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We live in a 24/7 economy and whether you are a nurse on the night shift, a stockbroker getting up early to be abreast of the markets in Asia, a fast food server feeding pub leavers at closing time or a supermarket worker stacking shelves before the shopping hoards arrive, you know what that's like and how it impacts on your family life.

For millions of people in the UK and around the world, work is no 9 to 5 matter. In fact, with many of us (nearly one in five) working what we we have tended to think of as a 'non standard' schedule, it seems non standard seems to be becoming the 'standard schedule'. 

In the UK, nearly a quarter of working mums and a third of working dads do some sort of shift work. But how does this affect their ability to lead healthy happy lives not just as individuals, but as a family?

A Life's Work is a podcast seeking to answer that question by exploring the latest evidence around shift work and how it affects family life. 

In our first series funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, Afshin Zilanawala, an Assistant Professor in the School of Sociology and Social Policy at the University of Nottingham, explores what we know about shift work and how it impacts on mums, dads and their children, especially their health and happiness.

In a series of interviews designed for anyone with an interest in shift work and family life, Afshin talks to researchers, businesses, workers’ rights organisations, family focused charities and policy makers about the latest robust and meaningful evidence on the opportunities and pressures that shift work brings to the challenges of combining work and family life. 

Across each episode and the podcast as a whole, we share new insights that will help us better understand the consequences of shift work on families (positive and negative) and suggest areas for focus for all those keen to provide an environment in which working families can thrive.

We provide show notes for each episode with useful links and resources and invite you to join in the discussion on Twitter where you can comment on the podcast, individual episodes or ask us a question! We would love to hear from you. 

The podcast is produced by former BBC journalist Chris Garrington of Research Podcasts and you can subscribe on iTunes, Spotify or wherever you find your podcasts. You can also follow us and contact us on Twitter @A_Lifes_Work.