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Being A Warehouse Operative

Warehouse Operative aka Picker Packer

Shifts: Days, nights, weekends, split shifts.

This role is also known as 'warehouse worker', 'warehouse operator', 'warehouse picker' and 'picker packer'. 

What are the duties of a warehouse operative? 

In general, warehouse work duties can include:

  • Deliveries - Assisting with the unloading of vehicles and the checking in of stock.
  • Product placement - Sort and place materials or items on to racks and shelves. 
  • Picking  - Collecting items from throughout the warehouse, preparing and completing warehouse orders for delivery or pickup according to a schedule.
  • Stock Control - Performing warehouse inventory controls via scanner and or through a computer. Stock counting and location checks.

What skills do you need as a warehouse operative?

General skills & attributes for warehouse team members include:

  • Reliability and dependability
  • Literacy & numeracy
  • Ability to meet the physical demands of the job

What are warehouse shift patterns like? 

Warehouse worker shift patterns tend to be rotational. This means that you may be doing early shifts for one week followed by a couple of days off, moving into late or night shifts before returning to early shifts once again. 

While shift work like this can take some getting used to initially, it does provide flexibility. Many people find rotational shift patterns helpful, knowing what your shift pattern is in advance means that you can work around your family and home commitments.

The hours and shifts you work will ultimately depend on the employer and in some cases the industry sector that the warehouse services. Some do not require late or night staff and so it is possible to find regular daytime hours if preferred. 

Warehouse job locations

Warehouses are located throughout the UK in varying sizes, the majority of depots are situated near major population centres and the middle of the country. The East Midlands accounts for 18% of all warehouse space at around 78 million square feet, around the same size as 1,632 football fields. 

Temporary and permanent warehouse jobs

Temporary warehouse work can be a great way to get started with an employer. It provides you with the opportunity to learn on your feet and gain a great understanding of the role and how it varies between warehouse locations and types. 

Warehouse work tends to be available all year round but there are spikes in availability throughout busy seasons such as Christmas time. When consumer demand reaches its peak, warehouses need to be prepared to react ensuring a consistent and plentiful supply of goods are processed and shipped. 

Moving from a temporary position in to a permanent role can take time and perseverance. An employer is looking to retain the very best staff and so it is important to show that you are capable, reliable, positive and driven to maximise your skills.