Overnight Shift Offers Work/Life Balance – Top Reasons Why
Oct 25, 2021 by Brenda Larson
With the constant and ever-changing ways of today, you may have been thinking about different ways to bring more work/life balance into your own personal life. For instance, how can I find more time for my family? Or, what could I do that would allow me to have more free time for errands, see loved ones and possibly work on growing my career?
Have you ever entertained the thought that adjusting your work schedule could bring you these specific benefits and even many more? The overnight shift can actually deliver on those benefits. Many people have no idea what it is like to work the overnight shift. They may dismiss the thought of working those hours just because they think “it’s not for them.” Consider this for a moment ... that there are actually many advantages to working the overnight shift.
You can use daylight hours to run errands, spend the day in the park, pick up your kids from school, and see your loved ones more often. The key here is to fit in sleep when it works best for you.
Internal Career Development
Typically, fewer employees are scheduled on overnights. Working together will allow you to learn more skills and gain more experience to ultimately solve situations on your own.
Working at night can give you more time to attend classes and meet with tutors during the day. Quieter shifts at night may also allow for additional studying on your breaks.
With less staff on overnights, you will have fewer meetings and can focus more on the job at hand.
On average, with fewer co-workers scheduled, you can have that continued focus, allowing you to boost productivity. Higher productivity will be a very positive reflection on your annual review.
It is common across the employment landscape that overnight positions are harder positions to fill, so the pay may sometimes be higher. This increase can give you an opportunity to save or set aside money for the extra things you want to do in life.
Being the time of night you drive to work, you will spend less time in gridlock, have more time at home with family, and save on gas money.
To give you a first-hand perspective of life inside the overnight world, we talked with Tara Larson, Nursing Assistant Mentor at Knute Nelson. She works the overnight shift at Knute Nelson’s Care Center. She started working at Knute in 2002. She was attending college in Moorhead. Her parents live on a farm near Rose City. She came home during the summer to work for them on the farm and was also looking for part-time work. At first, she started on the evening shift. She picked up a few overnight shifts and quickly decided that it was the shift she was born to be in. Tara said, “I absolutely fell in love.” So, the next three summers she worked overnights, picking up as many hours as she could get.
Once she completed her schooling, she knew she wanted to get back to Knute Nelson. It was then her career with Knute began. She loves the staff, she loves the residents and she loves helping people. The overnight shift provides a very different way to interact with residents. “The interactions you have, I feel like they’re just a little more personal.” said Tara. During the day things tend to move at a faster pace. She said at night you get a little more time to spend with the residents. They will share stories with her, and she gets to see the inside of their life. She had one resident tell her that he was grateful she could sit and listen to him, and he actually felt less stressed about situations in his life. He told her she made his day a little bit brighter. Tara states, “Becoming a CNA was a huge life changing event for me. I was very shy in high school and interacting with people as a CNA has made me a social butterfly.”
Opportunities for learning are increased during the overnight shift. “You get to do everything, and I like to be involved.” said Tara. With a lighter staff, Tara is able to learn additional duties such as laundry, meal prep and serving, and cleaning. Working together as a team she has learned so much more about the way Knute Nelson nurses care for residents. She said, “Nurses are able to spend more time with us on this shift. During the day, if they were changing a bandage or dressing a wound, they would call another nurse to assist them. At night, they call me to help. I ask so many questions because I want to learn. On overnights, you get more of a well-rounded experience because you’re involved in every activity.”
Tara still loves to work on her family farm. She helps them out on a daily basis. After work one day she spent six hours picking rocks. She slept in the afternoon, and then worked her overnight shift at Knute. She said, “If I was working days, I wouldn’t have been able to help. The other shifts don’t work quite as well with the flexibility to help my parents. They are aging and are starting to slow down. I just helped them plant the garden and that’s something they would normally do 100% on their own.”
Working the overnight shift at Knute Nelson has definitely given work/life balance to Tara. When you are looking for a rewarding career, and one that can provide that balance in your life, take a look at the overnight shift. It just may be the shift you were born to be in.
To view our current openings, visit our Careers page.