Working at night – a good idea?

Since I’m currently working in a job that requires shift work, I’m doing mostly night shifts. This had a few disadvantages, as most people would immediately agree.  However, it also has some advantages:

  1. A little extra money.  Night shifts attract a little extra bonus pay compared to morning and afternoon shifts.
  2. Longer shifts means fewer shifts.  In my current job, night shift is 10 hours compared to 8 hours for the other shifts.  So full time work is 4 days (or nights) per week, leaving 3 days free for other things, including overtime.
  3. Less workplace politics.  Night shift is not free of office politics, but it tends to be limited, partly because the audience for troublemakers and stirrers is limited so they gravitate towards the daytime.
  4. I can be at home to take my children to school, and pick them up from school.  My sleep time is the six hours in between, plus an hour or two in the evening before work if I’m lucky.
  5. Night shifts allow me to be home with my disabled wife during the day.  Then if she has a fall, or needs help with showering, I can attend to her.  Otherwise she’d be alone during the hours that the children are at school and I’m at work.
  6. I can plan my days around knowing that I’ll either be working at night or on leave or days off.  So if a courier parcel is expected, I know I’ll be home to receive it.
  7. Many colleagues dislike night shift, so it improves my popularity when I volunteer to work at night.
  8. At night there are less doctors around, so I am often able to practice my Nurse Practitioner skills.  The reduces the waiting time for patients and reduces the workload for the night duty doctor.  And I enjoy the challenge and the extra responsibility.
  9. When you work a significant amount of night shifts, you get a bonus seventh week of paid annual leave.
  10. Attending staff meetings and inservice events is easy, as I know I won’t be working.  I just have to juggle my sleep requirements, which is usually not too hard as these events tend to occur close to when I get up to collect the children from school anyway.
So that’s a few reasons why I like night shift.  What’s not to like?  Well, let’s make that the subject of another post …

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