What are swing shift hours & How Swing Shifts Work?

If you apply for a position with swing shift hours, you will be required to work outside of standard business hours. In contrast to the traditional business hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., swing shift hours may range from 4 p.m. to midnight.

Companies may provide a variety of shift options, but the degree of freedom you have in selecting your shift is at the discretion of your employer. This page discusses swing shift hours, industries with swing shift hours, average compensation, and how to succeed with a swing shift schedule.

What are swing shift hours?

In facilities that operate 24 hours a day and require several shifts of personnel to cover all hours, the swing shift is a shift that begins in the afternoon and ends in the evening. Depending on when it happens and regional preferences, it may be called the second shift or the evening shift.

Working the swing shift may be difficult, particularly for parents, because it necessitates an irregular sleep pattern.Traditionally, the swing shift runs from 4:00 p.m. till midnight. The hours may vary from 2:00 PM to 10:00 PM, 6:00 PM to 2:00 AM, etc.

Swing shift employees frequently arrive as the second shift of the day, replacing those who began work in the morning. They are then replaced by a third shift that covers the late night and early morning hours. This shift is known as the graveyard shift or night shift.

What are swing shift hours?

People who work the swing shift must typically sleep later than the rest of the community because their shifts conclude late at night.

They may have difficulties organizing social engagements, medical appointments, etc., because the majority of society functions on a 9-to-5 schedule, presuming that people are at work between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Childcare issues might be particularly difficult for workers on swing shifts.

Nonetheless, there are advantages to working the second shift. College students, for instance, may prefer this schedule since it enables them to attend classes in the morning and early afternoon and work in the evenings.

Others feel more awake and energetic in the late afternoon, preferring to work during these hours since they are more productive.

Shift employment can be utilized to maintain a factory’s 24-hour output, which is often more efficient, and to provide 24-hour customer service. Customers may want support or services at any hour of the day or night, making it essential for multinational businesses to have employees answering the phone at all times.

There are several versions of the swing shift, with varied shift patterns for workers at different firms. In general, the more senior a worker is, the greater control he or she will have on the parameters of a work schedule, whereas less senior people are typically assigned graveyard and swing shifts, rather than the coveted first shift.

Who Uses Swing Shifts?

Not all businesses require swing shift employees. The majority of office-related businesses run on a standard schedule and do not require someone to be present in the evening. Some of the later enterprises may require a small number of employees to remain after closing.

What are swing shift hours?

A printing firm, for instance, requires members of the production team to work during the night shift due to the numerous time-sensitive contracts with clients around the globe. Other sectors use swing shifts to sustain and simplify operations on a consistent basis. Here are the most prominent sectors using swing shift labor.

15 percent of full-time and paid employees work a swing shift schedule, according to statistics. Only 1.3% of 27 million people in management or professional positions work night hours. 6 percent of 11 million service employees work the night shift. 7.4% of the 14 million operators and workers work the night shift.
15% of full-time and salaried workers operate on a swing shift schedule.Only 1.3% of 27 million people in management or professional positions work night hours.

6 percent of 11 million service employees work the night shift.

7.4% of the 14 million operators and workers work the night shift.

How Swing Shifts Work

Companies in the United States optimize workforce scheduling in a variety of ways. Full-time employees may perform eight-hour shifts in the early morning, during the middle of the day, or overnight. Organizations are solely concerned with the availability of staff to cover all business hours.

At times, businesses may book more teams than at others. Typically, there are fewer night shift personnel and more day shift employees. If the business operates worldwide, more team members may be assigned to evening hours. Here are some of the most common schedules for swing shifts:

Employees perform a scheduled eight-hour shift in the morning, early afternoon, or evening.

The team members perform four consecutive ten-hour shifts, followed by three days off.

The employees perform twelve-hour shifts with a couple days off between shifts.

Software for online staff scheduling that makes shift planning simple. Free for fourteen days.

Types of Swing Shifts

Additional forms of swing shifts include –

Afternoon Shift – Shift employees begin work after 3 p.m. and work until midnight.

First Shift – Similar to normal business operations. Beginning about 8 a.m. and ending between 4 and 5 p.m.

Similar in nature to the afternoon shift. Typically begins between 3 and 4 p.m.

The third shift begins after the second shift concludes. Times will differ

Fixed Shift – Employees perform the same morning shift, afternoon shift, or night shift every day for a certain amount of time.
A team member works two shifts in a single day, but is given a break between shifts. Depending on company requirements, the break is normally three hours long.

