There are many business benefits of running shifts beyond the traditional 9-5 workday. These benefits include access to a broader talent pool, a more engaged workforce, and increased operational efficiency.

Expanding your business operations beyond the 9-5 can be especially beneficial if you are in the manufacturing or light industrial industry.

Common Work Shifts Beyond the 9 to 5

Companies in industries such as manufacturing and light industrial often run three shifts 5 days per week. The timing of each shift depends on the industry, company policies, and workforce needs.

First shift

The first shift typically runs from early morning to late afternoon. For instance, first-shift hours could be 6 am to 2 pm. This shift aligns with regular business hours.

Second shift 

The second shift typically runs from late afternoon to nighttime. For instance, second-shift hours could be 2 pm to 10 pm. Having this shift lets companies extend their hours of operation. 

Third shift

The third shift typically runs from nighttime to early morning. For instance, third-shift hours could be 10 pm to 6 am. Having this shift lets manufacturing and light industrial firms operate 24 hours a day for 5 days a week.

Flex schedule

In the modern economy, rigid schedules from the traditional 9-to-5 or even fixed shift patterns often don’t align with the realities of today’s workforce. Recognizing this, Ōnin Flex offers a transformative approach, allowing employers to build a flexible, supplemental team of workers. These workers can choose their own schedules while still enjoying comprehensive benefits. By offering such adaptable work options, businesses can tap into a broader talent pool and reduce issues like absenteeism and turnover, which are prevalent in rigid scheduling models. This flexibility is also crucial for integrating non-traditional workers who might be balancing education, family care, or other personal responsibilities. 

Advantages of Offering Flex Work

Offering flexible jobs provides many advantages:

  • Access a wider talent pool.
  • Diversify your workforce. 
  • Gain flexibility in handling the workload.
  • Accelerate employee skill development.
  • Offer additional opportunities for career growth.  
  • Boost productivity and output. 
  • Optimize the use of resources.
  • Enhance product delivery.  
  • Ensure leaders stay off the lines
  • Increase revenue.
  • Improve efficiency.
  • Reduce operating costs. 
  • Save money. 
  • Strengthen the bottom line. 
  • Increase your competitive edge. 

Business Benefits of Offering a Second and Third Shift

Offering jobs with alternatives to first shift, including second and third shifts as well as flexible shifts, has a number of benefits, including: 

Increased employee attraction and retention

Employees look for jobs with work hours that support their daily routine, work-life balance, and well-being. Therefore, many employees in industries such as manufacturing and light industrial desire jobs with nontraditional and flexible work hours. Flexible work schedules are especially useful for retention, as workers can choose their own schedules and align their unique needs with your position. In fact, Ōnin Flex has reduced multiple clients’ retention by over 50%. 

Greater work-life balance

Working second- or third-shift hours can provide employees with additional flexibility in the morning. Obviously, providing workers with flexible schedules is an ideal way for employers to provide a way for employers to build work-life balance. With Flex, employees have the power to handle personal matters, appointments, or family needs. They also can spend time with their children or pursue educational goals. 

Stronger team cohesion

Because they work nontraditional hours, second- and third-shift employees typically develop strong bonds with their teammates. This shared experience supports camaraderie, collaboration, and productivity. Other results include strong employee engagement, performance, and morale. These factors help strengthen job satisfaction and employee attraction and retention rates. 

When it comes to flexibility, Flex workers help prevent burnout and team stress and create stronger, happier teams that work better together. Many clients companies struggle with having too few workers, which creates a cycle of overtime, employee burnout and high stress as a team dynamic. With a flexible, supplemental team of workers, teams work better together. 

Best Practices for Third-Shift Management

Managing third-shift employees requires a different approach than managing first- or second-shift employees. Therefore, managers can use the following best practices to support the safety, productivity, and satisfaction of third-shift employees:

Provide fair compensation and benefits

Competitive compensation and benefits help attract and retain third-shift employees. As a result, you should offer these employees higher pay rates and additional health insurance options because of the challenges of working nontraditional hours. Also, provide adequate rest breaks during shifts and paid time off to support work-life balance.

Create a safe, healthy work environment

Third-shift employees face unique safety challenges and health risks because they work nontraditional hours. Therefore, workplace lighting should elevate visibility and reduce eye strain. Also, workstations should be ergonomically designed to reduce physical strain.

Managers should provide information and encouragement for their teams to eat well, exercise, and maintain a healthy sleep schedule. Managers also should talk with their teams about any physical or mental health concerns they might have and provide resources and support when possible. Of note, Ōnin provides its Teammates with radically affordable mental healthcare, in addition to physical healthcare and many other benefits. 

Prioritize team communication

Maintaining consistent communication with third-shift employees is essential for enhancing team morale and fostering a sense of inclusion. To achieve this, managers should arrange regular meetings at times that accommodate the schedules of these employees, ensuring they are well-informed about company updates and events. Leveraging tools such as email, messaging apps, and other technologies is vital for sustaining continuous communication. Moreover, organizing monthly team-building activities can significantly strengthen community bonds and feelings of belonging. At Ōnin, we have successfully integrated what we term “success mindset” training into our weekly team routines. This strategy not only fortifies team cohesion but also equips employees with practical skills for both professional and personal success, contributing to reduced turnover rates and a more engaged workforce.

Offer training opportunities

Third-shift employees who receive ongoing training and support feel valued at work. As a result, they typically experience strong job satisfaction and career development within the organization. These factors increase employee retention and decrease hiring, onboarding, and training costs.

Training programs should be tailored to each employee’s goals, needs, and schedule. Also, consider implementing a mentorship program where experienced third-shift employees support new employees in adjusting to the nontraditional work hours. Additionally, provide employees with access to counseling services and support groups that focus on the mental health challenges of working the third shift.

Tools and Resources for Third-Shift Management

The use of scheduling and monitoring tools helps streamline business operations, support fairness, and strengthen productivity and job satisfaction. The following tools and resources can support these objectives:

  • Workforce management software offers comprehensive scheduling solutions to create and manage shift schedules, shift rotations, and time off requests. The software also helps maintain compliance with labor laws. Examples include Kronos and Workday. 
  • Time and attendance systems track employee work hours, including clock-in and clock-out times. These systems calculate overtime and ensure fair pay for third-shift employees. Examples include TSheets and When I Work. 
  • HR and payroll software streamline payroll processing, including shift differentials and other complexities of third-shift work schedules. Examples include ADP and Gusto.
  • Safety monitoring systems monitor and support workplace safety. Examples include SafetyCulture and EHS Insight.
  • Health and wellness apps promote healthy lifestyle habits, including nutrition, exercise, and stress management. Examples include Headspace and MyFitnessPal.
  • Employee communication apps support real-time employee communication to promote inclusion within the workforce, especially for third-shift employees. Examples include Slack and Microsoft Teams.
  • Task management tools help assign and track tasks and projects so employees can stay informed about company goals and priorities. Examples include Asana and Trello. 
  • Online training platforms offer courses for employees to develop their skills according to their schedules. Examples include Udemy and Coursera.

Want to Learn About What a Flexible, Supplemental Workforce Could Mean for You? 

Imagine a team that works alongside your staffing workforce and empowers you to fill shifts dynamically, find vetted talent, and reduce turnover. Click here to discover how this innovative concept, driven by Ōnin’s 25+ years of staffing experience, can help you solve today’s most pressing workforce challenges. 

Are You Looking for Second- and Third-Shift Employees?

Partner with The Ōnin Group to find qualified manufacturing or light industrial workers to help reach your company’s goals. Get in touch to start the process today.