More women are leaving their office jobs for shift work. Why?

More women are leaving their office jobs for shift work. Why?

The traditional working environment is fading away, with women leading the way.

More women are leaving their nine to five jobs and pursuing shift work because the attitudes around alternative work schedules are changing.

Here’s why picking up shifts and freelancing are rising in popularity, and how you can get started.

Physical health

Sedentary jobs aren’t the best for human health, considering office workers can be at a higher risk for several types of cancer.

Computer work can cause some people to experience headaches and dry eyes. The lack of movement at full-time desk jobs can increase the risk of conditions like heart disease, diabetes and obesity. 

Poor ergonomics can make things worse, leading to stiff joints, reduced blood circulation and inefficient digestion. Shift or freelance work gives women more control over their working environment, reducing those risks.

Mental health

Mental health is as important as physical health, but working an office job can damage it. Sitting and staring at a computer all day can lead to discomfort, which can lead to mental distress.

Many offices lack natural light and in the winter, some office workers arrive and leave in the dark, increasing their risk of seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Women are more susceptible to SAD, which can make being there for friends and family challenging.


Shift work provides needed flexibility for many workers.

The COVID-19 pandemic forced many industries to switch to remote or hybrid work conditions, which led employees to discover freelance and flexible positions. The internet lets companies hire talent worldwide, creating more job offerings catering to a flexible working schedule. Women are now the majority of freelance workers.

From writing to content creation to data entry, there are many options. Employers enjoy not having to provide the same benefits, but working women get more control over their schedules.

Flexible roles are especially great for working mothers who want to be able to care more for their children.

Skill expansion

A nine-to-five office job makes it difficult to pursue other passions.

A previous expectation for women entering the workforce was to sacrifice their various skills in exchange for stability. In today’s technological world, women can freelance in many fields, dip their toes in many tasks and never get bored.

Work-life balance

Work-life balance is an essential part of life for anyone, but women often feel forced to prove their worth more than men, making it easy to live at work. Though it can be hard to find time, self-care is an essential part of preventing burnout.

Shift or freelance work frees women from neglecting their careers or personal lives. It makes it easy to stay in the moment, making the most of all life has to offer.

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How to begin shift work

If you’re working a typical nine-to-five office schedule and want to get into shift work or freelance work, here are a few steps you can take:

1.   Find areas of interest

The first step is to consider what areas you’d like to explore. Are you more creative or analytical? Do you want to work around others or would you prefer a work-from-home position? Answering these questions can help you narrow down your search.

2.   Search job boards

There are websites dedicated to finding shift or freelance work, but you can also search for these positions on physical job boards.

When reviewing listings, see if it includes the hourly rate, and whether you’d be on-location, at home or on a hybrid schedule.

Some aspects may be negotiable or change, but it’s never good to assume. Read through the company’s preferred qualifications to see if you’re a good match and design your resume to emphasise those skills.

3.   Build a portfolio

As you take on more work, you can find areas you want to focus on, and build a portfolio of experiences and projects you complete.

Reputation is vital when finding a new position, so consider adding reviews and recommendations to it. Doing so can help you land higher-paying work in the future.

Choosing an unconventional career

You don’t have to settle for a conventional office job if you don’t want one. There are more options than ever for women to thrive in shift and freelance work!

Mia Barnes - Writer - She Defined

Mia Barnes

This article was written by Mia Barnes.

Mia is a freelance writer and researcher who specialises in women’s health and lifestyle. Mia is also the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Body+Mind Magazine.

Follow Mia and Body+Mind on Twitter.