Dolly Parton sang about working 9 to 5, but the reality is not everyone works that same schedule. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that among the salary and full-time workers in the United States, approximately 15% of them work different shifts. That’s a pretty high percentage, especially when you remember it doesn’t include part-time and temporary workers.

Shift work is inevitable in many industries, including protective service, healthcare, transportation, manufacturing, and food. In some cases, the work can’t stop at 5 p.m., requiring workers to extend their days, sometimes completely overnight. Some employees prefer shiftwork because of the flexibility and others just accept it as what they must do.

If your industry runs on shift work, it’s important to determine which shift is right for you. Even working shifts, work-life balance is important and it’s crucial to make sure you’re taking care of yourself and your dependents. When considering the best shift for you, ask yourself these questions.

When do I need to be home?

First and foremost, you must know when you need to be available. If you have kids, then you must consider getting them to school or daycare and finding sitters. Based on their schedules, you can determine the best times for you to be on the job.

If you don’t have kids, you can still think about other aspects in your life, like family functions, friend hangouts, organization memberships, or social clubs. Try and find the most common time you want to be free and locate the shift that accommodates that for you.

How will my sleep be affected?

Because many shifts extend into the late evening and even overnight, you must consider yourself as a sleeper. It’s no secret that overnights disrupt sleep schedules and can even cause health problems like insomnia. Some people do well on these shifts, but others don’t prefer them. It can be especially trying if your shifts change, keeping your body from settling into a rhythm. The more disrupted your schedule becomes, the more it can disrupt your sleep.

Will I have the opportunity to switch?

Perhaps your solution to finding the right shift is trying it and see. This can be the best method because you may find afternoons to be perfect or overnights preferable. When considering shifts, it’s important to learn if you can try and shift, or if regular rotations are an option.

Find the perfect shift and job for you.

At Workbox Staffing, we know you want the right job that fits your goals and schedule. We take the time to get to know you and what you’re looking for before trying to place you to make sure everything matches up. When you’re looking for the next step in your light industrial, warehouse, office, or manufacturing career, trust Workbox. Jumpstart your job search by working with us today! You can browse our open positions or visit any of our locations to get started.