13 Advantages of Shift Work for Employees

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.

Too many people get caught up in negative conversations about shift work. And the reason is, the target is easy! People seem to enjoy discussing topics around inadequate food choices, excessive caffeine consumption and general attitudes towards night shift. But we are a “glass half full” crew here and there is also plenty to love about being a shift worker!

13 Advantages of Shift Work for Employees
Please share with your shift working friends

Shift work advantages for employees include but are not limited too; more autonomy, less traffic on the roads, potential financial incentives, days off during the week, less time at the office and greater relationships with your work mates through understanding the challenges associated with these hours.

As the shift work employee, we want to spread the positive word about the advantages of shift work which are often underestimated. This post will explore why we love shift work and can’t see a 9-5 job ever being something we turn too on a full-time basis.  

If you are contemplating shift work and are unsure what this space is all about, this post we recently published titled, “What Do the Terms 1st, 2nd and 3rd Shift Actually Mean?” will be a great place to start.

If after reading this article you decide shift work is the right thing for you, then you can find yourself your dream job at Jooble – one of the world leaders on the market of job websites.

1. Fewer People Getting in Your Way

Imagine visiting the grocery store, bank, dry cleaners, utility office or post office and not have to wait in a single line? Imagine being able to drive to all these places and not be stuck in traffic. This can be your reality.

The time it takes to do your “jobs” will be cut in half, meaning you are now free to pursue other things you really want to do like cooking or playing with your kids once they get home from school.

Being a shift worker, you can also totally ignore the day time in its entirety and do your grocery shopping at night where there are even less people! 

Most 9-5 workers “need to wait for the weekend” to complete jobs and run errands, but we can gradually work on these things around our shifts, making our days off or “weekends” look exactly like they should be and not a huge pile of work.

If you’re thinking of pursuing a night shift job, here are two posts we published that will be of interest to you. 

2. Skeleton Staff Means More Autonomy

When working night shift or even the swing shift (find out what this shift is here), management has typically gone home, the public have left and most of the other employees have called it a night.

This can mean more autonomy for you!

Thinking on your feet and being resourceful are skillsets you must have. However, I found this leads to increased job satisfaction and self-belief. 

If however, you do reach a point in the graveyard shift where you’re getting a little bored, this post we recently published titled, “Bored on Night Shift? How to Stay Busy Without the Internet” will inspire you to carry on until sunrise.

3. No More Traffic Jams

Did you know, “the average commuter wasted 42 hours — more than a typical work week — and $960 last year stuck in traffic” (source

That’s insane.

This is almost my favorite part about shift work. As a nurse, my shifts were from 7am-3.30pm, 1-9.30pm and the night shift 9.30pm-7am. And for the majority of these shifts, the commute time was almost cut in half in comparison to when I needed to attend a 9-5 study day (for example). 

Say goodbye to frustrating peak hour traffic. Oh, and you’ll never have trouble finding a car park again!  

If you opt for public transport there will be fewer bums on seats and strange smells. A much more satisfying commute into work indeed.

yellow car in parking lot | 13 Advantages of Shift Work for Employees

 4. Shift Work Is Convenient

Most of the time…

Are you able to roster your shifts? Is there any flexibility with the days or nights you may be needed to work?

Being able to take control over your roster, (to some degree), allows you to plan social commitments, childcare, a second job (if relevant) and even just pre-plan a time out or “mental health day”.  

In some shift work organizations, there is an unspoken agreement that shift swaps are a “thing”… you rub my back and I’ll rub yours and it works beautifully!   

If you are unable to request your roster, shift work does generally leave big chunks of time throughout the day where others are working. This could be in the morning, afternoon or even in the evening. Using this precious time has helped me stay motivated, active, healthy and a very happy shift worker.

I have heard in some shift work families that 1 parent works the night shift, whilst the other works 9-5 so there is always somebody at home to watch the kids.

We have written a few posts which can help with requesting your roster which I highly recommend you take a look at:

 5. Financial Incentives

Shift work hours are often referred to as “anti-social…” which makes me laugh because I have never been more social as a shift worker as when I worked 9-5!

However, due to these “anti-social” hours shift workers complete, particularly those who work the night shift, receive a bonus or a couple of extra dollars per hour. This can REALLY add up when working on the weekend or during a public holiday. 

If you want to read more about this and who are the highest earners in the shift work industry, check out this blog post we recently published titled, “9 Myths About Night Shift Jobs You Probably Still Believe“. I was shocked at how much some shift workers actually earn!

 6. Easily Able To Avoid The Crowds

I know I suggested earlier that places like the grocery store, bank and government buildings are quieter…well the same goes for the gym, cinema, beach and public walking tracks.

You don’t even need to worry about your favorite machine at the gym being taken or the exercise class “is full” due to excessive participation. 

You can lay on the beach without the next person cramping your personal space, or catch a midday film (or late at night) and sit in the middle of the row without a problem. 

There are often “lunch specials” or “day-time specials” which we can get involved in to save a few dollars too. 

7. Pass Unfinished Work Over to the Next Shift

The beauty about most shift working jobs is there is an ability to transition work over to the next shift if you didn’t get time. There is rarely a time you need to take work home and finish it off in your relaxation hours. 

This of course, may vary between shift work occupations but most shift work industries are 24 hours and time doesn’t stop. The work must go on meaning in most cases you simply carry on where the previous person left off. 

As a nurse, I loved this part of my job.

