The nine-to-five workday is standard across many customer-facing businesses, but in manufacturing jobs, healthcare and emergency services, the grind doesn’t stop when the rest of the world goes home. In these areas, shifts are often split up into 1st, 2nd and 3rd. That nine-to-five time slot belongs to the 1st shifters, and 3rd shifters take on the overnight hours. In between those lies the 2nd shift employees. They usually overlap with both of the other shifts and hold down the fort between regular daytime hours and overnight operations.
These workers take on hours from around three or four in the afternoon to 12 a.m. Here at York Saw, our 2nd shift runs from 3:30 p.m. to 12 a.m. Some people may be reluctant to take on this kind of schedule when making employment decisions, but in exchange for working evenings, you can get more pay, more opportunities and a more flexible lifestyle overall. There is more than meets the eye with a 2nd shift schedule.
Benefits of Working 2nd Shift
From career-boosting opportunities to being able to throw out your alarm clock, 2nd shift schedules offer several benefits to your career and lifestyle:
1. More Pay
Second shift positions typically provide a significant pay differential to make up for the awkward hours. Some employers offer an additional flat rate while others may tack on a percentage of your pay. If the schedule doesn’t matter much to you, this may be more than enough incentive to take on the shift. Another way that employers might offer incentives is to provide more vacation days. If you have children, the 2nd shift may help you save significantly on the costs of childcare as well.
2. More Experience
Since fewer people are working on the 2nd shift, you may have opportunities to do more than you would during the day. In manufacturing jobs, this involves getting experience on more machines and processes. If you’re just starting out, this is a great way to jumpstart your career. Working in more parts of the facility gets you more familiar with different machines and tools and shows your employer that you’re versatile and willing to learn.
3. Keyholder Status
Being a keyholder often earns a higher level of respect from your colleagues and looks good on your resume. It gives you an opportunity to gain more trust from your employer. As a 2nd shift employee, you’re more likely to get the status of a keyholder to gain access to the building. With a smaller staff, there may also be less competition for these spots. The keyholder’s responsibilities involve managing the routes of entry on the premises during evening hours and the alarm system.
4. Easy Appointments and Errands
With the typical nine-to-five, appointments can be challenging to make. Most doctor’s offices and dentists are open during the same time frame, so you have to take time off of work. This situation is frustrating and may look bad if you have to do it too often. With a 2nd shift schedule, you have your whole day open and don’t have to worry about taking time off. The same concept applies to errands. Need to run to the bank? No problem. Pick up a prescription before the pharmacy closes? You’ve got plenty of time. Plus, the stores are typically less crowded, making your task smoother and easier.
Second shift schedules can also be incredibly helpful for those pursuing other life goals, like a second job or education. Having mornings open is perfect for class schedules and other responsibilities.
5. Sleeping In
A 2nd shift role frees you from the constant struggle of dragging yourself out of bed every single morning. You get to stay there all morning if you want. For many, this is more than enough of a reason to take a 2nd shift job. If sleeping during daylight is difficult for you, blackout curtains or eye masks are great ways to get around that.
Sleep deficiency is a common and wide-reaching problem that can significantly affect your workday. It impacts your productivity, driving, accuracy and much more. Those with early-rising schedules can struggle with symptoms throughout the workday, like drowsiness and trouble focusing. If you frequently feel like you could fall asleep during lulls in the day, you may be dealing with some sleep deprivation.
Second shift work schedules allow for a sleep pattern that is more conducive to getting the right amount of sleep. Getting off work at midnight means there are fewer distractions and things to do that can keep you from going to bed at a good time. Then, it’s more likely that you can sleep until your body wakes you up naturally.
6. Flexibility With Childcare
Many 2nd-shifters find convenience in the schedule because it helps them organize childcare. If your spouse works 1st shift and you work the 2nd, you can trade off with the kids and avoid daycare all together. The cost of childcare varies widely across the country, but it isn’t uncommon for it to exceed average rent prices or mortgage payments. This cost is considerable for most families and can be a major pain point for them.
Working the 2nd shift offers many families a solution to this high cost. It also frees you up for handling any emergencies that occur for school-age children.
7. Minimal Traffic
When you get off work and want to go home, every pause in traffic is agonizing. In rush hour bumper-to-bumper traffic, your commute can be a stressful part of the day. It also uses up a significant chunk of your time. The amount of time that many commuters lose to traffic every year is significant. That’s not to mention the cost of gas that you waste idling behind other cars. Second-shifters arrive in the early afternoon and leave at midnight, making the drive smooth and less stressful. You can zip right home without sitting for an hour in city traffic.
8. Fewer Distractions
During the second shift, there tend to be fewer distractions from those in the company working 9-5 jobs. Sales teams, administration, and other employees typically aren’t in the office during the second shift, allowing you to focus on your work. Motivated second shift employees can oftentimes be more productive due to fewer distractions during their day.
Second Shift Positions at York Saw
Though sometimes avoided for their unconventional nature, 2nd shift manufacturing jobs have a lot to offer. They can help your checkbook, stress levels and resume.
If you think a 2nd shift position is right for you, consider joining the York Saw family in our York, Pennsylvania, facility. We offer an excellent benefits package that includes medical, dental, vision, life insurance, a 401K match, short-term disability, paid holidays and paid vacation. We’re looking for dependable employees with an eagerness to learn. Experience in metals is preferable, but we can also train the right person.
Review our open positions on our hiring page, and contact Dawn Myers at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.