Shift Work Roster – How Friendly Is Yours?

upside down clockIf you’re someone who works rotating shifts 24 hours a day, 7 days a week then no doubt you crave to have the occasional weekend off or at the very least, have a Saturday sleep in so that you can go and watch the kids play a game of soccer.

But the harsh reality for most shift workers is that it means having to give up a lot of Sundays and battling a shift work roster that is not particlarly friendly for having any kind of social life.

That being said, how good does it feel when you can head down to the beach or go to the movies in the middle of the week when the rest of the population is working?

Pretty darn good I think! In fact it’s one of the many ‘perks’ to working shift work.

Yet many of us focus on all of the negatives associated with having to work irregular hours (in particular the not-so-friendly shift work roster), and end up living a deflated and unfulfilling life.

So how can you manage to keep sane and happy – despite having to work ruthless hours? Well I’m going to be realistic here, unless you’re able to win lotto or you decide to throw in the towel and join the ‘Land of the Nine-To-Fivers’ – you’re probably going to have to continue the battle with your shift work roster.

But there are 3 simple things which you can do which will make going back to work not so bad.

1. Concentrate on the simple things in life. So many of us get caught up in all of the bells and whistles of a life that we forget to keep things simple. Forget about trying to “keep up with the Jones” – you don’t have to have the new car, a designer outfit – it really doesn’t matter.

2.  Shift from the negative to the positive.  It’s so easy to whinge and complain about all of the bad stuff in our life (particularly when those around us are doing the same thing), but try and focus on the positive.  There are always so many things to be grateful for but we often don’t see them because we’re wrapped up in all of the negative stuff.  Try this exercise tomorrow – go 24 hours without complaining (not even once), then watch how your life starts to change.

3.  Roster versus no roster.  Whilst our 24/7 lifestyle calls for getting out of bed at some pretty hospitable hours (and there are plenty of areas in the roster which could be improved for the better), just remember that there are plenty of people in the world that would absolutely LOVE to do what you do.  Whether it’s due to sickness or an ability to secure employment, be grateful for your job because there are many people who would actually love to be in your shoes – even with those dreaded 4am starts!


Have You Ever Gone To Work Twice In One Day?

There are certainly many hazards of working shift work but I must say, going into work twice in one day wasn’t rated high on my list.
Why? Because despite many businesses out there that make their employees work split shifts – I have always been lucky enough not to be one of them.

But this morning was a little different and I’ll explain why.

You see, I knew my roster this week was a bit jumbled. I had a few early shifts, followed by some late shifts, and I was going to head on to days off after an early shift again.

Now when I rocked up at work this morning to discover that I was actually rostered to start at 12pm instead of 4:30am I was horrified! You mean I had dragged my body out of bed at 3:30am for nothing?

For the “normal employee” who I will refer to in this example as your typical ‘Nine-To-Fiver’, the idea of going into work twice in one day would be somewhat ludicrous. In fact I can hear them saying “… you’ve got to be kidding right?”

Now I would like to say that it was the company’s fault – they had changed my roster and nobody had rung me to tell me otherwise. But alas I couldn’t do this because it was in fact, totally my fault.

Ahh … sigh. I had actually misread my roster. I had always been rostered to start on a late shift but for some reason I actually thought I was on an early shift. A bit of a bugger really.

Anyway, as I trudged back to my car with my tail between my legs – I was actually quite excited at the thought of going home and tossing my uniform to the side, and jumping back into my nice comfy bed.

Now when I woke up again, this time at 8am, it kind of felt like deja vu because I knew that I had to go into work today, but it kind of felt like I already had!!

So I certainly have a very healthy respect for all of my fellow shift workers who have to work split shifts. Not only does it wipe out your entire day, but it certainly rates high up there as one of the hazards of working shift work. .

P.S – So my tip for you today is always check your roster the night before! Don’t be a silly goof like me and go into work twice in one day if you don’t have too.