The song was written by Troy Jones, who told The Boot
about the inspiration for this cut. Said Jones: "I worked in a paper mill for 20 years, and I worked shift work the whole time. When I signed a publishing deal with Carnival Music, I wanted to write a song about something I knew inside and out. I knew something about shift work! I was a little worried about if somebody would even cut the song when you're talking about 'a big ole pile of shift work.' Kenny was familiar with some of my songs, and he liked 'Shiftwork' for a little while before he cut it. My publisher never calls me on Saturdays, so when I answered the phone he told me that George Strait wanted to sing on the song, as well. My wife jumped about three feet in the air! We were both pretty excited. I am so proud of the job they did on it. The thing for me as a songwriter and someone who worked in the factory for so long is that people who actually work in factories tell me how much they love the song. I worked shift work for 20 years... now I know why!"