The Top 17 Reasons To Work Night Shift

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The night shift is an essential part of our society. Many services are available to help care for the needs of the community, day and night. These services include but are not limited to, first responders, police officers, and medical professionals. But if you’ve been given an opportunity to work night shift, should you take it?

The reasons to work night shift include items like increased pay, reduced competition on the job, coworkers who can relate, greater vacation flexibility, autonomy, less distractions and an ability to run errands when everyone else is working.

The night shift can be challenging, and some might question if the benefits are worth it, and more importantly if they can manage it.

But the short answer is yes. Many individuals can manage to work the night shift, and there is typically a financial incentive provided by the employer for the employee to do so. Premium pay tends to be a significant factor in working the night-shift.

While enticing, financial gain isn’t the only benefit to working the night shift. So put your ready glasses on and let us showcase our top 17 reasons to work the night shift.

1. Night Shift Financial Benefits

Let’s start with the most obvious reason people choose to work night shift.

Many places typically offer premium pay for those who opt to work the 3rd shift. Some companies offer a percentage, and others offer a fixed amount. You’ll want to check with your company’s policies.

This amount might seem like a small number, but compared to a whole year, it adds up.

If you’re making one dollar extra per hour, that comes out to just a little over $2,000.00 annually without working any overtime. Start adding on weekends, holidays, and overtime pay, and that number starts to get a lot higher.

2. Showing You’re a Team Player

Managers consider more than an employee’s work experience and education when they’re reviewing candidates for a promotion. They’re looking for various character traits such as leadership and being a team player.

If you’re in a company working days and you offer a transition to nights, just transferring to the night shift gives an almost immediate benefit as it shows a person’s ability to be a team player and help the department be successful.

Managers will typically recognize the individual going where they’re needed. Of course, this isn’t the only benefit, nor is it the only character trait managers are looking for in a potential candidate for promotion – but it goes a long way!

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    3. Reduced Competition Compared to Day-Shift Counterparts

    Most day shifts are filled with employees with more seniority and experience, making it difficult to impress your manager with your talent. The more senior employees are also more well known by management.

    When working in an established company, some day staff might have been working together for many years, thus presenting more of a challenge to stand out. These challenges can make it difficult for someone who is experienced, but still relatively new by comparison.

    When they move shifts, they may very well become the senior employee and stand out. They’ll be looked to for guidance and become known as the person people go to when there are questions.

    Setting yourself apart like this can improve your chances of being recognized within the business. It’s also easier to separate yourself from others when there is less competition.

    Night shifts tend to be less crowded. People want to stick to the day shift and are willing to wait out for an opportunity to be promoted, but those opportunities could be seldom or never eventuate. And when they do come up, there are traditionally more applicants.

    4. Autonomy

    Depending on your specific job, there might be a lot more autonomy at work less management personnel, which means not as many coming by to check on you. By design, there is far less micromanagement working the night shift.

    This doesn’t mean people can play around; it just means there is less micromanagement and distractions. A smaller shift lessens the likelihood of non-work-related disturbances if an individual struggles with focusing on the task at hand, moving to the night shift could potentially be the answer.

    This is why some people LOVE working in a warehouse. Read more about this kind of role here.

    5. You’ll be Viewed as the Subject Matter Expert

    Night shift-related positions tend to experience a high turnover rate, especially night-shift roles associated with manufacturing work.

    With the high turnover rates come many new-hires, and in turn, more mistakes, more time spent training, and overall lower production.

    When managers have the task to reduce errors and increase production, a well-trained employee can be part of the solution for the manager. If you stay the course on nights, recognizing this need of the manager and helping to fulfill it, you’re already distinguishing yourself among your peers.

    6. Showcase leadership skills

    An experienced employee who knows all aspects of their job, even the unique situations associated directly with their area within a department, can help reduce the learning curve for new employees. This willingness to help displays a degree of leadership managers are looking for and helps solidify being a team player. Through assisting in training can also allow the experienced employee to display how knowledgeable they are in the job.

