How To Survive The Daunting Night Shift

You have been scheduled to the night shift! The anticipation of working in the evening gives you constant anxiety. Why so? For starters, the night shift usually begins from 10 or 11 pm and ends by 6 or 7 am. Positions that experience this varying work hours include customer service officers, traders, and nurses.

The duties and responsibilities may be no different from the person who works in the daytime, but the night shift poses unique challenges. The workplace atmosphere and its uncommon nature requires the employee to make significant adjustments in his or her professional and personal life.

A friend of mine is a nurse who is currently shifting from morning and night shift. With the majority of his patients asleep, he must find ways to manage his workload in between the continuous monitoring of the patients and their documentations. The sudden changes in his sleeping and eating patterns were initially tough. However, he was able to adjust in time.

Before Your Shift

Adjusting to the sleeping patterns is a primary concern when faced with the evening post. It is understandably challenging to fall asleep during the day, especially when you are stimulated by external cues (e.g., beaming sunlight and city noises). You must create a comfortable sleeping environment to help you doze off. Somewhere relatively dark, quiet, and cool.

The next step is to assign a sleeping schedule and stick to it. Reset your body clock by waking up and going to bed at the same time each day. Developing a healthy routine will help you adjust at a quicker pace. Alternatively, you may take a power nap before your shift begins. A power nap lasts between 10-30 minutes. Going beyond 30 minutes will put you at risk of feeling groggy or weak. It takes a considerable amount of time to conquer this unpleasant feeling. It is best to stay disciplined.

During Your Shift

Another concern that you must address is the way you eat. It is better to munch on small portions throughout your shift than having a massive meal before it starts. You see, the change in your physiological patterns can make your digestive system more sensitive. A heavy meal becomes difficult to digest than lighter ones. Healthy snacks such as apples and nuts can boost your energy levels while you work.

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Let us move to your caffeine intake. You may think that coffee will help you stay alert throughout your exhausting shift, but that is just counterproductive! Consuming coffee or other caffeinated drinks during your shift makes affects your sleeping routine. You may not be able to fall asleep immediately when you get home. So, stay awake by engaging in an interesting conversation with your co-workers or clients. Actively absorb the conversation. Who knows? Your co-worker may share some tips to cope with the shift transitions.

After Your Shift

Working the night shift can have adverse effects to your physical and mental health. You are more likely at risk of experiencing insomnia, high blood pressure, menstrual irregularities, and weight gain compared to “day shift employees”. Experts stressed the importance of effectively monitoring one’s health. Taking care of your health refers to knowing when to stop. It is as simple as taking a cab home rather than driving by yourself.

On the other hand, taking care of your emotional well-being entails strengthening of your relationships outside work. The night shift isolates you from your friends and family members who work or study in the morning. You can no longer be a part of spontaneous hangouts, nor join for family dinners. It takes conscious effort to make appointments with the people whom you love. Make time for your friends, partner, or family members by meeting on the weekends or by requesting a leave.

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Do not let your important relationships fade away!

Sources: 1, 2, & 3


Are Sick Leaves Rewardable Or Punishable?

More often than not, Singaporean companies offer a sick leave policy. The sick leave policy is crafted to provide salary and position continuation in the event of illness, injury, or hospitalization. Some of its forms translate to paid hospitalization leave and medical reimbursement. The necessary absence must be backed by a company doctor, company-approved doctor, or government doctor.

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This policy has a myriad of benefits. For starters, employees do not have to worry about losing money when the inevitable happens. Its mere existence can boost employee satisfaction. Moreover, it isolates the contamination of the illness. Sick employees will not have a chance to infect more people in the office.

Due to the buzz-worthy complaints by some Singapore Airlines cabin crew, issues surrounding this policy was in the limelight in the recent days. A Straits Times report showed that said crew members allegedly lost incentive points when they submit medical certificates (MC) for common ailments like colds or cough.

Is this a flaw in the company’s current sick leave system?

Well, the Director of Talent Acquisition at Quantum Leap Career Consultancy had his own take. Mr. Alvin Ang said: “I don’t think this is the right thing to do. You are using something which instills fear.”

