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If your business is open for more than 16+ hours a day, chances are you’re going to need to schedule some type of shift work. 

But what exactly is shift work? What industries use it? And why is it important to industries?

What is shift work?

One of the simplest ways to understand shift work is to think of it as a relay race. In a relay race, the athlete must run with a baton, pass it on to the next athlete, and so on.

In shift work, the transition happens between a set of employees working at different schedules. Shift work takes place during times that exceed the traditional 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. schedule. Shift work may involve morning work (e.g., 5 a.m. to 3 p.m.), night work (e.g., 3 p.m. to 11 p.m.), or a rotating shift schedule that incorporates both. 

Enterprises with Light industrial workforce needs that require 24-hour coverage or round-the-clock work to optimize output and productivity often turn to shift work. Shift work occurs in a 24-hour-a-day work schedule and occasionally seven days a week to keep an enterprise’s operation running without a hitch and optimize work output and productivity. For the workers, means liberty and convenience to choose the time of work.

Enterprises have experimented with every conceivable form of shift work to maximize the potential of their operation while also considering how to minimize any ill effects on their shift workers.

The different types of shifts

As per light industry norm, shift work is usually 24-hour coverage with three eight-hour blocks to keep business running round-the-clock. But that doesn’t mean its stops you from being creative in designing your shift work schedule to better fit your business need and scenario.

Maybe you need two ten-hour shifts, three four-hour shifts, or four six-hour shifts. It all depends on what works best for the employees and the business

Some of the most common types of work shifts are,

  1. Fixed Shifts
  2. Split Shifts
  3. Irregular Shifts
  4. Rotating Shifts

What industries use shift work?

Most shift work occurs in the service and manufacturing industries, but shift work can take place in any job. Here are the most common industries that use shift work:

  • Warehouse
  • Logistics
  • Retail
  • Foodservice
  • Healthcare
  • Construction
  • Hospitality
  • Mining
  • Administrative
  • Data entry
  • Drivers
  • Emergency services

Why is shift work important to industries?

  1. Increased continuity and accountability:  Anyone who finds a solution/problem can “pass the buck” to the next worker after the shift ends. Workers are motivated to hand over and receive their jobs with the problems fixed or at least identified and communicated. Also resulting in fewer opportunities for miscommunications and production disruptions that may occur during shift changeover periods. This can translate into increased productivity, along with lower error and accident rates.
  1. Improves employee engagement and morale: Allowing your workforce to exchange shifts with their co-workers not only demonstrates that you’re flexible, but that you want to empower them. This helps shift workers to take charge of their schedule, also improves attitude when they’re on the clock.
  1. Quality Candidates: Since the workers have the flexibility to choose shifts helps the employers to have stringent hiring norms to get quality shift workers for specific jobs to be done. Tools like WillHire OnDemand to hire quality workers with a single tap in their specific geolocation to never leave a shift unfulfilled. 
  1. Training and development: Employers get enough time to invest in training activities. Without taking leaves for such training sessions from work one can arrange to upgrade the skills. This is one of the best attributes in shift work. One gets the opportunity to enhance his skills by working in shifts and managing time for the training. Shift workers can also maintain a good work-life balance.
  1. Reduced Absenteeism: Shift workers have the flexibility to choose a different shift if they have some household work that needs to be done during their shift hours reducing absenteeism by absorbing any other worker who is free. In case you need a specific job to be done you can use WillHire OnDemand to hire prevetted temporary shift workers to get an instant backfill within minutes.

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