8 Facts You Need to Know Before Working in a Warehouse

8 Facts You Need to Know Before Working in a Warehouse

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Are you looking for a new job and considering working in a warehouse? You may have heard that warehouse work can be physically demanding, but what else should you consider? 

A warehouse job can be physically and emotionally demanding, and there are safety hazards. However, it can offer a great work culture, job security, and opportunities for promotion. It’s also a high-paying, entry-level job. 

If you’re considering a warehouse position, you might wonder, “Is working in a warehouse hard?”. This article will discuss everything you need to know before you apply for a job in a warehouse. Let’s dive right in! 

1. Working in a Warehouse Can Be Physically Demanding

Warehouse jobs can be easy to land, even if you’re unskilled or don’t have a college degree. However, these jobs can be labor-intensive, and you’ll need to be physically fit to perform the job adequately. 

Warehouse work often includes lifting, packing, stacking, and driving forklifts to deliver items, and shifts can be as long as 10 to 12 hours. This makes warehouse work very physically demanding, and if you aren’t used to physical exercise, the job can be pretty tough, especially in the beginning. Most warehouse workers resign within their first year.

Moreover, once you join a warehouse, you’ll need to take care of your diet and health. For example, going to bed right after doing a physically tough job is not best for staying fresh for the next day. To avoid having sore muscles, you should stretch before sleeping. 

If you’re concerned about your physical aptitude for warehouse work, you should visit your doctor to find out if you can handle the work. Getting medically cleared is one of the best tips for working in a warehouse.

2. Warehouse Work Can Get Emotionally Draining

If you’ve ever wondered what it is like to work in a warehouse, it can be emotionally draining.

Stacking boxes on a shelf every day can sound boring and repetitive to a lot of people. If you’re the kind of person who likes variety in their work, then working in a warehouse might not be the ideal fit for you. 

While warehouse work doesn’t require much mental effort, you’ll be performing the same repetitive tasks for hours on end. 

Some people might find this mentally exhausting, and because of the lack of mental stimulation, you may even experience emotional problems or depression in the long run.  

To deal with these emotional challenges, you must prepare yourself mentally beforehand. You should have a good understanding of the details of your job duties and accept the mundane nature of it. With the right attitude, you won’t become bored with the work. 

However, in a few weeks, you’ll likely be accustomed to the work, and the daily tasks might even feel like a de-stressing exercise. 

3. There Are Safety Hazards Associated With Warehouse Jobs

Warehouses can be dangerous places, the reason they have strict safety measures in place. Heavy boxes, forklifts, and packing equipment can be dangerous if not handled properly and safely. 

This makes warehouse work risky in terms of accidents and injuries. Injuries while working in a warehouse can range from strained muscles to broken bones or worse, so you should be aware that this can be a potentially life-threatening job. 

However, if you work for a reputable company, they will likely adhere strictly to safety regulations to keep you safe at work. It’s not surprising that the number of workplace injuries in warehouses has dropped in recent years. 

For example, occupational injuries have decreased by 42% in the US since the passing of the Occupational Safety and Health bill in 1970. 

To prevent an accident or injury, you’ll likely be required to wear safety clothing, including safety shoes and a hard hat. This is an excellent tip if you’ve ever wondered how to survive working in a warehouse. 

If you want to work in a warehouse, you’ll also need to dress appropriately, and wear comfortable clothing. Most warehouse workers also carry a water bottle with them to stay hydrated.

To perform warehouse work well, you might consider adjusting your diet to include plenty of lean proteins, complex carbohydrates, and nutrient-rich foods to give you the healthy energy you need. 

4. You’ll Need Certain Soft Skills To Succeed

While warehouse jobs are often categorized as unskilled labor, there are certain soft skills that can be crucial to getting hired and succeeding in a warehouse workplace. 

Your job responsibilities at the warehouse may include the following: 

  • Processing orders
  • Delivering or picking orders 
  • Keeping an inventory (digital or manual) 
  • Reporting to supervisors and coordinating with co-workers 
  • Operating heavy machinery (such as forklifts)

To perform these tasks correctly and efficiently, you should have certain soft skills like time management, determination, effective space utilization, a good work ethic, communication, and good interpersonal skills. 

Warehouse jobs often mean working in a team. It’s important that you get along with your team members, and you may need to socialize a little and open up to them. You may also find this an emotionally challenging task, especially if you’re an introvert.

However, if you build good relationships with your co-workers, you’ll not only do your job successfully, but you might also feel better at mundane tasks. You’ll also avoid many conflicts and be safe from workplace politics. 

After getting used to warehouse work, you’ll find that these soft skills can be invaluable to your job satisfaction and make your work much easier. Also, being mindful of continuously improving these skills will make you more receptive to advice from more experienced employees and become a valued team member. 

This proves that working in a warehouse is not as easy as it sounds. However, if you think you’ve got what it takes, it could be an excellent option if you’ve just left college, don’t know what to do with your life, or can’t find a job. 

You might also need other skills and certifications, such as a driving license, a forklift operation license, and digital skills to keep an inventory and to access and operate database systems. However, this varies across different jobs. 

5. Warehouse Work Offers Job Security

While a warehouse job is not the first work type that comes to mind when thinking about job security, you’d be surprised at the job security level it offers. Warehouse work can be a steady source of income as long as you are dedicated to your job. 

Online shopping has greatly increased in popularity over the past few years, and shows no signs of slowing down. This makes it a given that warehouse jobs will always be available. 

6. Warehouse Work Offers Promotion Opportunities

Working in a warehouse doesn’t just involve packing boxes or picking orders. There are many warehouse positions, including:

  • Heavy machinery operators
  • Supervisors
  • Clerks
  • Line managers 

Even if you start in a very junior position, you’ll have plenty of chances to move forward, as long as perform your job diligently. 

Since warehouse work isn’t for everyone, many warehouses have a high staff turnover, which could mean you have the opportunity for promotion sooner than you thought. Eventually, you could even work your way up to senior management. 

7. It’s a High-Paying Entry-Level Job

Given the minimum qualification and skills needed for most warehouse jobs, it’s a high-paying entry-level option. In the US, you can expect to receive a pay rate that’s well above the minimum wage. 

In addition, many companies offer their warehouse workers excellent benefits, such as: 

  • Health insurance
  • Annual pay increases
  • Dental plan

So, if you’re a student looking to earn tuition money or someone looking to kick start their career, working in a warehouse isn’t too bad of an option. 

8. Warehouses Can Have a Great Work Culture

Worker unions are common in most warehouses which ensure the rights of the workers are taken care of. They push for benefits like fair pay, flexible working hours, health insurance, and fair treatment. 

Besides this, most warehouses have fantastic work cultures, anyway, and you can expect a pleasant and healthy working environment.

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About The Author

Nathan Brunner
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Nathan Brunner is a labor market expert. He is a mathematician who graduated from EPFL.

He is the owner of Salarship, a job board where less-skilled candidates can find accessible employment opportunities.