Shift Work

Shift Work

Compiled by Erin Donohue

Topic Page Advisor:
Wen-Jui Han, Ph.D.

A Sloan Network Fact Sheet on Shiftwork (2008)

The Sloan Work and Family Research Network has prepared Fact Sheets which provide statistical answers to some important questions about work-family and work/life issues.

Click here to download the Sloan Network Fact Sheet on Shiftwork:

Policy Mini-Brief Series, 2010, Issue 11 - Shift Work

By Mary Curlew, MSW and Julie Weber, JD

The Sloan Work and Family Research Network has created a series of publications called the Policy Mini-Brief Series.  These publications are shorter, complimentary briefs to the Policy Briefing Series, providing state legislators and their staff with a one page summary of work-family policy issues.

Download Issue 11 in this series, entitled "Shift Work":

Outside the 9-to-5

Gornick, J.C., Presser, H.B., & Batzdorf, C. (2009, June 9). The American Prospect. Retrieved August 18, 2009, from

Janet C. Gornick, Harriet B. Presser, and Caroline Batzdorf write for
The American Prospect about nonstandard work shifts and those who work them and make suggestions for possible public policies related to nonstandard shifts' working conditions. 

Work-Life Balance of Shift Workers (2008)

“This article examines the prevalence and types of shift work among persons between the ages of 19 and 64 with full-time jobs. It also examines the hours spent on other activities like unpaid work or time with family members. Work-life balance, role overload and other indicators of well-being are examined for differences across shifts.”

Williams, C. (2008). Work-life balance of shift workers. Perspectives--Statistics Canada. Retrieved from

Policy Leadership Series (PLS / PBS), 2006 (UPDATED 2010), Issue 06 - Opportunities for Policy Leadership on Shift Work

By Erin Donohue, MSW, Sandee Shulkin, MSW, Judi Casey, MSW, Marcie Pitt-Catsouphes, Ph.D.

The Sloan Work and Family Research Network has created a series of publications called, the Policy Leadership Series.  These publications provide state legislators and their staff with answers to questions about specific work-family issues, such as, “How does afterschool care affect my constituents?” and “What can be done about telework?” This publication is mailed to legislators across the United States.

Download Issue 6 in this series, entitled "Opportunities for Policy Leadership on Shift Work":

Shiftwork: Health Effects (2008)

This fact sheet from the Victorian (Australia) government’s Better Health web site includes basic information on possible health risks of working at night as well as information on sleep problems and rotating shifts. The fact sheet is also available as a sound file in mp3 format.

To access the fact sheet:

Employee Involvement in Shift Scheduling Significantly Improves Facility Performance (n.d.)

Circadian Technologies, Inc., pulls data from several studies and reports and concludes that employee involvement in schedule redesign increases financial and performance benefits more than scheduling performed by management alone.

To access, in PDF format:

Planning and Budgeting for Improvements in Extended Hours Operations

Circadian Technologies, Inc., reports on the five areas that apply to managing human capital in companies that operate with extended hours: absenteeism, lost productivity, turnover, accidents and injuries, and health care.

To access, in PDF format:

Managing the Body’s Time Clock in the 24-7 Economy (2005)

Cable, J. (2005, December 20). Managing the body’s time clock in the 24-7 economy. Occupational Hazards, December 2005. Retrieved March 24, 2006, from

This article is a helpful overview of why shift work poses health and safety risks and how these risks affect individuals and our economy.  It also offers practical advice for business leaders at extended hours companies who seek to minimize the negative effects of shift work on their employees and their operations.  

To access this document, click here:

To learn more about Occupational Hazards, click here:

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