How Do Swing Shifts Work?

We frequently examine swing shifts from the employee’s perspective – what is it like to work swing shifts, etc. However, swing shifts also have ramifications for managers, and the manner in which managers overcome these obstacles will determine the effectiveness of swing shift patterns.

Good scheduling is essential for swing shifts.

Not everyone arrives at 9 a.m. and departs at 5 p.m. every day. Instead, each day is like a puzzle in which you must ensure that the correct pieces are in the correct location at the correct time.

Businesses must ensure that the correct people are working together at the right moment while successfully communicating with workers.

When properly implemented, swing shifts may be an advantageous choice for workers. The hours provide greater freedom than a 9-to-5 employment, but employees can only take advantage of these perks if scheduling runs well.

Coordinating a large workforce (or even a small one) to ensure that you always have the necessary abilities is not always simple. However, you must be able to structure your human capital in the most effective manner. However, your staff must be able to schedule their lives around their shifts.

Industries with swing shift hours

Employers in numerous businesses mandate shift work for their employees. Here is a list of industries where swing shift hours are permitted:


Employees in the healthcare profession must work swing shifts to provide prompt medical attention to patients. Depending on the amount of practitioners hired by a medical facility, they may work at night or early in the morning. To check-in patients, administrative workers may be required to work a swing shift at the hospital. During these hours, cleaning workers may work to ensure a hygienic atmosphere for doctors.

Public health and safety

In order to safeguard and care for residents, public safety personnel perform alternating shifts. A police officer, paramedic, or fireman may be required to aid persons in danger during an emergency.

Typically, these individuals dwell in their local areas and may be familiar with the most effective strategies to negotiate certain circumstances. In prisons, correctional officials maintain the safety of the community by assuring the convicts’ safety.


To keep up with the demand of online-only rivals, a retail environment demands employees to perform swing shifts. Swing shift employees are hired by a big box or supermarket shop to load shelves with merchandise that consumers may purchase the following day. During the shop’s busiest season, cashiers and store managers may be required to work certain hours in order to maintain operations.


As the hospitality business serves clients throughout the day and into the evening, staff are hired to perform swing shifts. Hotels, casinos, and restaurants require personnel to execute transactions, maintain the property, serve and clean dishes and cutlery, and maintain the property. If you give excellent customer service, you can receive tips as recompense.

Customer service

Calls from consumers requiring more assistance with a product or service are taken by customer care agents. A representative of an apartment complex’s contact center, for instance, can fill out the specifics of a maintenance service request.

In this situation, you will need to listen to the client to determine what needs to be fixed and when the maintenance staff can come. A social media manager may be present on the company’s social media channels to respond to direct messages from consumers.

What are swing shift hours?

Swing shift pay

The compensation you receive for working swing shift hours varies based on your company. You may perform an eight-hour shift and get the same compensation as an employee who works during normal business hours.

You might be compensated hourly for work performed outside of your shift hours if you are on-call as a swing shift employee. An employer may request that your shift exceed eight hours. Employers must adhere to labor regulations to ensure that you work in a safe environment and are compensated fairly.

How to succeed with a swing shift schedule

1. Complete your chores during the day

A flexible schedule enables you to maintain a healthy work-life balance and be proactive with household responsibilities. Take the time to finish responsibilities before beginning your shift. Visit the gym during the day to maintain your health and fitness. If you drive your own vehicle to work, make careful to take it to a technician to confirm that it is safe to drive at night.

2. Bring less cash when you arrive at work

A flexible schedule may prompt you to purchase refreshments throughout your work. Bring less cash in order to resist the urge to purchase unhealthy food. Try to prepare food in advance and carry it with you to eat during your break. You’ll save money, keep on top of your grocery shopping, and maintain a balanced diet.

3. Maintain a close relationship with friends and family

Spend time with relatives and friends that reside in your region. You may have pals who work during standard business hours, so you may occasionally request weekend time off. Video calls are beneficial if your friend lives in a different city or state, and you may even utilize them throughout your commute. If it’s late at night and they’re still out, you may also meet up with buddies after your shift finishes.

4. Create a sleep schedule

Attempt to construct a normal sleep routine if you have an idea of the hours you will be working. Discuss with your management when they anticipate needing your services. Managers should be accommodating, but if there is a strong demand for your services at specific times, you will need to be adaptable.

Swing Shift Hours

Traditional full-time occupations demand individuals to work at least 40 hours each week. This is often accomplished by working Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. However, timetables may vary for people employed by businesses with longer operating hours.

