Healthy Shift Worker Workplace Trainings –

Having worked for 3 different shift working organisations spanning two decades (I’m really beginning to show my age here) – one of the things that surprised me most was that despite this huge time-frame, not once did I receive any education or training on how to stay healthy despite working 24/7.

I did however receive plenty of training on systems and product knowledge, combined with customer service training which was kind of important given customer service was a huge part of what I did.

But it still left me perplexed as to why we never got any help or support on how to take care of our health given it forms a huge part of what we do each and every day – and night!

I mean let’s face it, shift work is hands down one of the most challenging occupations on the planet and certainly not for the faint hearted.

It also explains why shift working organisations would have one of the highest incidences when it comes to employee sick leave and reduced productivity, so it makes sense to invest in their staff, and do whatever is humanly possible to keep their staff well.

This is because when we work irregular hours, our bodies are under an enormous amount of stress – and that’s even before we set foot into a stressful workplace.


Shift Work Training – A Missing Link In Many Organisations.


I stumbled across this quote today and it absolutely resonated with me.  As a former employee and trainer for Qantas, training people in a way so that they feel confident in their role was an area which I was always very passionate about.  In fact I’ll be perfectly honest with you, my position as a trainer for Qantas was probably one of the most rewarding jobs that I’ve ever held throughout my entire career within the aviation industry.

Since you cannot expect to have a highly successful (and equally profitable) business without a high calibre of employees, it goes without saying that organisations must never overlook this area of their business.

Training people at a high level not only empowers them, but it provides them with the confidence to do their job well instead of one which radiates mediocrity.

Quite simply staff training (or should I say lack of staff training) can make or break a business because poor customer service and/or poor product knowledge radiates unprofessionalism.

Think Apple or Google.  Both of these organisations train their staff exceptionally well because they understand the consequences if they don’t.  It’s much easier (and cheaper) to retain a customer than it is to acquire a new one and they really understand the importance of word of mouth.

But I have to say whilst the majority of training packages which I delivered during my employment with Qantas were focussed around systems and procedures, in the back of my mind I was always craving to do something more.  Something a little different that seems to be missing from many shift working organisations around the world, and that of course is to deliver a training program which is more personal, relatable and beneficial to the employees themselves as opposed to just being focused around the organisations’s strategic objectives.

Because let’s face it.  It’s not all about systems and procedures (which can actually be somewhat boring not only to teach, but to sit in on as a trainee as well).

It’s way more beneficial (and fun) to learn things which not only are going to help you to become better at your job, but also to be become much healthier too!

And this is the biggie for organisations – it creates loyalty, and with loyalty comes a sense of pride for who they are working for which has a positive flow on effect throughout the entire organisation.  In fact both internal and external customers benefit from well trained staff.

Of course the area of training which I’m referring to is on shift work health – something which I’ve become incredibly passionate about over the years (thanks to my own personal struggles) and which I hope to deliver as a training package in the future as a way to “give back”, or help others from going through some of the struggles that I went through when working 24/7.

How awesome would that be?!

So stay tuned everyone – I’ve got so many things in the pipeline at the moment.  One of which includes writing a book as well as preparing to launch a digital medium which will be incredibly relevant and beneficial to shift workers all around the world – not to mention being heaps of fun and engaging as well!

Big shift working hugs,


Audra x

Shift Work Training – Is It Really Necessary?

As a shift work veteran and trainer, I often wonder is shift work training really necessary. That is, is it absolutely necessary to give people an induction and heads up on what they’re about to get themselves into?

The simple answer to that is absolutely.

Starting any new job can be stressful at the best of times, but when you’re about to undertake a role that involves working crazy and erratic hours I feel that companies and organisations have an obligation to inform and educate their staff on the perils of having to work shift work.

You see the benefits of shift work training are two-fold.

When you provide new staff (and existing staff for that matter), with the knowledge and tools to help them to cope with having to work irregular hours sick leave decreases, morale increases and even more beneficial to any organisation – productivity increases.

Increased productivity means increased profits.

We all know that’s a win-win scenario for everyone.

Now when I think back to my very first day of working shift work (gosh that was so many years ago now), I have to say that I was never really given any shift-work training per se.

I had a very intensive month of training which included product and system knowledge which provided me with the tools to undertake my job, but I certainly received no training (or warning) on what was about to happen to my overall health and well-being from having to get up at 2:00am in the morning.

I’ve had many, many shifts over the years which have required me to start at 3:00am (as I’m sure you can relate too), and they hurt – really hurt.

And the once friendly and harmonious relationship which existed between my alarm clock and I soon began to head down a rather perilous and downward spiral. In fact I could safely say it was skating on thin ice because I really, really struggled with shift work when I first got started.

In fact to this day I still struggle – but I’ve since become much wiser and now take more responsibility for my health that I ever did before.

And here lies the key. As good as shift work training is – if you’re not prepared to take responsibility for your life, then any type of training is going to be a waste of time.

Which is why I have listed my Top 5 Shift Work Training Tips as below:

1. Take responsibility for your health. You are in total control on what does and does not go into your mouth – no exceptions.

2. Focus on improving the quality of your sleep as opposed to stressing out on how little little sleep you are getting.

3. Keep moving. To stay energized our bodies need to exercise. Even if you’re feeling totally exhausted, try and allocate as little as 10 minutes a day to exercise. A leisurely walk around the block can work wonders on your mental and physical health.

4. Enlist your family and friends for support. Their help and understanding when it comes to certain sacrifices that you will have to make will make a huge difference to your life – both in and out of work.

5. Stop eating junk. Your body needs high quality, nutrient dense food in order to function at its peak. Just like you car won’t run on contaminated fuel, nor will your body move easily if it’s carrying extra weight and toxins.

Each and every one of these elements are critical in improving any employees overall health and well-being, but even more so when you work shift work.

I don’t know about you, but I certainly wish somebody had shared those 5 simple tips with me before I started shift work some 21+ years ago … it would have been a much smoother and less perilous roller-coaster ride!