One thing is for sure, this system is rare! Fear may be triggered due to the tangible sense of lower incentives. Employees must work towards a goal of minimizing their MC. It sends an intriguing message that we can control when we get ill. Since we do not have supernatural powers, some persistent employees turn up to work despite their alarming conditions.

Let us get down to business!

From the entrepreneurial standpoint, the primary problem that companies face is the loss of production. Loss of production happens when the employee was not able to accomplish his or her output for the day. Part-timers and interns may step up, but this will lead to reductions in their valued time. The added hassle leads to the loss of money.

In addition, co-workers who constantly have to cover for the sickly employee can develop personal resentment over the situation. Take note of this! This moral flaw in the work culture may hurt the company in the long run.

The final boiling problem rises from the employees who are less than honest about their health condition and personal lives. Say company Alpha has no robust sick leave policy in place. The company has an employee who submits MC twice a week. The employer cannot simply deduct the day from the employee’s salary due to the nature of the contract.

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Fortunately for you, there are many ways to fight against the employees who are abusing their allotted sick leaves. A sensible step to take is to examine the existing policy. Determine if you need to tweak some words, which encourage unscheduled absenteeism. Policies requiring the employee to file a report why they missed work may be helpful.

You may also confront the employee before things get out of hand. Privately discuss the reasons why he or she missed so much days. Support your claims by keeping a record of everyone’s attendance. Interview his or her peers if necessary.

Lastly, you must contemplate on the possibility of impaired mental health. Is your employee suffering from Psychological issues such as alcoholism or substance abuse? Consider providing counselling in your medical benefits.


Practical Ways To Stand Out As An Exceptional Employee

There is more to an exceptional employee than mere attention to detail and laser focus!


You are happily employed at a small-scale advertising firm along with 8 employees. Your boss decided to gather all of you to discuss about the reinvention of your website. He asked your opinions about the potential problems that can occur with this shift. You raised a couple of issues including the lack of stock images. You immediately suggested to organize a cost-efficient photoshoot. Your boss was impressed!

As you can see, there is a fine line between highlighting and complaining about an issue. Pointing out the issue helps to get the attention of the people involved. However, it must not end there. You have to come up with realistic solutions to conquer the problems.


In my experience, there is always that one employee who exudes a pessimistic mindset in the workplace. It can lead to lack of motivation and poor work etiquette. Negative thinking may also start to rub off on other employees and reduce the overall productivity. It is important to find ways to handle the pessimistic employees.

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It is impossible to live in a world where conflicts do not exist. Stressful days are bound to occur as you need to meet the deadlines and work on a strict budget. Despite the emergence of these days, it helps to remain positive. A resilient employee is able to stay optimistic about the future and encourage others to share the same mindset even during the most difficult circumstance.


On a different scenario, imagine that you are a contributing writer for a large-scale lifestyle website. The boss assigns your daily topics but, you are free to come up with your own ideas. Your interaction with the team made you realize that your boss is passionate about Golf. You decided to do your research about the distinct sport. You wrote an article about it and handed it to your boss on the next day. Furthermore, you included 3 more topics that focused on the current trends in Singapore. Your boss was shocked – in a good way!

Outstanding employees do not wait for the tasks to be assigned. If there is an urgent need, they act upon it appropriately. They are proactive in other areas including communication. Instead of responding to a selected few about a project, they keep the whole team in the loop.


I witnessed a petty office brawl between two supervisors before. They came from divergent departments and each of them had a point. However, the other one was fueled with aggression and took things personally. A mediator had to break the tension between them. Obviously, you must deal with the same situation in a mature manner.

Exceptional employees are able to tolerate conflicts and take constructive criticisms. Instead of displacing the blame to other people, accept the idea that you need to make some changes.

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Committing a mistake is not a mark of a poor employee – failing to adapt is.

Sources: 1, 2, & 3


7 Surefire Signs That Your Boss Is Horrible

Research showed that your horrible boss does not only impact your work but also other your life. Avoid this harmful “spillover effect” by knowing the 7 Surefire Signs That Your Boss Is Horrible…


Surely, you have encountered a person who thinks that he or she is never wrong! But what if that person is your boss? It affects everything – including employee job satisfaction.

