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What is the Swing Shift?

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Nowadays many businesses will operate 24 hours a day. This means that they will need employees to be available at all times. The way they do this is to break the 24 hour period into shifts so that there are always people working. The swing shift refers to the period of time from noon until the evening. These workers may just cover the time at the end of the morning shift until the night shift starts or there can be some overlap with these other shifts.

The Dreaded Swing Shift

Some workers feel that this shift is the more demanding than the night shift or the morning shift. This is because it involves starting in the afternoon and many people will have to stay at work until midnight. This means that there is very little they can do in the mornings because they have to get ready for work. It also means that by the time they get home it will be too late to do anything. Those who are on this shift a long time will compensate by sleeping odd hours; they will wake up at noon and go to sleep very late. This can mean that they have very little time for their family and friend. They might not hardly see them at all when they are working. At least with the night shift people still have their mornings and early evenings.

Despite the negative aspects of the swing shift there can also be some benefits to working this way. It is great for people who are studying at college but still need to work to pay their way. Most college courses will start in the morning and finish by the afternoon. This means that the student can go to work at the end of the day; although this type of schedule can be very draining.

The Swing Shift and Health

It is important for anyone who is working this shift to take care of themselves. While it may not be as bad for health as the night shift it can lead to problems over time. This is because it messes with people’s normal schedule so that they miss meals and sleep at odd times. It can be difficult to go to be after arriving home from work so a lot of people will stay awake for half the night. If they are trying to do things like studying in the mornings they can quickly become burnt out. The fact that they are not eating with family and friends can make it less likely that they will eat properly.

There is no doubting the need for the swing shift and luckily there are plenty of people who seem willing to do it. This type of work pattern is not suitable for everyone though, and it is important to think about this carefully when applying for work that involves such work patterns. Many businesses will have shift rotation and this can make working such shifts a bit easier because you won’t be doing it all the time.

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Meet the Author

Anthony Carter currently resides in Fife, Scotland with his wife Lisa, and their three wonderful children. As a senior editor for various publications, if he's not reading and writing, you would find him photographing and traveling to some of the most far-flung locations around the world.

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