Once the shift was over I didn’t have to think about it again. I rarely checked my emails on days off (and instead came in to work 10 minutes earlier to do so).

Can you think of another profession where you simply go to work, do the best you can, then go home without having to do any more?

It’s something I didn’t appreciate until you see the 9-5 workers busting their butts on days off to have a crazy workload completed. 

Related nursing posts:

 8. Never Miss a Delivery 

Who loves Amazon? I do!

Most 9-5 workers either have to take a day off or request for delivery during very specific times as they are not home. We don’t have this issue.

We have more flexibility with when we are able to be home for not only the mailman but to also have something fixed around your home from the plumber, electrician or builder…  

The caveat to this is you could be disturbed while you’re sleeping, especially if on a night shift schedule.

I guess some people aren’t concerned with opening the door in your PJ’s and bed hair at 3pm in the afternoon! However, we have found three signs on Amazon which work very well in this situation – both for your family and neighbors.

USPS | 13 Advantages of Shift Work for Employees

9. Work Fewer Days

Now I got you excited…

Due to the nature of shift work hours, you can be rostered on for a particular number of hours a week. Let’s say you need to work 40 hours, this can be broken up into fewer, larger days over say 5, 8 hour days. 

Such examples are working 12-hour shifts or 24 hour shifts as seen in those who bravely fight fires.

This obviously depends greatly on the type of shift work job you choose, but if the hours are slightly longer than 8 (such as a 10 or 12-hour shift), it could lead to working less days.

Related post: Best Shift Work Roster Scheduling Tips

10. Build Strong Relationships

This may seem a little corny, but since working shift work, I really found “my people.”

These people not only understand your schedule and are stoked with events like a random 4pm lunch date, but they also just get it when you need a glass of wine and lots of cheese on a Tuesday morning instead of the typical Friday night.

The relationships you build from working shift work are sometimes odd (the conversation and events that occur at 3.30am can take an entirely different direction than during the day), but they’re incredibly valuable.

Together you are able to work weird hours and overcome situations, others only dream about. 

11. Good Excuse for Sobriety and Saving Money

I mentioned earlier there are some neat financial incentives to working a flexible roster. Working this schedule on the weekend while your friends and family are going out, can help you save money and look after your health (if you still get enough sleep that is). 

Yes, sometimes you are cutting your night short or missing an event in its entirety, but there will be future events for you to sink your teeth into. 

Related post: Is Surviving Night Shift with a Morning Beer a Good Idea?

12. Shift Work Forces Unique Romantic Vibes

Maintaining not only intimate relationships but also those with your kids and friends, can initially be challenging as a shift worker. 

But all hope isn’t lost. 

Shift work forces you to see the world differently and by doing this, new opportunities open which you never saw before.

Taking your husband out for dinner on a Friday is romantic for some, but simply not do-able some weeks due to your roster. But instead of giving up, think outside the square. 

  • Breakfast picnic to watch the sunrise
  • Going to their favorite, crazy busy restaurant during the week (avoiding the weekend)
  • Random walks at a time you are both home
  • Breakfast in bed (even at 4pm!)
  • Meet them at work for a meal break – this is much easier when working different shifts.
  • Use Date-Night-In-A-Box

If you need a bit more inspiration, here are a few posts we wrote about relationships and shift work:

13. Early Promotion

Due to the (potentially low) volume of people working a particular shift in your workplace, there could be a greater chance of becoming “shift manager” or being promoted into a role earlier than if you worked 9-5.

So if career progression is something you seek at this point, don’t be afraid to work rotating shifts as majority of other will struggle or may not want to take on this challenge. 

Recommended Book:

If you are new to the shift working world, this book published by Audra Starkey is phenomenal. She’s a nurse of 20 years and a trained clinical nutritionist specializing in shift worker health.

If you’re trying to get your head around the whole shift work game, this book is definitely worth a look. It’s real, not full of useless fluff and can really help you adjust. Plus, it’s available via Amazon here which is super easy!


We are really passionate about shift work and trying to create a sustainable model and tips that can keep you healthy and loving your shift work job. 

Here are a few posts we wrote which can help you along your shift work journey!

Sleep Aids10 Must-Have Night Shift Sleep Aids for a Heavenly Sleep
Night Shift GlassesHow Swanwick’s Blue Light Blocking Glasses Put Me To Sleep
Owning a Dog as a Shift WorkerOwning a Dog as a Shift Worker: Clever Tips to Make It Work
Weight LossShould I Eat on Night Shift? Why Intermittent Fasting Works
Sleeping When You’re Not TiredHow to Fall Asleep Quickly Even When You’re Not Tired
Night Shift WellbeingHow to Best Prepare for Night Shift and Stay Healthy

Summary: 13 Advantages of Shift Work for Employees

Pretty sunrises, quiet roads and the freedom to get your jobs done, sounds like a great set up to me. 

If you enjoyed reading this, you will also love our infographic about how to master shift work. Check it out here – The Essential Guide to Conquering Shift Work

Have I missed any? Surely there is more!

Please comment below. We would love to hear what you think.


Emma signature | theothershift.com

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.

Emma @ The Other Shift

Hey there! I'm Emma Smith a passionate, Registered Nurse from Australia. Together with my husband Daniel, we run The Other Shift. Our sole aim is to help shift workers and those on unusual schedules find balance between work and life. I understand the challenges of fitting in exercise, maintaining relationships and getting enough quality sleep, but I'm excited to show you that it’s possible to do shift work and still thrive. Read more about us and our story here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recent Posts