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1st Shift Hours: Pros and Cons of the Day Shift

1st Shift Hours1st Shift Hours
min read
September 21, 2023

When you start hiring employees for your small business, you have to figure out what types of shifts you need to fill. For some of you that are only open during regular business hours (i.e., 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.), it’s a pretty easy answer. 

But if you own a business that requires round-the-clock service, you might consider a rotating schedule so you have someone available at all times. 

You can break up your team’s work schedules into three 8-hour periods: 1st shift, 2nd shift, and 3rd shift. Here’s a quick look at how the shifts break down.

Three Most Common Work Shifts
Shift Also known as Runs from
1st shift Morning or day shift 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
2nd shift Afternoon shift 3 p.m. to 11 p.m.
3rd shift Night or graveyard shift 11 p.m. to 7 a.m.

Let’s get started by taking a closer look at 1st shift hours.

1st Shift Hours

As the name implies, 1st shift hours refer to the first shift of the day where an employee comes to work in the morning and leaves in the afternoon. The first shift often starts between 8 and 9 a.m. and ends between 5 and 6 p.m. It’s sometimes called the day, morning, or early shift.

The first shift is often used for full-time workers, especially those in office jobs.

Examples of First Shift Jobs

While most first shift hours start around 8 or 9 in the morning, some businesses need employees to come to work earlier. For instance, coffee shops often have staff come in early, so they’re ready to serve customers who are on their way to work.

Here are different types of jobs that use the first shift schedule.

Early start time: 5 to 7 a.m.

Traditional start time: 8 to 9 a.m.

Advantages of First Shift

As an employer, you’ll find it easier to get job applicants for a position with first shift hours than with second or third shifts. That’s because the first shift is the most typical work schedule, which has several benefits for employees

Here’s why your employees, or potential job candidates, may prefer working first shift hours:

Disadvantages of First Shift

Of course, there are disadvantages to everything too, and the same applies to working regular work hours.

Here are a few downsides to working the first shift from an employee’s perspective:

Comparing 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Shift Hours

Shift work is typically divided into three sections. We’ve already covered the first shift hours, so here’s a closer look at the other two. 

Second Shift

The second shift goes from the afternoon till nighttime and typically ranges from around 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. It’s also referred to as the afternoon, evening, or swing shift

Jobs that require people to work an afternoon shift include retail, restaurant, personal trainers, salon workers, and broadcasters. 

For people that don’t like getting up early, opting for second shift hours is a nice alternative to the 9 to 5. It helps employees avoid rush hour and doesn’t require staying up all night. Not to mention, the second shift is ideal for people that have other obligations such as school or another job.

And if you’re worried about tracking different types of schedules at your business, check out Hourly. The app allows your employees to clock in and out from their phones, and lets you see hours and labor costs in real-time.

Third Shift

The third shift starts at night and typically runs till the earning morning hours or the beginning of the first shift. A typical example of a third shift schedule would be starting work at 11 p.m. and clocking out at 7 a.m. You may also hear this shift referred to as the night or graveyard shift. 

The third shift is a common option for jobs such as nurses, emergency room doctors, air traffic controllers, security staff, firefighters, and police officers. 

Since the night shift requires most people to work against their natural sleep schedule, employers often incentivize third shift work by offering a higher pay rate, known as a shift differential. So, it might be a good opportunity for a night owl who wants to earn more money.

Ultimately, different shifts come with their own set of pros and cons. The best shift for an employee depends on factors like their sleep schedule, other life obligations, and financial needs.

First Shift is the Easiest to Fill

As a business owner, you need to be available when your customers need you. For many companies, regular business hours will suffice. But you may decide to stay open late to capture extra business or keep customer service running overnight to address any issues that pop up. 

Whichever schedule works for you, one thing is for sure: You probably need people working first shift hours. The good news is that the first shift is the most common schedule, and you shouldn’t have trouble finding people willing to work during the day. Now all that’s left to do is take a look at your business and find the schedule that works best for you!

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