Venture: The New Night Shift

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Traditionally, the phrase “night shift” was followed by sighs and disappointment. 24-hour diner employees, hotel/apartment concierge, 24/7 CVS, and Walgreens employees come to mind when people discuss the “night shift”. But, with the rise of ridesharing apps, food, and other delivering services, “The New Night Shift” has a connotation of freedom and spontaneity. Many workers in “The New Night Shift” describe their work as voluntary, flexible, and independent. But, will there reach a limit to having success in these areas? With the help of other industries besides the ridesharing and food delivering industry, “The New Night Shift” can, to some, be the New American Dream.

In densely populated areas in the United States like New York City or Silicon Valley, a complaint from Uber/Lyft drivers and food delivering people is that there are too many drivers and deliverers and not enough customers. Yesterday, I took an uber from Downtown Brooklyn to the Lower East Side and discussed this issue with my driver, Farhad. Farhad immigrated to the United States in 2002 and has been driving Uber since 2015. With this article in mind, I wanted to get his opinion on the issue and ask what he sees on the horizon for these jobs. He explains, “When I first started driving it was easier to make money since there weren't that many people driving for Uber. But now it seems like every other car is an Uber or Lyft driver. That’s why I drive for both because I need to feed my family.” I asked him “do you ever drive at night? Or only during the day?” He responded, “I only drive in the morning after my kids go to school and then a little after everyone gets off work. I want to be in their lives so I don’t drive at night.” I finished with asking him, “Do you think drivers at night make more money?” He said, “Yes because people are always out doing something in New York so there are always people who need Ubers. But, there are fewer drivers so it’s easier to do 10 drives in a night or something.” Farhad dropped me off and I wished him the best of luck. I asked him if I could use what he said in this article and he said sure, only if I gave him 5-stars.

So, it seems like there is more money to be made doing night work for driving and delivering since there are fewer drivers on the road and still people needing to get where they are needing to go. But, it’s only available to those who really want it and are willing to have odd sleeping schedules, less time with friends, and be more lonely. Well, at least that’s what Simon, a Seamless deliverer told me. To get an inside perspective on The New Night Shift, I ordered Seamless at 3:30 AM for a slice of pizza and a soda. When Simon dropped off the food I was asking him what the difference between working Seamless during the day and night. He said that he’s able to do more deliveries since there aren’t as many people doing them around lunch or dinner, he laughed and said it helps him to save up money for his next vacation. I asked what the downsides were for working at this time. He paused and said that he sleeps during the day and doesn’t get to hang out with friends as much as he wants. He said it’s lonelier than you would expect. I finished by asking why he keeps doing it. He said the money is nice because it helps him pay for rent and he didn’t have a college degree, so it’s harder to get a job in other places. He finished by saying that he doesn’t think he’ll do this forever. He wants to save up for his vacation and get a better apartment. I asked where he wants to vacation, “Bermuda, they have nice beaches and I want to see if the Bermuda Triangle is real.”

Concern around The New Night Shift becoming saturated is small. But, if there are more industries that offer a 24/7 delivery service, like Uber, Lyft, Seamless, and many others, more opportunity will be available to make more jobs, more money, and more happy customers. But, discovering which industries those are is the hard part. Handy, a company that connects individuals to household service professionals, is currently located in hundreds of cities across the world. They provide services such as cleaning, installation, home renovations, and much more. But, at the moment, they only provide services from 7:00 AM - 9:00 PM. Adopting The New Night Shift into their company could significantly expand their customer base and provide their service professionals with more opportunities to make money. Fixing a broken toilet at midnight or stopping a leak at 2:00 AM could save the customer a lot of money and provide a new form of income for the service professional.

As the needs of individuals seem to grow wider daily, businesses need to be strategically placed to provide more opportunities for their employees to meet the needs of these individuals. In The New Night Shift, companies need to realize that many needs of people come at odd hours of the night and they aren’t just food or ride sharing related. Instead, looking into new industries, like the 24-hour household service industry, could benefit the company, its employees, and its customers.