Research by the TUC has found that over three million people in Britain are working night shifts.
It revealed an increase of 200,000 in the number of night workers in the seven years between 2007 and 2014, with care work and nursing the top two sectors for night work.
The study also revealed that more women than ever (10%) are working through the night, compared with around 15% of men.
Bad for your health?
The union highlighted the negative impact that night shifts can have on a worker’s health and wellbeing as well as their family life.
In particular, it said that people working nights face higher childcare costs due to the anti-social hours.
In the past, studies have linked night shifts to increased risk of cancer, heart disease, obesity and depression.
TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “With night work increasing, employers must play fair and play safe, or public safety will be put at risk and the families of night workers will suffer.”
Improving employee work-life fit
As part of the study the TUC recommends that employees should have some control over their rotas so they can strike a better work-life balance.
To improve the optimisation of staff rosters managers need powerful analytics that provide transparency of their business.
This can be achieved through workforce management solutions, like Vanquish.
By working in close collaboration with their employees, managers can find shift patterns that suit both the needs of the individual and business.
Shift patterns tailored to the business can be stored in the system and used to populate staff rotas, helping to reduce the administration time involved in planning complex shift patterns.
Giving staff more control
Using self-service intranet modules employees can view their allocated shift patterns by logging into a secure web portal at any time.
Here, workers can gain complete visibility of their working time, accept or decline allocated shifts and make holiday requests to their managers.
Empowering staff to manage their own working time enables them to better balance their working life with commitments at home.
Facilitating direct communication reduces response time to requests and gives employees a platform where they feel comfortable communicating to the senior team.
Helping workers to adopt a better work-life balance can improve overall job satisfaction, maintain productivity levels and retain key workers rather than risk losing them.