Work and Career

Working the Night Shift: The Good and the Bad

Working nights is a less than ideal work situation. Waking up at 5 pm and heading to work just when everybody else is hitting the bars for some after- office drinks sounds like a punishment. However, if your job calls for you to work when the rest of the world is about to sleep, you don’t have much choice. Someone has to do it. Either you come to work and rock it, or hand in your resignation and find a different job. If you’re thinking of accepting a job offer that requires you to work nights, here are a few things you may want to know.

The Good

Extra Pay

More premium is given to staff working the night shift, which makes them earn 15% more money compared to their counterparts on the day shift. Usually, they will be given night differential, and the rates will vary if you’re working on public holidays or your rest days. There’s often a transportation allowance provided to cover expenses for fuel or taxi rides.

Career Advancement

There’re plenty of opportunities to acquire skills and on-the-job training that you normally wouldn’t get when you’re working the day shift. Because there is less staff during the night shifts, you will be performing multiple roles at once. This will say a lot about your work productivity and efficiency. There’s also less competition for certain positions because not everyone can be a part of the nocturnal workforce.

More Flexible

It’s also less formal and less busy during the night. There are fewer meetings and fewer bosses to whom to report (because they’re all asleep). Unless, of course, you have other offices around the globe. You can get to work on time because there’s less traffic, not to mention plenty of available parking space.

More Time

If you schedule your activities perfectly, you will find that you have a lot of spare time. You can squeeze in errands, household chores, and even breakfast or lunch dates before you get your much-needed sleep. You can spend time with the kids before they head off to school and even have dinner with the family right before you go to work.

The Bad

Health Risks

Working during the night comes with health risks, the most common of which are heart attacks, ischemic strokes, and cancer. Your chances of becoming obese also increase. You have a higher risk of suffering from these because of the abnormal or disrupted sleep cycles and circadian rhythms.


Depending on the industry you’re working in, working the night shift can also add more stress to your life. This is not counting the stress that you may suffer on the job itself, your life, your family, and your personal relationships.

Melatonin Deficiency

Working the night shift also means you don’t get to enjoy as much natural sunlight, so the suppressed levels or production of melatonin also poses a significant health problem. Melatonin helps in cancer prevention and strengthens the body’s immune system. The more you are exposed to artificial lighting, the lesser your body produces melatonin, and the higher your risks become of having certain cancers.

Rouselle Isla

Contributor at Kami
Rouselle Isla

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