Do Employees Make More Money Working Night Shifts?

Do Employees Make More Money Working Night Shifts?

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In a 24-hour economy, it’s normal having day and night shifts. While day shifts are friendly, night shifts come with much straining and fatigue, and most employees avoid them. Employers use pay rates to make night shifts appealing, so their businesses can keep running at night.

Employees usually make more money working night shifts than those working day shifts. However, the Fair Labor Standard Act has no provisions that obligate employers to pay more for night shifts. It only requires additional payment for overtime hours.

This post explores why employees working night shifts end up making more money. It also looks at the benefits and downsides of working at night and coping mechanisms for working at night. Keep reading to learn more.

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Why Employees Make More Money Working Night Shifts

The Bureau of Labor and Statistics study shows that 13% or 15.5 million Americans work night shifts. This number results from technological advancements that require the availability of certain services around the clock.

There are various reasons employees prefer working at night, but the most enticing one is a better wage. Though employers have an option of not paying additional wages for night shifts, they end up paying it as an incentive for employees. 

The theory of compensation differential and labor demand and supply law explains why employees working night shifts make more money.

The Theory of Compensation Differential

According to the theory of compensation differential, working conditions influence an employee’s wage and choice of job. If the working conditions of a particular position are not favorable, an employee should receive a higher salary for working in uncomfortable situations.

The human body has an internal rhythm that supports work during the day and sleep at night. So, night schedules are undesirable, and for an employer to find night workers, they have to increase the pay to make the position attractive. 

However, poor economic status can influence the high night shift wages. A large labor pool is willing to settle for any job when the economy suffers. Thus, employers may take advantage of weak economies and pay less for night shifts.

The Law of Labor Demand and Supply

In the labor market, employees give labor in exchange for wages. The wage rate is always at equilibrium when the labor demand equals the labor supply. At this point, neither the employers nor the employees can influence the wage rate. 

In the case of night shifts, the equilibrium does not hold because the demand for night shift workers is higher than the supply. 

When the demand for labor is greater than the supply, the wage rate increases. 

How Much Is the Night Shift Differential Pay?

With the high cost of living, working at night can be a great way to boost your income and cut expenses such as childcare. Since there’s a high demand for night workers, you will likely find multiple opportunities.

The night shift differential pay should not be less than 10% of your hourly pay and should include every hour between 10:00 pm and 6:00 am. You determine the night shift differential pay by adding an agreed percentage to your base wage. 

Night Shift Differential Pay= 10% × Hourly rate× Number of hours

Total Payment= Monthly wage + Night shift differential pay

If you’re working at night, you’ll make 10% more than those working the day shift. However, before settling for a night shift, it’s crucial to discuss your night shift differential rate with your employer to avoid misunderstandings in the future.

Other Benefits of Night Shifts

While working night shifts, you not only carry a fat check home, but other benefits come along, which include:

  1. Growth and Autonomy

There is always less stuff working overnight, and you can perform your roles with less supervision and monitoring. When you encounter challenges, you’ll have to figure out how to navigate through them.

Doing so helps you realize your potential and reveal areas you need to improve. In the long run, this brings growth in your career and opens up promotion doors. 

  1. Fewer Distractions

Night shifts are a bit slower with fewer people and fewer distractions. There’s also less drama because there are fewer people around. You might enjoy working at night if you find it hard working with noise. 

While driving to work, you face less traffic. You’ll also find more parking spaces and more lenient parking restrictions, which means you can park at a more convenient place.

  1. Flexibility

If you have other commitments, night shifts give you the flexibility to balance work and other things. For example, if you’re a parent, you can work and still be present to care for your child. Likewise, your days and evenings will be freer to do other things.  

Downsides of Night Shifts

While many benefits come with night shifts, there are also some downsides, and most are health-related.

  1. Poor Concentration

Working at night means you’ll have to sleep during the day. According to Russel Foster, a sleep specialist from Harvard University, the body never adapts to sleeping during the day. That means daytime sleep is shorter and less restful.

Since there is so much noise during the day, the slightest sound will likely wake you. Sleep loss can cause you to lose concentration or sleep at an inappropriate time, which may put your safety at risk.

  1. Digestion Problems

Digestive organs such as the liver produce digestive enzymes during the day. Eating at night increases sugar accumulation in the blood because food stays in the stomach longer. That can lead to the development of type 2 diabetes, obesity, heart disease, or cancer.

  1. Disruption of Family and Social Life

Social events happen during the day, meaning you’ll miss out because you’ll be sleeping. That may lead to losing a bond with friends and family, making you feel isolated. If you sacrifice sleep to attend events, you may not perform well at night and risk losing your job.

Tips for Surviving Night Shifts

Staying up all night for work can be taxing, which is why it is critical to developing a new schedule. Here are some tips to help you accommodate to working at night: 

  • Create a quiet and dark sleeping space during the day. Also, keep away any electronic devices such as phones which may disturb your sleep.
  • Eat heavy meals after your night shift before going to sleep. At night, eat light snacks as they are easy for the body to digest.
  • When you feel dozing off while working, move around or chat with a colleague.

Final Thoughts

Employers are not required to pay higher salaries to employees working night shifts. However, most employees are unwilling to work at night, which forces employers to use incentives to make night shifts attractive. If you work night shifts, you earn more money.