Why night work might also interest you


Admittedly, night work is not everyone’s cup of tea. Many prospective night workers will sometimes shy away from it due to the potential impact of nighttime hours on their private lives and health. Yet, working at night also offers some distinct advantages, especially at certain stages of your life. Why night work might be for you after all? We list the pros and cons of night work for you.

What specifically is night work?

Night work is strictly regulated by law. Night work refers to work that takes place between 8pm and 6am. The general principle is that night work is prohibited, but there are a lot of exceptions that we are all now familiar with. Just think of the healthcare sector, police service, hospitality or transport sector.


Advantages of night work

Whether night work appeals or not depends on the person. You weigh the pros and cons against your personal strengths, interests and social situation. Why would a nighttime job be quite appealing? Here’s a list of the main benefits of night work for you:

  • Night work means more pay 
    Working at night? It pays. If you’re challenging your biorhythm, you need to be well compensated for that. On top of the regular pay, there are additional allowances or premiums, which can sometimes add up to as much as 30% on top of the basic pay. Sometimes there are also additional paid breaks or extra allowances for meals. This varies a lot from sector to sector and from company to company.
  • Night work and retirement: a favourable combination 
    If you have done night work for many years, you may be entitled to early retirement thanks to the ‘demanding professions’ scheme. So, in some cases, you can retire earlier than colleagues who have worked exclusively during the day. The corresponding rules and conditions depend on the sector. What’s more, the higher salary means that you may have a higher average salary throughout your career, which could lead to a higher pension sum.
  • Night work means taking advantage of a quieter environment 
    There are fewer people on the job and fewer people present in the workplace. That makes it a lot easier to concentrate and gives you a sense of calm. No traffic jams, get more work done and virtually no distractions while you work: for those who like to just focus on the essence of the job, this is an asset that should not be underestimated.
  • Night work gives you extra time during the day 
    Scheduling daytime appointments, taking children to and from school, doing your shopping – thanks to alternative working and sleeping hours, you’ll work through your to-dos at the most efficient times. This will leave more room for quality time when you’re free.


Disadvantages of night work

It’s only logical that night work is not for everyone. It asks a lot of someone to maintain a night routine. Only you can decide whether this is a stumbling block for you. Here’s a list of some of the disadvantages of night work:

  • Night work and biorhythm: a strange duo 
    Working at night and sleeping during the day: let’s be honest, our bodies expect the opposite from us. You need to be in good shape to maintain a night routine. A disrupted sleep pattern can trigger sleep disturbances and fatigue. One person’s reaction to that differs from another’s.
  • Any unexpected obstacles have to be dealt with by you yourself during the night 
    There are fewer distractions due to the reduced presence of colleagues in the department. This also means that when a problem arises, you don’t always have immediate access to support from colleagues in other departments. You therefore have to rely heavily on each other as a night team, which does create a special bond though.
  • Night work and childcare: a challenging combination 
    If you are bringing up children on your own, finding childcare is a serious challenge. In most cases, nurseries provide childcare only during the day. A solid network of your own is essential if you want to combine night work with childcare successfully.


Clichés about night work: we need to add some nuance here

Those who are unfamiliar with night work are especially prone to stereotyping it. There are persistent preconceptions that require some nuance:

  • Night workers don’t have a social life 
    Admittedly, a dinner with friends during the week won’t be in the immediate plans. But people who work nights during the week and have weekends off can be a bit more flexible on weekends. Everything hinges on whether your nearest and dearest understand and respect your sleep and work routines.
  • Night work is bad for your health 
    Fatigue can have an impact on general health for many people. Age and impaired physical fitness can play a role in this. Are you considering switching to night work, and is this new for you? Chat to those around you and, if necessary, talk to a GP so that you can make an informed decision.
  • Night work is only for young employees 
    This statement is too simplistic. There are plenty of examples of thirty-somethings, forty-somethings or older employees building a great career as a night worker. More experience in a team is an incredible asset. The impact on fatigue is likely to weigh less on a starter than on, say, a fifty-year-old, but you certainly can’t say that’s the case for everyone. Again, every situation is personal.

Are you considering switching to night work? The main thing is not to be put off by preconceptions and blinded by the drawbacks. Is a high salary important to you at your stage of life? If so, this might be a decisive argument. Be honest with yourself and list the pros and cons of night work objectively. It’s your choice to make!


Are you looking for night work?

Check out our vacancies and apply. Our job coaches will contact you and will be happy to listen to your story. Find out together whether night work is a viable option.

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