In the Deep of The Night

The New Economy is making more companies confront the challenges of unorthodox hours

Richard Parker loves to work from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. A member of the Home Depot night staff, he restocks merchandise and serves customers at the vast Marina del Rey, Calif., store, where 6,000 customers visit each 24-hour day. Parker, 28, views his team as "a tight-knit family. We are the gears, not the outcasts," he says.

There are more than 23 million people like Parker in the U.S. who do not work a 9-to-5, Monday-to-Friday week. In fact, about 20% of the American work force works on schedules that cross the normal 9-to-5 lines. And that percentage can only...

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