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What Work Shift Works Best For You and Why?

At some point in your life, you’ve probably been asked whether you’re a night owl or an early bird. The answer can have a lot to do with when you’re happiest, or most productive, and it can help you decide what kind of job might be best for you.

Trying to take someone who enjoys sleeping in and being up late into the event and make that person work a shift as the sun comes up can be just as difficult as making someone who loves waking up with the sun work a job that starts in the afternoon.

Here’s how to determine which shift is best for you and why.

Day shift

The day shift typically starts in the earlier morning hours, between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m. or so, and allows for the most time in your off hours with family and friends before going to bed. It means the ability to have daylight hours available after work (other than in the winter, when daylight is scarce as it is). This is also the shift that best fits a “normal” sleeping pattern and wouldn’t disrupt someone who goes to sleep in the evening and wakes up in the morning. The downside is that day shift work is the most popular, meaning you’ll have the most traffic on the roads on the way to and from work, plus it can be difficult to make appointments at doctor’s offices, banks and other locations that keep a 9-5 workday.

Afternoon shift

The afternoon shift is one that starts later in the day, typically between noon and 3 p.m., and will go into the early evening hours. You get a later start, which means less traffic on the way into work, and you do have some time to run errands before work while places are open. This shift isn’t as difficult to adjust to if you’re a morning person who takes a job that requires a later start, and it’s a nice option for people who need to get children ready and off to school.

Night shift

The night shift will typically start in the later afternoon or early evening and might wrap up around midnight. This means you’ll have a better portion of your day available during daylight hours, great for yard work, getting things done around the house and making all those appointments when everyone else is at work, all without having to take time away. Unfortunately, you might have difficulty shifting to the later hours if you’re typically up earlier, but if you’re a night owl, this could be a perfect fit for you as it works well with your body’s natural sleep cycle. Some companies will also offer a shift differential, adding a little more to your pay for each hour you work after regular business hours.


Midnights sometimes referred to as the “graveyard” shift, can be a tricky one. You’re working in the middle of the night, so you might gain that shift differential pay perk, but you’re sleeping during the day. That can be difficult on families and other relationships because even on weekends and holidays your sleep schedule will be off pace with everyone else. You’re driving home when everyone else is on their way into work, meaning the busy traffic is heading in the opposite direction, and for those who feel they don’t need a lot of supervision, night and midnight shifts tend to have fewer managers around, leaving employees on their own.


Looking for a new job but don’t know where to start? Sterling Personnel can help!


The good news is, that companies are looking for great employees and are eager to hire people. You as an employee can take your pick of positions — find the one that works best for you and you’re off to the races!

While you’re looking for a new job, Sterling Personnel is ready to help. We partner with great companies looking for permanent and temporary workers and have shifts available throughout the day. Contact Sterling Personnel and let’s see where your future will go!