If your boss does not admit that he or she is wrong then it means that pride outweighs all. Furthermore, it means that your boss is not willing to go out of the “comfort zone” for you.


When your boss likes to decide in the moment with no clear long-term plans, you work in a very dynamic industry that is bound to have its flaws. With little to no goals to accomplish as a group and as an employee, your company will have no distinct direction.


Great bosses make decisions in the most quick and accurate way because they know that time is money. In contrast, horrible bosses make tentative decisions which they frequently re-analyze. This failure to decide may cost you and the company itself.


Since the schedule was given to you beforehand, you made your plans for the day. Or so you thought! You see, your boss decides to change the schedule on the day itself and extend for a few more hours. It has happened to me before and I was not happy about it.

To avoid this, ask your boss to explain and justify why there is a need to change the schedule. If your contract entails rotations in your schedule then, you are good. But it is a different story if your schedule is supposed to be fixed.


As we live in one of the most expensive cities in the world, it is important to get your wages on time. If your boss pays your salary late for the first time or due to valid reasons then it is acceptable. However, if he or she does this on a regular basis, you must contact your superiors to address the problem right away.


Horrible bosses give amazing perks, consistent raises, and special assignments to the employees whom they like the most. In contrast, great bosses encourage their employees to excel in their own way.


After staying for a year in the company and your boss does not grant your vacation then, it becomes a legal issue.

Once you are covered by the Employment Act and have worked for at least 3 months, you are entitled to annual leave of at about 7 days (for your first year). You will be entitled 14 days annual leave on your 8th year (of service in the company) and thereafter.

Image Credits: (CC0 Public Domain)

Image Credits: (CC0 Public Domain)

It is important to know your rights before entering the workforce.

Sources: 1, 2,  3, & 4


4 Skills That Increase Your Employability And Edge From The Rest

Upon entering the room, every employer is on the lookout for a specific set of skills that is necessary for the vacant position.

You must be aware of these “job-specific” skills as well as the ones that are generally sought after by employers all over the world. Fortunately, most people have these skills to some extent while others can improve these skills through mentorship, training, and professional development.

What skills do you really need in order to get ahead from the rest?


It is no secret that developing good relationships and successfully delivering your ideas is critical in business. Whether you are looking for a job or wanting to get a promotion, communication skills is an asset that will get you to where you want to go.

Communication skills encompasses your ability to fluently converse through written and oral forms. It builds genuine relationships where you can count on others for information and help. Also, it serves as a tool to convey your thoughts on how to improve the organization. Now, that is a sure-fire way to get noticed!


One of the most important commodities on Earth is time. Once it is gone, you cannot take it back nor can you buy it in bulk. Time is very precious and wasting it can result to loss of profits. This is why employers value job hunters that are able to efficiently divide their time to meet the urgent tasks and deadlines.

Great time management skills produce many benefits such as higher productivity, reduced stress levels, and better quality of work.

Always remember that it is healthy to spare some time for yourself and your family too!


Henry Kaiser once said: “Trouble is only an opportunity in work clothes.”

Troubles or problems in the workplace are inevitable. And, having strong problem solving skills can help you manage these daily hurdles. Start by defining the situation and the problem at hand. Then think of the available options, resources, and alternatives. After which, you must analyze and select the best solution.

Showcase your creativity and reasoning abilities by approaching the problems from different angles!


Your ability to continuously learn is possibly the most important skill you need to cultivate your edge from the rest. Formal education and its resulting qualifications are viable. However, lifelong education maximizes your potential to get better jobs and to earn more.

Lifelong learning involves your motivation to deliberately develop throughout the course of your life. As of now, jobs require you to have the basic understanding of computer softwares and applications such as word processing, spreadsheets, and emails.

Image Credits: (License: CC0 Public Domain)

Image Credits: (License: CC0 Public Domain)

So whether it is learning a new technological device, a new skill, or a new attitude…there are untapped worlds to discover and many of which can open remarkable opportunities for you! 🙂

Sources: 1 , 2 ,  3 , & 4