Definition - What does Shift Work mean?
Shift Work refers to a work schedule that requires an employee to be on duty during a time other than the traditional work day. In the United States, the normal work week is considered to be Monday through Friday during daylight hours. A person who works a night shift, or other schedule outside these normal work hours is said to be doing shift work. Shift work is may also be written as shiftwork.
WorkplaceTesting explains Shift Work
Shift work is common in many workplaces and includes any schedule that is irregular or outside the standard work week. Employees assigned to shift work may work a straight 8-hour per day schedule that begins in the afternoon, late evening or middle of the night. Shift work also includes split schedules, or two daily segments of less than 8 hours each. Some shift work is scheduled for a rotating schedule, where an employee begins the week working during one time frame and ends the week working in a different 8-hour period. Other shift workers may be on call for a period of more than 8 hours.
While shift work is not uncommon, it may cause an employee to suffer sleep or other health complications related to the unusual schedule. Employee who do shift work must often find ways to take care of personal needs and household duties outside of normal business hours.