What are swing shift hours?

For example, service centers demand their customer service staff to remain available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, whereas manufacturing facilities rely on uninterrupted workflow. This is accounted for by the scheduling of several shifts throughout the day.

The purpose of swing shifts is to sustain productivity while daytime employees leave and evening workers arrive. The duration of these employment, from 4 p.m. to 12 a.m., is commonly referred to as the second shift. It is not unusual for these hours to vary from business to business. The hours of a swing shift are determined by the company’s nature, production, and deadlines.

Swing Shift Jobs

Some businesses may not always be able to adhere to a conventional opening and closing hour. Certain sectors depend not just on the continuous production of products and services, but also on the capacity to rotate people through overlapping shifts. Some industries are more prone to use swing shift workers than others.

Examples of swing shift schedules

The following schedules are examples of swing shifts:

Each week, a fireman works four days. On the first day, he works from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., on the second day, from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m., and on the third day, from midnight to 8 a.m. The next week, he obtains three days off before repeating the same swing shift.

A nurse works three 12-hour days every week. She works from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. on her first day. The following shift is from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., and the shift after that is from 12 p.m. to 12 a.m.

Pros and Cons of Swing Shift Hours

Numerous industries require swing shift hours. They do not have the luxury of instructing everyone to arrive at 9 a.m. and depart at 5 p.m.; the situation is more complex.

Managing swing shifts might be more challenging, but it does not imply it is impossible to be effective.

Let’s examine the advantages and disadvantages of swing shifts from both the employee and management perspectives, as well as the important areas you must prioritize to make your shift patterns successful.

For Employees

Swing shifts are mostly determined by employee convenience. When executed well, they may provide individuals with a balanced schedule, but when things are left to the last minute and timetables are continually changing, they can be a major cause of irritation.

What are swing shift hours?


  • The majority of people’s lives do not fit neatly into a 9-to-5 routine.
  • Swing shifts provide for greater flexibility.
  • You have the opportunity to perform somewhat different tasks with a range of individuals
  • Can give increased compensation and further benefits


  • Less certainty
  • Schedules may be modified with little notice.
  • When everyone else is on vacation, shifts can be lengthy and exhausting.
  • It is difficult to find someone to fill your shift

For Management

Management also has a great deal of freedom with swing shifts. They enable firms to ensure that they have the proper combination of abilities working at any one moment, as opposed to having all of their staff working simultaneously.


  • Your firm can remain open for longer hours to accommodate customer demand.
  • Combine different skill sets as required


  • Influence on employee health
  • Less confidence = more uncertainty in shift timing
  • It is difficult to balance the schedules of each employee.
  • Uncomplicated shift cover request


Some individuals struggle with swing shift hours because they require a schedule. Others are more adaptive and like having schedules that deviate from the norms of society. However, you may not have the option to determine your working hours.

These routines are effective because they are predetermined and followed. Make time for the things and people you value by obtaining sufficient rest, exercising, and engaging in social activities.

The majority of employees will receive their swing shift schedules in advance so they may organize their days accordingly. Some employees work swing shift hours on a consistent schedule, while others may have varying schedules every week or month.


b) The second shift (swing shift) shall be worked between the hours of 3:30 PM and 12:30 AM. Workmen on the “Swing Shift” shall receive eight (8) hours pay at the regular hourly rate plus $1.00 per hour for seven (7) hours work.
A swing shift is when an employee works at different intervals throughout the day and night. For example, rather than working a traditional 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. workday, you may work from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. one day, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. the next day, and 8 p.m. to 4 a.m. after that.
swing-shift (n.)

1941 (typically 4 p.m. to midnight), from the notion of “facing both ways” between day and night shifts; see swing (v.) + shift (n.)

The swing shift, which is sometimes known as the afternoon or second shift, are for those who will be starting their work day by the time everyone else is leaving the workplace. Most swing shift employees will be starting their shifts as early as 3 PM, but may not get off until sometime around midnight.
Like Night and Day: Tips for Working Swing Shifts
  1. Practice staying up—and sleeping in. Leading up to your next shift, push back your normal sleep schedule a few days before that shift. …
  2. Sleep—and nap—beforehand. …
  3. Eat well and pack good food. …
  4. Keep your mind alert. …
  5. Don’t rely on caffeine. …
  6. Remember that tired is normal.
5/5 - (1 vote)
Pat Moriarty
Follow me

Leave a Comment