    With typically less competition on the night shift, showcasing this knowledge might not be something they could do otherwise.

    7. Reduce distractions

    Along with the reduced staffing for a night shift, there is a lot less chance of constant distractions. Many find they complete more work during off-hours, as they don’t have a continuous interruption to their work. If your role serves as an internal customer service role (your customers are other employees), then you’re probably frequently interrupted.

    Even a minor interruption of a few minutes can still equate to hours of lost production time. Not in the sense of accumulative time loss, but that production output is impacted.

    It’s similar to having to restart after every single interruption. One or two of these per hour will significantly reduce your production output, and you can find yourself falling behind in the full scope of your job.  

    8. More savings potential

    A downside could be that many places don’t keep their cafeteria open past a particular hour. Many businesses are closed at night, so by your lunch break, many places are closed. This means you’ll have to plan and bring your lunch. Which, typically is, far cheaper than eating fast food or eating food from the cafeteria. And can be much healthier than eating processed or packaged food from takeout.

    Eating on the night shift is often tricky. When are we supposed to eat and what are we meant to eat to stop the bloating, nausea and weight gain? We’ve put together a guide on when you should eat on night shift to best align with our body clocks. Check it out here.

    9. Doing errands at work

    Like your job, the more people around, the more chance of distractions. This applies to getting homework done.

    It’s no surprise in our busy world people are doing homework during their break time, but it’s hard to concentrate when there is a lot of commotion.

    With fewer people, comes fewer distractions. So if you are someone who has a strict schedule and you find you have to do homework or non-travel errands during your breaks, then the night shift might offer a quieter atmosphere to complete these. Combine this with your already packed lunch; you’re saving money, time, and getting more school work done. You’re being extremely efficient with your time.

    10. Comradery

    There is a different type of comradery for night-shift workers VS, day-shift workers.

    If someone likes the idea or wants an opportunity to develop friendships and work with people, they’ve become friends with, then working the night shift is an excellent way to go.

    It’s not that you can’t make friends or develop similar relationships working on the day shift, it’s more of a different atmosphere. Since most are getting off at such an odd hour, some groups will all go out to breakfast at a local restaurant that is opened all day and night. But everyone on the shift understands each other’s challenges and typically share bonds because of this.

    11. Naps during breaktime

    If you’ve ever been tired enough to take a nap during lunch, you’re not alone. A quick power-nap can be quite beneficial; more, it can be rejuvenating. Unless if the only place to take a nap is your car, it’s the middle of summer, and you work the day shift. A nap probably won’t happen, and if it does, it’ll probably leave you more miserable and tired than before.

    If you’re working the night shift, you’re not worrying about a glaring sun beating down on you. It’s already going to be a lot cooler, even if it is the middle of summer. You’ll have an ideal setting for a quick nap; probably won’t even have to run the AC of your car at all.

    There are a few tricks to enjoying the perfect night shift nap though. This post titled, “Should You Nap During Night Shift?” explores how to do it like a pro AND wake up feeling refreshed.

    12. Bending some of the rules

    This is a little controversial here, but we need to stress we’re not advocating violating any company policies or outright deliberate neglect to your job. We don’t want you getting in trouble after you’ve just got the night shift job!

    But there are some rules or “guidelines” you can probably get away with bending a little. Maybe the choice of music you wish to listen to, you can listen to. Perhaps you don’t even have to have some listening device; you can have the music play through a regular speaker.

    Your company might have a rule about eating at your desk, but they’re more relaxed about it for the night shift. Mostly because of appearances during the day when most of the upper management is walking the floor. At night, there might be a supervisor or two, but they’re probably eating at their desk as well. The bonus is that you can get your lunch in while you work, so then you can spend your lunch accomplishing other items.

