Initially, "Shiftwork" charted as an album cut, receiving unsolicited airplay which brought the song up to #42 on the country music charts prior to its release. Before the song was officially released, it was credited to both Chesney and Strait. Once it was officially made a single, however, Strait's name was removed from the song, due to contractual agreements between his label (MCA Nashville) and Chesney's Label (BNA Records). Starting with the Billboard chart dated for February 9, 2008, the song was once again billed as "Kenny Chesney duet with George Strait".
Allmusic critic Stephen Thomas Erlewine considered the song a highlight on Chesney's album, making note of how Strait and Chesney both "playfully soften the F in the title, making for a genuinely funny highlight" (thus making the line sound closer to "shit work"). The implication is strengthened by the line "A big old pile of shiftwork."
|Chart (2007-2008)||Peak position|
|U.S. Billboard Hot Country Songs||2|
|U.S. Billboard Hot 100||47|
|Canadian Hot 100||61|