white Squares Left

Which Work Shift Works for You? Pros and Cons of First, Second and Third Shift

White Squares Right
Red Squares

Which Work Shift Works for You? Pros and Cons of First, Second and Third Shift

The job seems perfect. There’s only one catch — the shift starts at midnight. Should you take it?

Shift work is common in many occupations, including manufacturing, maintenance, printing, product distribution, and shipping.

If you’ve ever wondered whether shift work is right for you, consider these pros and cons.

First shift

The “day shift” is generally scheduled during an eight-hour period between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. It is the typical workday for about 84 percent of Americans, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.


  • Convenient for families, as parent(s) work while kids are in school.
  • Primetime for meetings and business calls for maximum productivity.
  • More support for training or coverage during an absence.


  • Inconvenient when you need to see the doctor, run errands, or have the kids home from school.
  • Less time for yourself as family responsibilities extend into evening hours.
  • Potentially busy commute.

Second Shift

Sometimes called the “evening” or “swing” shift, employees on the second shift usually work from about 4 p.m. to midnight.


  • Night owls can sleep in.
  • Can conveniently make daytime appointments, run errands, attend school, hit the gym, or work a second job.
  • Family-friendly if partner works days. Someone’s always there with the kids, and you save money by avoiding expensive daycare.
  • Possible increased productivity/fewer distractions (co-workers, phone calls, meetings).
  • Easier commute.


  • Limited time with the boss. You may not get as much credit for your hard work.
  • May miss out on social dinners and evening gatherings.
  • Weekly schedule may fluctuate.

Third Shift

Work hours on the third shift, also referred to as the midnight, overnight, skeleton, or graveyard shift, often fall somewhere between midnight and 8 a.m. Only about 4% of Americans work the night shift.


  • Easier commute. When you’re heading home, heavy traffic is flowing in the opposite direction.
  • Many companies offer pay incentives to work less-popular hours.
  • Flexibility to schedule appointments and other daytime activities.
  • Works for some two-partner families. Night worker sees kids on the bus, sleeps during day, can be awake when kids get home.
  • More independence at work may reduce on-the-job pressure.
  • Fewer people compete for overnight jobs, providing a chance to get your foot in the door.


  • May need to schedule home maintenance or repair during your regular sleeping hours.
  • Less chance someone can pick up your shift.
  • Reduced contact with management may limit opportunities for work recognition and advancement.
  • Boredom and decreased productivity for repetitive jobs.
  • Social isolation. Less co-worker interaction and time with family and friends who work during the day.
  • Possible health issues. Third shift workers have a greater risk of insomnia, depression, high blood pressure, and heart problems.

Ultimately, each shift has its advantages and disadvantages. Depending on your personality and lifestyle, working “odd hours” could work well for you.

Are you interested in shift work opportunities? Pro Resources Staffing Services represents clients in Central and Northern Indiana who are looking for second and third-shift workers right now!