Should I switch to a later work shift?

I switched to an early shift several months ago after working evenings for a couple years. 8:30-5:00, the stuff of white-collar dreams… or something. It was a nice change-up from the evening shift for a few reasons, but now I’m thinking of going back to evenings. I would appreciate some input before I make the decision though, anecdotes would be great! Or just put yourself into my metaphorical shoes, and pick which shift you’d prefer to work. Or, if there’s no amount of perks that could make you work a late shift, explain that too. <3

I’m currently eyeballing the 1:30-9pm shift, but I may get stuck working 2:30-11 or 3:30-midnight depending on current availability.

Perks of the early shift:
I see my roommate less.
I see daylight after work.
I feel like a “normal” person.
I love my day shift manager.
I get to play WoW with more guildmates in the evening (most of the guild works a similar daytime schedule).
Since our entire department’s hours change to 8-6 around holidays, I get to work my normal schedule on those days, instead of having to work an earlier shift that I’m not accustomed to.

**Cons of the early shift: **
Planning time off is harder because there’s less availability to be off of work during day shifts.
I’m ALWAYS on the phone (it’s a call center). this is an enormous con
Less money, since I’d get differential pay for the later shift. (pretty major, this is a flat 10% wage increase)
I’m not a morning person, waking up is hard.

Perks of the late shift:
Easier to plan and use my PTO, since there’s more flexibility in the evening.
I’d get to do faxes pretty much every day. That means time off phones, and diversification of my duties makes me feel so much better in general.
I’m not really a morning person, so it’d be easier to get up every day.
Better traffic traveling at non-rush times, get to work faster and use less gas.
More pay due to shift differential.

Cons of the late shift:
I’d see more of my roommate.
I would probably move my wake-up time later and stay up later, and become a nocturnal vampire again.
Lots of stuff is closed, can’t go shopping after work except at 24-hour stores.
I might have to move my cubicle to a louder location.
I’d get a less-great manager than the one I currently have. If I’m really unlucky, I might get the micromanaging disgusting unholy pig of a boss I had when I worked nights before.
I wouldn’t get to play as much WoW with as many of my favorite people, since they go to bed by 10 or 11. (We do still have people on later, but there are fewer of them)
Having to go from getting off work late to getting up super-early when the schedule changes around holidays.

I vote for staying on the day shift. I think working the night shift would lend itself to staying up late and then sleeping late, as you said. When you finally get up, it would be nearly time for work and you wouldn’t really have a “day.”

I think ideally for you a mix of the two would be perfect. Is that possible? Like half day shifts and half night?

I voted the evening shift, tho I really wouldn’t like those particular hours. I work in a call center too, and while the evening shift (I work 2-11 PM) is busy, it’s nothing comp[ared to the pandemonium of day shift. So long as I work at this particular hellhole, I will be sticking with evenings.

If evenings got me off the phones, I would be in heaven.

I worked an evening shift many, many years ago and I loved it: to begin with.

Then I found myself slowly time-shifting to the point where I got up just in time for work, and then sat up all night long doing bugger all and drinking beer. This was before the Internet. It actually felt quite nice to get back into a normal daily routine after that (almost) one year period of vampire existence.

I wouldn’t do it again for any length of time, but it could be fun for a short time.

I voted for evening shift, mostly because there’s lots of ways to counteract some of the cons with that or pros of day, but not so much the other way around. For one, when I was working evening shifts, I made a point of waking up at the usual time and doing what I would normally do after work before work. The advantage of that is that shifting your time schedule around is not difficult at all, you still see daylight hours, and you can actually get MORE done. Getting your chores done is WAY easier when you go shopping in the middle of the day while everyone else is at work.

On top of that, more pay, more flexibility, and more satisfaction with your work seems like it’s a better trade-off than dealing with a poor manager unless they’re truly terrible.

As for WoW, if you raid, you can always find another guild that raids at a time that works for you, though you may need to change servers or something to do so. If it’s just getting to play with them, if you do all your chores ahead of time, you can get home from work and still have at least an hour to play with them, which is plenty of time to run heroics, PVP, or whatever you do with them. Hell, you can even get some of the stuff like dailies out of the way during the day before you work so you can focus on purely on the social stuff later. So the only real impact I could see is if the later schedule impacted with some regularly scheduled activity like raids.

Anyway, just some food for thought. Only you can weigh up how important the various aspects of the options and how important they are to you.

I worked in a call center and I’ve done pretty much every shift imaginable, though mostly as a supervisor. I did both of the shifts you mentioned, though, as an agent.

Stay with the early shift.

1-9 type shifts really, really, really suck. Even graveyard is better because at least you have some free hours where other people are free. It’s hard to be social, even through online games – you’re either free early in the morning (when no-one else is) or late at night (when few people are). It’s demoralizing. It screws up your sleep schedule. If you’re like me, you’ll basically want to keep up the “wake up and go to work” routine – which now means nothing is ever open when you need it to be. Routine things like going to the bank are now a huge hassle where you have to screw up your sleep routine. It’s awful. Plus, because everyone sees you at work later in the day, they will think nothing of asking you to come in early for meetings or events, because what’s the difference between coming in at 10am vs 1pm to a day person… even though it’s the equivalent of asking them to come in to “party” at 5am.

There is a reason they pay so much more for this shift. It burns you right out.

Thanks so much for the feedback. I love getting third party perspective on life changes.

