Important Shift Work Statistics and Trends for 2021

by Rob Press, 4 minutes read
HOME blog important shift work statistics and trends for 2021

Behind many successful businesses, there are shift workers who keep the business running.

That’s why a survey of more than 1,400 shift workers across 20 countries and all industries aimed to learn more about what matters to them — and their managers. With 90% of shift workers feeling they contribute to their organization's success, you can either capitalize on that energy. Or ignore it at a cost.

Keep reading for more important shift work statistics and trends that you need to know in 2021.

The real deal: How shift workers feel about their job

As a manager and business owner, you want the best for your employees and your company. Understanding what shift workers need and expect can help boost their job satisfaction and retention.

Not sure what the general consensus is? Read on to see what these survey respondents said about their job, and see how your team stacks up.

  • Compared to 63% of retail workers and 61% of hospitality workers, 78% of health care respondents agree that their career is important.

  • Only 37% of shift workers feel that there are few opportunities to move forward within their company. The majority believe they can progress in their job, which is an additional motivator.

  • 96% of shift workers like specific components of their job.

  • Flexibility is the number one benefit for 66% of shift workers.

  • Advanced notice of working schedules is a top priority for 65% of respondents. Work-life balance is very important and flexible schedules with advanced notices help the workers plan their lives better.

Status quo: The current shift working landscape

Prioritizing safety and enhancing staff communication are required for a streamlined working landscape. The current shift working conditions are changing both the way that businesses are run and how work schedules are made.

Owners have to ensure that there’s a safe distance between workers and customers and that spaces are regularly cleaned and disinfected. With that and all other necessary protective measures, 87% of businesses have changed the way they write schedules.

Ensuring staff and customer safety is the utmost priority in every industry. However, increased safety measures result in decreased opportunities in some industries. For example, 58% of hospitality workers have seen a substantial decrease in opportunities in their workplace because of COVID-19.

COVID-19 has both decreased opportunities and increased uncertainty. As any business owner or manager knows, job security can’t always be guaranteed. Many businesses had to close — either temporarily or permanently — without knowing they’ll ever get back to the “old normal.”

Here are some shift work statistics and facts that provide insight into how COVID-19 has impacted shift work around the world in 2020.

  • 69% of shift workers are concerned about job security, healthcare workers being among the less concerned ones.

  • The top safety protocol used by shift workers, due to COVID-19, was mandated sanitation.

  • Compared to 58% of the hospitality industry, only 38% of retail workers and 36% of healthcare workers have seen a decrease in opportunities due to COVID-19.

Business owners can help calm the nerves by providing flexible schedules and a fulfilling work environment. A simple way to help your staff is by using automated tools and streamlined systems for efficient scheduling.

People first: What shift workers need

Around 50% of all shift workers consider themselves to be essential workers. And while they feel their work is important, there’s more that managers can do to help staff feel supported.

According to the survey, there are four top benefits shift workers want most.

Communication is the key for keeping a transparent and organized workplace. To keep shift workers productive and happy, you need to have a people-first mindset. And that begins by understanding your team, their needs, and what drives them to be better at their job.

From the top: Shift work statistics and tips for managers

Change and adaptation are in the nature of every business. Wise managers will foresee shifting landscapes and move proactively to keep employees satisfied.

Here are some ways managers can respond to employee feedback, streamlining operations in favor of shift workers’ confidence and productivity.

  • Build a schedule that your employees will love (hint: it’s flexible and adaptable)

  • Allow employees to swap shifts. This will empower the team to work together and foster a culture of goodwill.

  • A visible record of hours worked will make it easier to reduce labor costs.

  • Ensure fair wages, knowing that money is a retention factor. Automating payroll can alleviate the stress of guaranteeing fair wages. Look for an automated payroll system that will do the hard work for you.

Happy staff: How to create a fulfilling work environment

A work environment that’s fair and fulfilling can dramatically increase employee productivity.

So if you want to create a workplace that your staff love, here are some tips to get started.

  • Simplify scheduling. A hassle-free schedule that is published weeks in advance will make life easier for everyone.

  • Make respect part of the culture. According to the survey, 96% of shift workers want more respect in their workplace. So make it a priority to build that into your culture.

  • Give your team the rest they need. Allow adequate rest periods for shift workers who open and close. Avoid having an employee close and open in a short time period.

The future for shift workers

The future success of shift workers is in the hands of their supervisors and managers. Leaders who want to implement change that lasts will take advantage of external resources and experts.

It’s up to you to create a healthier workplace, manage operations, and promote satisfaction among employees.

Looking for more information and tips? Download the State of Shift Work Report for additional data and insights.

Related Articles

shift workers communicating