The Practice of Shift Work

Dec 1 08:19 2009 Ryan Fyfe Print This Article

Shift work is a scheduling system generally used for 24-hour-a-day businesses such as police, firefighter, call centres, and hospitals. It is a very efficient way of keeping businesses open around the clock and maximizing production. Because of this..

Shift work is a scheduling system generally used for 24-hour-a-day businesses such as police,Guest Posting firefighter, call centres, and hospitals. It is a very efficient way of keeping businesses open around the clock and maximizing production. Because of this many employers prefer to utilize shift work to achieve full profit potential. However, many employees dread shift work in fear of being stuck with a bad shift like the 'graveyard shift'. Shift work has often been stereotyped with industrial manufacturing work, but more and more industries such as law enforcement and the service industry have been starting to apply shift work in order to stay open longer hours and protect the public.There are different ways to manage shift work. One way is the split the day into three, eight-hour shifts and have each employee only work one of them. The three shifts most often used in this system are 00:00 to 08:00, 08:00 to 16:00, and 16:00 to 00:00. The 08:00 to 16:00 shift is often referred to as the 'first shift', 16:00 to 00:00 is known as the 'second shift', leaving the 00:00 to 08:00 as the 'third shift' or more commonly known as 'graveyard shift'. If a business needs to be run on weekends as well, sometimes more diverse schedules are used involving more than three employees.Another way to set up your shift work schedule is to have two twelve-hour shifts. This way of scheduling is often used in industrial businesses such as steelwork, or the offshore petroleum industry. This kind of shift work has it's pro's and con's. Working twelve-hours makes for long days, and often times employees are expected to work many in a row. There are a couple different ways to schedule this. Shift 1 works 06:00 to 18:00 to be relieved by shift 2, which works the remaining twelve hours. They will do this for 48-hours and then have 48-hours off while shifts 3 and 4 work. Sometimes workers are on duty for twelve or fourteen days straight. The positive to this is that they then have anywhere from two weeks to an entire month off.Shift work is stereotypically associated with industries such as manufacturing, automobile, and textile. But it has shown a clear positive impact on others like the armed forces. It eliminates the costly use of overtime, but comes at it's own price. Shift work is largely unpopular and employees working shift work generally request higher wages. For industries like the automotive one, the amount they lose on paying employees to work shift work and have their factories going twenty-four/seven is much less then shutting down their plants for extended periods of times. For instance, Food manufacturing plants have extensive and costly equipment cleaning processes that are mandatory every time they shut down. By implementing shift work they are able to keep their equipment running and avoid those processes. Shift work is also being widely used in law enforcement and the armed forces. The military must always have people ready to respond to any emergency that may occur. This is a variation of shift work.The service industry is now starting to work more and more on some variety of shift work. Public safety and healthcare, such as fire prevention, police, security, emergency medical transportation and hospitals are now, more often than not working on shifts. If they did not emergencies could go for hours and hours without being responded to. Businesses like restaurants and convenience stores they may be open longer than a normal working day also have been taking on a form of shift work. With the need of constant weather monitoring, much of the meteorology industry has also started to use shift work.As you can see many industries are applying shift work in many different ways. It's a very versatile way to manage scheduling and doesn't necessarily have to be implemented over a twenty-four hour time frame.

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Ryan Fyfe
Ryan Fyfe

Ryan Fyfe is the owner of http://www.schedule-management.info/ - an information resource for all things related to Schedule Management including articles, news, movies and more.

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