Why Your Morning and Evening Shift Employees Aren’t Getting Along

Ah, the work place – a place for making money and making strides. But it’s also a place for making enemies. Yep, there’s no way around it: sometimes your employees just won’t like each other.

There are many reasons for this – people don’t always get along outside the office, so why would inside the office by any different? However, when it comes to shiftwork, there can be specific circumstances that add to the tension. Some of these include:


One of the common reasons shift workers don’t get along has to do with jealousy: those on the nightshift may be envious of those who work during the days (or vice versa). If Carl misses all of his son’s basketball games because of his schedule, he might dislike Alex, who gets to coach his child’s team.

A perception of unfairness

While shift-envy can certainly influence a relationship, underlying assumptions can damage one, as well. These assumptions involve perceptions of unfairness. If one employee always gets stuck on the less than ideal shift, he may perceive favoritism. And then he’ll direct his anger toward the favored party.

Lack of communication

Of course, communication (or lack thereof) is a major reason for disagreements. In shiftwork, any incongruence involving work duties can lead to tension. A nightshift worker who is under the impression that it’s the dayshift that’s responsible for doing the dinner dishes may believe they’re unfairly stuck with someone else’s workload. And it’s hard to get along after that.

Not knowing each other

But, sometimes, the reasons people dislike each other is simpler than the aforementioned. They don’t like each other because they don’t know each other. Shift workers often move like ships in the night, with the interaction of coworkers limited to crossing paths in the breakroom. Without discovering commonalities and personalities, it’s easy for ill will to fester.

There’s no magic formula that makes people like each other, but knowing why contention exists is often half the battle. Once you know what’s wrong, you can work to fix it.

Help your employees get along with a take my shift attendance policy. And don’t forget to sign up for our mailing list. We’ll provide ideas on communication, team building, and keeping your staff satisfied.