The Biggest Differences Between 9 To 5 Schedules and Shifts

The traditional 9 to 5 schedule is the norm for many workplaces and industries, but shift work is very common in the care industries. A shift typically refers to a work schedule that involves working hours outside of the traditional 9 to 5 workday. (For example, a nurse might work the night shift.) Here are some of the biggest differences between 9 to 5 schedules and shifts:

1. Work Hours

The most obvious difference between the two types of schedules is when the hours are worked. A 9 to 5 schedule may not be precisely 9am-5pm but it usually involves working eight hours of daylight, Monday through Friday. A shift, on the other hand, involves working a specific group of hours during the day (commonly for health care, they are morning, afternoon, and overnight) to accommodate facilities that are open 24/7 and on weekends, like a hospital.

2. Flexibility

9 to 5 schedules typically offer less flexibility than shift schedules because employees are expected to be available during the same hours every day/week, meaning they may have limited opportunities to adjust for appointments etc. Shift schedules usually offer more flexibility when it comes to working around other commitments during the day or night and switching your schedule if needed.

3. Pay

Shift work often comes with additional pay incentives. Because shifts may involve working odd hours, such as weekends or overnight, employers may offer higher pay to encourage employees to take on these shifts. Employees on a 9 to 5 schedule typically receive a set salary or hourly wage.

4. Work-life balance

For some people (especially those with children) a 9 to 5 may work better, as it overlaps with school hours and/or friends and families schedules. But for others, shift work might allow for more flexibility because you’re available for appointments or opportunities that people working 9 to 5 are not. Needs and commitments outside of work will determine which schedule type allows you a better work life balance.

5. Job security

Some will tell you that employees on a 9 to 5 schedule have greater job security than shift workers. People think this because 9 to 5 schedules are often associated with full-time, permanent positions, whereas shift work may be more likely to involve part-time or temporary roles. However, many shift positions are contracted, or a they’re a role that’s in high demand, which means you’re always going to be able to find work.

6. Health

The big difference here is how the schedule affects your sleep, meals, and ability to be active during the day. In general, 9 to 5’s will allow for a more natural sleep and meal schedule, but typically you’re sitting in a chair for most of the day looking at a screen. Shift work has been linked with health problems such as disrupted sleep patterns, increased stress, and higher risk of chronic illness, but this really depends on the role. Shift work positions typically allow for more movement during the day and they are also linked with greater job satisfaction.

While 9 to 5 schedules and shifts both have their advantages and disadvantages, the biggest differences between the two are the hours worked, flexibility, pay, work-life balance, job security, and health outcomes. Employees should carefully consider how these factors relate to their own circumstances and needs, when choosing the type or schedule or roll associated with it. It’s best to find a schedule that meets your needs and promotes your overall well-being!

Whether you’re looking for your first job in health care or to make a move to a new position, Arbor Associates is here to help. We can help you find just what you are looking for. Get in touch with us today.