energy by eating food rich in sugar and drinking caffeinated beverages.
Rather than satisfy your hunger with a chocolate bar, try to eat food that's rich in protein. Pack yourself a ham and egg sandwich layered with tomatoes and fresh lettuce. If you're in a bind, remember that pasta is a healthier option than cakes or pastries.
The health issues that many night shift workers face can be avoided by eating healthy food, exercising daily, keeping your caffeine consumption at a minimum, and following a strict sleeping pattern to train your body into resting when you need to. When you do this, you'll be free to enjoy the perks of working at night without worrying about the implications.
For Additional Reading:
Tales From The Graveyard Shift [INFOGRAPHIC] via When I Work
Click image to see a larger version