    Again, with appearances, companies may have a particular dress code that is strictly enforced. This is only because, during standard business hours, clients are coming into the work area. When those clients come in, it could present a low image of the company if everyone is dressed in anything less than business-casual. Whereas on the night shift, that particular worry is not there, so management is more open about the dress code.

    women eating donut

    13. School

    There are certainly added benefits to working the night shift; however, some benefits are not strictly related to the job itself. It can be a desire to earn a college degree.

    With formal education continuing to play a deciding factor in gaining employment in the first place, higher education can be the deciding factor between two well-qualified candidates. But there are challenges associated with this worthy pursuit.

    Universities are recognizing the need to provide more flexible scheduling, but there are still some courses that may only be available during the day. Working the night shift or evening shift can allow you to be available for these classes, whereas a day-shift schedule might not be as amenable.

    Employers want to invest in their employees, and many offer some education incentives. If you are pursuing a degree, they may even pay a portion of your tuition. However, getting the employer to essentially make a shift to accommodate missing hours during the workday could make you a less desirable candidate for potential promotions.

    You’re attempting to better yourself but put in a challenging position while you do so.

    You’re committed to a career with your employer, but if you’re missing from the workplace when an issue arises, you’re leaving an opportunity for someone to step in to fix it. The night shift and the free day-time hours makes the pursuit of higher education more plausible, but it also eliminates different scheduling conflicts and can allow you to be more present at work.

    Just make sure you get enough time for sleep! This is very important for shift workers.

    If you’re struggling to get to sleep, check out our shift work tools page here and discover the sleeping aids we cannot live without when working night shift. Blue light blocking glassesOpens in a new tab., which is what we are wearing below, is one of these aids you have to try!

    14. Commuting

    Rush-hour traffic can be stressful and dangerous.

    As a dayshift employee, chances are you can turn on the radio to the morning news and hear about traffic jams stretching for miles. If you don’t prepare for the possibility of these traffic issues, you may find yourself late to work and in hot water with management. Too many of these instances in a short amount of time, you may find yourself with a massive headache and most likely out of a job.

    Commuting on the night shift, you’re typically going in the opposite direction of the congested traffic. Depending on when your shift ends, there might not be another car in sight, leaving you with a faster and far less worrisome drive home.

    Driving home after a night shift can be a stressful experience though. This post we published titled, “How to Stop Falling Asleep While Driving After Night Shift​” gives you some handy suggestions to getting home safely and I encourage you to check it out.

    You don’t have to put up with all theses people…

    15. Vacations/holidays

    When it comes to holidays, there can be some drawbacks, but there are benefits too.

    Employers typically don’t provide time off on holidays for positions that need to be staffed day and night. With holidays like Christmas, the night shift won’t be a problem. You can be there with your family in the morning and after all the fun and maybe breakfast, well, maybe dinner for you; then you can go to bed.

    You don’t have to stress about if your name is drawn to have time off, no stress using vacation time, perhaps stay up an hour later than usual.

    16. Savings potential

    There are also cost-saving benefits with working the night-shift. A couple with children can work different schedules and potentially eliminate the need for daycare or after-school services.

    One parent will be available to be home with the children who are sick or too young for school during the day, and then the other will be back for the after-school and overnight hours.

    Given the high cost of childcare, some couples find that it is more cost-effective to be a one-income household than put children in daycare. A night shift option for one of these parents could be the key to bettering the family’s economic position by allowing both parents to continue their employment in the pursuant of better employment opportunities. 

    Balancing night shift and even 2nd shift with a family does take work and solid communication but it can be done. This post may help if you’re trying to keep the scales even between work and family life.

    17. Running errands

    Naturally, as a night shift employee, during your hours or days off, you are more likely to have far less competition for necessary errands. For the critical errands that are often delayed due to scheduling challenges from working the day shift (such as your dentist or eye doctor), working the night shift means you don’t have to worry about finding someone to cover your absence or taking personal time. These facilities are open during the day and closed when you’re working.

    Using some of your off-time for these seemingly mundane but essential check-ups can help you avoid health issues that may arise from neglect.

