Is your company transitioning to a 12-hour work schedule from an
eight-hour shift? Circadian offers nine tips to help ease the change:
- Don’t rely on overtime.
Overtime can be the downfall of a successful move to 12-hour shifts. Why? Workers lose what is deemed by many as a primary benefit of 12-hour shifts for them -- added time off.
- Permit multiple short breaks.
Keep the same work-to-break ratio, both for the sake of fairness and to avoid fatigue and vigilance challenges.
Done effectively, cross-training can increase job satisfaction and make the physical and mental requirements of a 12-hour shift easier to handle
- Focus on communication.
Circadian says the potential for communication breakdowns occurs in 12-hours shifts, particularly when the shift cycle includes six- or seven-day breaks. Develop solutions, such as message boards or short debriefing processes.
- Require managers to work 12-hour shifts.
Not necessarily all the time, but managers should regularly experience a 12-hour shift, Circadian proposes. It improves communication channels and raises employee morale.
- Establish an internal review team.
A team comprised of workers can serve as a liaison to other workers, as well as share insights or concerns with senior management.
- Hold team-building social functions.
This may be easier to do with 12-hour-shift workers.
- Encourage exercise.
As long as it’s not too close to bedtime, exercise improves morale, alertness, health and sleep. Circadian says providing an opportunity to exercise at work frequently is well-received as well.
- Look for shiftwork-friendly products.
Consider incorporating products that ease worker fatigue, such as anti-fatigue mats, and providing ergonomically correct positioning. Also keep in mind that these products typically are in use 24 hours per day, so durability should be a factor when making selections.