Early mornings can be a painful experience for many of us, especially for those who would rather be staying up late with the stars than rising and shining with the early birds. According to The Independent, a third of all Brits are self-confessed night owls. So, what do you do if you want to work evenings or nights but just aren’t sure what jobs are available? Well, especially now with the introduction of modern technology, there is a huge range of night shift roles available in a variety of areas.
From hospitality to healthcare, customer service to content writing, you can use your skills during the time of day when you are most productive. As well as evening and night-time work allowing night owls to take advantage of their most productive times of the day, it also often means that you have more independence whilst at work, you can manage your own time and often work in the way which suits you best.
1. Freelance Writer
One of the great advantages to being a freelancer is that you often get to choose when you do your work. As a freelance writer, you can start work in the evening and finish in the wee hours of the morning or do a bit of work in the morning and the rest in the evening. With freelance work, you also get the opportunity to take on more or less work depending on your availability and financial needs, allowing you time to work around your current schedule. Many freelance opportunities are also available from around the world, so there is plenty of work available. One other issue which faces the night owls who don’t drive, is the lack of public transport at night. However, when working from home you never have to worry about catching the last bus back.
2. Night Shift Worker
If you are someone who enjoys the peace and quiet of the night shift, then there are many opportunities in everyday roles which also require night work. For example:
Security guards are always needed, whether it’s at a nightclub or in a museum. Depending on whether you want a quiet night caring for some historical exhibits or a lively evening making sure people have a great night out; there is plenty of work all over the UK.
If you are a keen chef or a cooking enthusiast looking to put your skills to work then don’t worry; there are plenty of opportunities for you to do night work, too. Bakeries often require night staff to work from the late evening to early morning to prepare their fresh breads and pastries for the next morning.
Night shift workers are always in demand in the hotel industry. Greet guests, help with queries about rooms and serve at the bar during the night, and not only will you likely have a more varied working pattern (with rowdy hen do nights and peaceful Sunday night shifts) but you also often get higher pay for working the graveyard shift!
Emergency services, hospitals, veterinary practice and care homes always need staff for the overnight shift to help care for patients and deal with urgent situations. For some roles, you can be an on-call night worker, which means you only have to be working if an emergency/urgent situation happens and you are needed. Most companies offer great rates of pay and there are plenty of night-work opportunities throughout the animal and human healthcare sector.
3. Customer Service
If you have experience in customer service or retail and aren’t sure how it can be transferred to a night-time role, don’t worry. With the evolution of online shopping, many businesses now employ customer service advisors round the clock to help customers with technical issues or product information. Again, many places often offer this as a remote position meaning you can help customers worldwide from the comfort of your own home!
If you are looking for an evening position rather than an overnight one, then a babysitting or childminding role could be for you. For those who love working with kids or might want to go into a childcare career, babysitting is a great way to gain experience. Babysitting jobs are available worldwide, with a range of positions at all different times of the day so you can find the time that suits you!
5. Supermarket Stocker
Restocking large supermarkets after a busy day and gathering online shopping orders takes a lot of work, and therefore most large supermarkets employ stockers for the overnight shift. Again, this role is likely to be more peaceful and quiet than a security role or a healthcare position, and depends on efficient night-shift workers to prepare the supermarkets for the next day. Enjoy a calm work environment, increased pay and rewarding work with supermarket and warehouse stocker jobs.
Key Things to Remember When Working Nights
Get Enough Sleep
Working evenings or night shifts means that your sleep-wake cycle is different to most people’s. This can be particularly tricky to adjust to if you are used to a usual sleeping pattern and can lead to you being unable to sleep during the day and getting over-tired at night (a condition called “shift work sleep disorder”). Ensure you have a clear sleep and wake time, avoid caffeine during the later part of your shift and make sure you have enough time for yourself to enjoy the daylight hours.
When you have a different working pattern than most of your friends or family, there can be a temptation to not go to social events and end up being isolated. Ensure you socialise in your free time and enjoy regular breaks.
Take a Week Off
Many night shift workers alternate between working one or two weeks on nights and one or two weeks off. This helps both with your sleep-wake cycle (circadian rhythm) which is naturally accustomed to the usual day/night routine, as well as giving you the chance to enjoy social events.
Eat & Stay Hydrated
It’s not just social events that you can miss out on during the night shift, but also regular mealtimes. Ensure that you stay hydrated and eat regularly so you stay alert and healthy during your shifts.
Make Sure You Have Enough Light Exposure
Many studies have found that night shift workers suffer from a lack of light exposure which can lead to mental and physical health issues. Ensure you get enough light by going out during the day (as much as possible), having bright lights on during work and even getting a SAD lamp to ensure you get enough serotonin, so your mood isn’t negatively affected.