Friday, 15 May 2015

Commuting

Something which is rarely thought about is commuting and shift work.
One of the main advantages to shift work is that you rarely have to commute at the same times as office workers. However that can cause a lot of problems. The public transport network is set up for office hours workers and people who don't work. It was not designed for shift workers so how do you get into work for six in the morning if the buses and trains are not running and you don't have a car?
Most shift workers have to drive for this reason, so shifts have to be scheduled around the bus and train network. This means that some shifts have to be longer or shorter to accommodate timetables and they have to be reviewed every six months because the timetables will change. If your shift pattern operates with some odd start and finish time, you may find that the buses were the reason as opposed to any workload requirement.
However driving has problems too. Staying out of the rush hour will always help with commutes, but driving in any condition is always stressful and tiring. This is especially true after a long shift. People who commute for more than one hour have been found to have increased levels of tiredness during a shift.
If you do have a long commute then the best thing to do is arrive at work early and have a five to fifteen minute break. Read a book, listen to music, or just have a cuppa. Then at the end of your shift have another break. Just a few minutes will allow you to rest and recover for the long drive ahead. Then when you do get home you will feel less stressed and more relaxed.

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