Graveyard Shift

A night duty in the Philippines means working from 10:00 PM to 6:00 AM. In my first job, there were times when I had to report to work from 7:00 PM to 3:00 AM. I needed to extend my duty until sunrise for safety reasons. During my first night duty, I fell asleep during the meal-break and woke up three hours later! Ironically, I had difficulty falling asleep at the dorm because the night duty broke my circadian rhythm. Fast-forward to my second job, I was one of those who rendered a twice a month night duty to monitor the 3rd shift operation. As I grew older, I noticed that my body could tolerate fewer hours of sleep unlike when I was in my early 20s.

Personally, working on a graveyard shift gives me the freedom to make use of my time as productive as possible. When the mind is productive, your body will forget about sleeping. The Philippine labor law entitles night shifters to night differential allowance, too. Call centers and BPOs have unlimited coffee supply to keep employees awake and attentive. Freelancers who have internet connectivity issues prefer the graveyard shift for a faster and more reliable net connection.

Certainly, proximity to work affects one’s decision to agree on a graveyard shift. If travel time eats most of an employee’s time, then a graveyard shift becomes a burden. Those who work at night need more rest and sleep than their morning or mid-shift counterparts. If you are working from home, this should not be much of a problem because you can just rest or sleep after your shift.

The real concern among graveyard shifters is the difference in waking and sleeping time between them and their family members. Let’s say you are working from Monday to Friday from 10:00 PM to 6:00 AM. You need to sacrifice your Saturday sleep in case your children or family member ask you for some bonding moments. Your real free time would be the whole day of Sunday because your children or a family member are most likely busy on a Monday morning. Unlike a regular shift, a graveyard shift does not enjoy the Friday night, Saturday night, and Sunday night bonding.

But yes, spending your bonding moments with your loved ones is case to case basis. Some prefer to maximize their time while the children are young and some have the luxury of time to do whatever they want with their free time.