    Additionally, the free time you sacrifice for these appointments means vacation time earned on the clock can be used for just that; vacation. Reducing stress and maintaining your health, which is a vital part of being successful in working a night-shift schedule

    [VIDEO] – Few little tips on how to switch from night shift to day shift.

    How Can I Decide If Night Shift Is Right For Me?

    So we’ve just told you how great night shift can be, but you’re needing to now make a decision.

    A significant benefit to working the night shift or considering working the night shift is that it is an option. Not all jobs have night-shift positions. Having the choice to decide if making a change to or staying on a night-shift schedule is a benefit in and of itself. It’s more flexibility in you managing your time, work, and overall life.

    What’s described here is only a portion of potential benefits to working the night shift. For the best information, you’ll want to discuss with your manager or human resources department about the pros and cons offered by the company for making a change to work the night shift or staying on it if you are already working the night shift.

    If you have a family, you’ll want to discuss the circumstances of each option with them. Even looking over the items here a few times and consider what is most important to you.

    If you’re struggling financially, it might be more beneficial to stay for the premium pay. If you’re set on going to school, then getting an established routine now, as opposed to when you have to, is far more beneficial. If you wait until closer to the end of your academic pursuit, make the change, and then take on those upper-division courses, it’s going to be more challenging. Establish a routine and adjust to it now; it’ll make it easier for the more challenging courses ahead.

    If you’ve read through all these and none of it applies to you, then the night shift might not be the best choice for you. If none apply, but you’re set on going to or staying on the night shift, then take a moment to consider why.

    Then even pick out the pieces of information which can benefit you when you do go to the night shift, such as preparing your lunch, more quiet time, more autonomy allowing for a peaceful work environment, and more.

    Don’t let the decision weigh you down too much. Go through and write out your objectives, review the benefits, and then see how they come out for the night shift and the day shift. Then make the decision based on what works for you, even if the deciding factor is to take a nap during work because sleep is already a challenge as is, and you’re finding you need more and more of it.

    But from those who’ve worked the night shift roster for years, we wouldn’t recommend a lack of sleep as being a reason to transition to nights! This process becomes a little more challenging.

    Again, these aren’t all the benefits, so if you come across some that aren’t listed, then don’t discount them. Add them to your list in deciding what you’re doing to do.

    If you’re going to work the night shift or if you’re going to work the day shift, going through listing these out on paper is a great way to clarify things in your head! Some benefits you find could be specialized benefits to your company or your personal needs.

    Keep Reading:

    Summary: The Top 17 Reasons To Work Night Shift. Some people can be extremely hesitant to make the switch to working the night shift. This is entirely understandable. View this timeframe as a temporary situation, not a long-term commitment.

    Focus on the purpose it will serve to you, whatever that might be, but focus on that. It will make the decision process more manageable, it will make it easier to take on knowing that there is an end to working the night shift at some point – whenever your goals have been achieved.

    You might have even seen those who have been on a night shift for ten to twenty years, and you dread working on the night shift for the same amount of time. With a specific plan with a particular purpose, you can put a deadline on how long you will work the night shift, mitigating that potential fear, so it’s not there to cloud your thoughts as you make a drastic change in your day-to-day life.

    If you’ve never worked the night shift, then try and talk to someone at your place of employment and ask them what it’s like to work the night shift. Ask several people; this can give you an idea of the environment and what it will be like for you.

    We hope this has assisted you with the benefits of night shift and if it’s right for you!


    Disclosure: This page may contain affiliate links, meaning we receive a commission if you decide to make a purchase through our links, but this is at no additional cost to you. Please read our disclosure and privacy statement for more info.

    Daniel Smith

    Managing a global sales team I've experienced the challenges of working at all hours of the day and night. Being a shift worker I know how tough it can be balancing everyday life when you feel like you haven't slept in weeks! Providing advice and tips on how to manage your schedule, whilst still staying healthy is where I can help.

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