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The growth of the night shift

08 August 2016

More employees than ever before work nights, but workplace equipment supplier Slingsby warns most organisations need to make significant improvements to their premises in order to successfully introduce a night shift. 

Dominic Slingsby, operations director at Slingsby, which supplies more than 35,000 workplace products across all industries, said: “In recent years we’ve been supplying growing numbers of businesses with products and equipment to help facilitate night working. 

“However, introducing a night shift is about much more than simply turning the lights on when it gets dark and it needs careful consideration. The main priority is minimising the potential effects that working nights can have on peoples’ work life balance and some studies even suggest that night working can increase the likelihood of suffering cancer, heart disease, diabetes, obesity and depression.  

“This is because working a night shift can send the body into turmoil due to unpredictable sleep patterns, eating at unusual times of the day and a lack of daylight.  However there are steps that employers can take to reduce the effects of a night shift. 

“Workers who will be required to alternate shifts, between night and day, should be given as much recovery time as possible and avoid rapidly switching shifts.  Ideally shift patters should be predictable, such as a week of days followed by a week of nights, and wherever possible people should know what shifts they’ll be working several months in advance.”

Dominic added: “It’s also important to remember that while regular rest and meal breaks are important on any shift, they become particularly important on night shifts."