It’s not possible to work a nonstandard shift here without a note from a doctor. Or many, many more years of service and a very good reason. But I wouldn’t swing shifts, even if I could. The best nonstandard work schedule for me, imo, would be 4 10-hour shifts with Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays off. Because then every day, either you had yesterday off, or you will have tomorrow off. But unfortunately it’s not an option anyway, as I don’t have enough seniority or a medical reason.

As far as spectrum-shifting my days is concerned, all I do now is get up at 7, shower, work, come home (maybe stop at the store on the way), then play wow or fuck around on the internet until bedtime at 11. If I got up at noon instead, I’d do exactly the same things in exactly the same order, except I’d go to bed at 4am. It’s not like I have a fancy productive daytime life, or anything. Being single, childless, and petless, there’s really no extrinsic motivation for me to get up early.

Oh and as far the WoW thing, I’m almost totally casual, with no plans to change guilds. We raid a tier behind on Saturday nights, and that’s it. We just do heroics on weeknights, and socially chat.

Also also, Fluid, I would never get asked to come in early. I’m a non-exempt worker and they’d have to pay me OT. We have very few meetings, and the ones we do have are scheduled during our normal shifts. I can definitely see that being a problem as a manager, though :frowning:

The external benefits to working early are better, but the internal benefits to working late are better. Meaning, do you want to have a better day at work (then go late shift) or a better day outside of work (then go early shift). If I had to spend 8 hours a day hating my job, I’d go nuts, so I’d pick the later shift.

I’m a night owl. I always prefer later shifts.

I used to work 10am-6pm and loved it. I was never tired from lack of sleep, traffic was always easier to put up with, and the workload was slower (workloads tend to be slower on 2nd or 3rd shift).

They didn’t pay better, but I’ve heard many jobs do pay better for 2nd shift work. When I eventually find a better job I’d love it if it were a 2nd shift.

I don’t have much of a social life, but people I know who worked later shift didn’t like it because by the time they got home all their friends were asleep (these were people who worked until 10pm and didn’t get home until 11pm).

Another vote for the day shift.

I’m going to assume that you like your current manager. By switching you’ll have, best case scenario, a less cool manager, and worst case scenario you’ll have the micromanaging disgusting unholy pig. The shift differential isn’t gonna be gworth it if you’re going into work miserable every day and you have a dickhead of a boss holding your financial future in their slimy hands.

In short, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. If you’re utterly desperate for the extra cash, go ahead. If not, stay put.

Day shift. Stay there & fight for it like it was for your life.

Night Shift only works if you are single and have no life. If you have kids (and love them) it gives you the nice double-barrel to the face of missing their lives and being (or thought of as being) a shitty parent. You’ll get to drop your kids off at school in the morning.
Enjoy this; its the most time you’ll get with them all day. When you get home you’ll find they stayed up to hug you…and then they have to head to bed.

After you watch your kids walk inside the school, you’ll have the absolute joy of dodging catty whispers from the other parents of “…he has Two Great Kids…and he hasn’t been to a single parent teacher conference or Spring or Winter concert on two years.
He stopped going to his kids scout meetings… Never comes to after school events or trips. What an Asshole…”

Because Shift Work Sucks.

If you are in a relationship, it will break it.
If you’re in a marriage, it will drive you to counselling.

I work in a call center, too. A lot of the pros and cons you listed are what I considered when I decided to work late shift all the time. Not being a morning person and getting paid extra influenced me the most.

The worst con that you listed is potentially getting a bad manager. If you can get a fairly decent manager, I’d say go for the late shift, even if the manager isn’t quite as cool as your current one. If you’re going to have a horrible manager who will make your life miserable, stay with the early shift.

Well, for anyone still reading the thread, I did attempt to switch to the later work shift for 10% differential pay (and the drive). The city’s doing construction during rush hour (both to and from work) on 75th Street now, and it’s incredibly frustrating because the only potential detour is via 355 and it’s a toll road. I’m tired of beating my head against my steering wheel and wasting precious time.

Unfortunately (and paradoxically), the later late shifts are full. Ever since I started here, the late shifts have pretty much been free to be taken by anyone who wants them, since so few people wanted them–there were always wait lists to get on the DAY shift. And given that it’s been several months since we hired, there should have been plenty of availability. But now, they’re trying to move a bunch of people from the late shift to earlier shifts (saves department money and drives up the collective stress level–bleh, I say). Not sure why they’re still paying differential for the late shift if it’s not in-demand, it’s counterintuitive, but whatever.

So anyway, I signed up to work a slightly later (but not terribly late) 1130-8 shift, as it’s the only one available right now. I’ll only get a 5% differential, but it’s better than nothing! It’ll be nice because it’ll be quieter, phones are slower later, and I avoid the nastiness of rush hour, but I’ll still get home in time to play WoW with my hearties for a few hours.

Thanks again for all your input :slight_smile: <3

11:30 to 8:00 sounds great.

You have most of your evening left, and you can sleep in.

I’m jealous now!

I worked an 11AM - 8PM shift at a high stress all-center type job and the only reasons I was able to hang in there until I got a job in another department were no traffic and all the “important” people left at 4.

Good on ya, rachelellogram! I hope your new shift is a winner!


I worked 2nd shift for a few years. All my friends forgot what I looked like. It was actually easier keep a social life when I worked graveyard.

I may ask if I can do the 4 tens with wed, sat and sunday’s off. I really like that idea.:cool:

Thanks a lot! It should be nice because all the daytimers go home at 5 and the phones slow way down as the business day ends. It’ll give me more doping time :stuck_out_tongue:

I’ve worked second shift for the majority of the past 3 years. I don’t have a social life or friends to miss me, so np there.