Job Tips, Jobs

8-Hour vs. 12-Hour Shifts: The Great Debate

November 27, 2019

It’s the great debate for employers and employees…


…is it better to have an 8-hour work shift or a 12-hour work shift?


While employers choose the length of shift that is the best fit for their organization, it can also be helpful for employees and job seekers to understand the pros and cons of 8-hour and 12-hour shifts.


As an employee or job seeker pursuing a new career, which type of shift should you look for?


In this article, we will compare the benefits and drawbacks of an 8-hour shift and a 12-hour shift to help you determine which may be best for you.


12-Hour Shifts


  • Work/Life Balance


Balancing your work life and personal life is extremely important for mental health and happiness.


If you work 12-hour shifts, you have the advantage of enjoying twice as many days off each year compared to those who have 8-hour shifts. This allows for more free time to enjoy your hobbies, spend time with family, and take vacations more frequently.


If you are someone who enjoys having more time to spend with family or pursuing your hobbies like hunting, fishing, or riding ATV, the 12-hour work shift can be a great fit.


  • Less Commuting & Work Expenses


Another benefit of 12-hour shifts is a reduction in work-related expenses and commuting time.


Living far away from your workplace increases gas expenses and automobile repairs, especially if you drive to work five days a week. With a 12-hour shift, you not only save on gas money and wear and tear on your car, but you also have a bit more free time that would have otherwise been used for driving to and from work.


Other work-related expenses like daycare, babysitters, and work lunches may also cost less since you are not going to work as frequently.


  • Increased Morale & Productivity


Because you have more days off, morale and productivity tend to increase with the 12-hour workday.


According to, extra rest and recovery time allows you to return to work refreshed and be more productive.


In addition, 12-hour shifts allow more time to complete lengthy tasks, which can help you feel satisfied with the amount of work you accomplish at the end of the workday.


  • Longer Work Days


12-hour shifts that involve more physical activity may be challenging for some workers.


There can potentially be safety concerns if a worker is overly tired and working a long shift.  The end of a 12-hour shift is the time when workers are most likely to make a mistake.


In addition, those with 12-hour rotating shifts may experience more difficulty with sleep compared to the 8-hour rotating shift.


8-Hour Shifts


  • More Consistency


With an 8-hour shift, work schedules tend to be more consistent, and each workday ends earlier. This helps create a work routine that is more regular and stable.


The main drawback of an 8-hour shift is that you get fewer days off and have to come into work more often.


If you are someone that likes routine and you don’t mind going into work more often, the 8-hour shift may be a good fit.


  • Shorter Work Days


This may sound obvious, but an 8-hour shift means shorter workdays. You come into work more often, typically five days a week instead of four days. You get to enjoy more free time before and after work. This can especially be a benefit for jobs that are physically demanding or require a lot of lifting or standing.


The 8-hour shift allows more time for rest and recuperation each day and helps you avoid too many hours on your feet.


  • Work-Life Balance


Some workers feel that an 8-hour shift allows them more time for weekday activities outside of work including caring for small children, spending time with family, housework, working out, or participating in classes.


Which is Best: 12-Hour Shift vs. 8-Hour Shift


The best work shift is based on personal preferences. Both 8-hour and 12-hour work shifts have their own advantages, so it’s important to evaluate yourself to discover what you would enjoy most.


If you prefer having more days off each year to pursue your hobbies and spend more time with family and friends, a 12-hour work shift can be a great fit.


If routine and consistency are more important and you don’t mind coming into work more often, an 8-hour shift may be more your speed.


Here at Drylock Technologies, we are always looking for good people to add to our team. If you are interested in having more free time to pursue your hobbies and have more work/life balance, contact us. We offer competitive starting wages, great benefits, and great employee growth potential.