The 9/80 Work Schedule: Key Questions Answered

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In this article, we’ll cover what is a 9/80 work schedule, why it might be a good idea for your business as well as some drawbacks to be aware of.

What is a 9/80 Work Schedule?

The 9/80 work schedule is based on a two-week period in which employees work a compressed schedule for two weeks while still getting additional time off. The plan for 9/80 is based on the simple premise that workers have two weeks to work the full 80 hours, but the workload is divided.

  • In the first week, the employees would work four nine-hour days and then have one 8-hour day.
  • In the second week, the employees would work again for four days for nine hours and then have a three-day weekend.

One of the things you need to remember is that most employers insist on a break during the eight-hour day in the first week when the work week officially ends and the second begins. This way the week has 40 hours of labor and thus it’s not causing a problem for overtime pay.

The compressed work week has shown some amazing results in employee satisfaction, talent retention, and improved productivity.

This compressed schedule is different from the regular 9 to 5 work week, and it’s an alternative work schedule similar to the  4/10 work schedule. In this unique arrangement, your employees can work on a bi-weekly schedule that enables them to have three-day weekends once per month.

It’s a great solution for many companies that need extended working hours and for some businesses where the employees appreciate the time off, more than an additional payment.

But, the 9/80 work week comes with many pros and cons that you should consider before implementing the new schedule. It’s also a good idea to stay on top of all the payment calculations with time tracking software and ensure proper law enforcement regarding overtime pay and regulations.

9/80 work schedule example

Considering the 9/80 work schedule is still not familiar to some people here is a simple overview of the work weeks on the traditional schedule and the compressed schedule. The work day can begin later, but the 7 AM routine allows the workers to spend less time commuting, as they should avoid the morning rush hour.

Traditional 9-5 Schedule
9/80 schedule 
FIRST WEEK
9/80 schedule 
SECOND WEEK
Monday
9 AM to 5 PM
7 AM to 5 PM
7 AM to 5 PM
Tuesday
9 AM to 5 PM
7 AM to 5 PM
7 AM to 5 PM
Wednesday
9 AM to 5 PM
7 AM to 5 PM
7 AM to 5 PM
Thursday
9 AM to 5 PM
7 AM to 5 PM
7 AM to 5 PM
Friday
9 AM to 5 PM
7 AM to 12 PM
+
12 PM to 4 PM
OFF

Keep in mind that it’s not mandatory to have Fridays off, but it’s shown to be one of the best solutions to track the work days and ensure proper coverage of the workload. While it’s always a good idea to consult your employees before you implement any changes in the work schedule it’s also wise to make some general rules beforehand and avoid potential miscommunication in the future.

Because of the added complexity of managing a  compressed week schedule, a lot of employers now rely on scheduling software to easily track hours worked, organize optimal schedules, and provide clear communication within the team.

Many researchers claim that depending on the demographics of your team, and especially the age you should consider implementing flexible work schedules. This way you can accommodate more employees, allow them to reasonably choose when they work, and even boost productivity. 

Pros & Cons of a 9/80 Schedule for Employees

The compressed work schedule might be a fantastic opportunity for many employees who want the additional time off and don’t mind the added hours each day.

Depending on your company and the line of work you are in, there are a few pros and cons to consider for your employees that might help you with the decision about the compressed work schedule.

Pros of working a 9/80 Schedule

Here are some of the most prominent reasons why so many employees enjoy the 9/80 work schedule:

  1. Increased satisfaction

Workers who can adjust their daily activities and personal commitments to the compressed schedule feel better at the workplace. The 9/80 shows promising results when it comes to reduced stress and better employee performance. The additional day off every other week can do wonders for the company morale, and many employees love the opportunity offered even if the salary is not competitive.

  1. Improved commuting

Changed working hours also influence the time spent commuting each day. Because the days are longer workers can avoid rush hours to and from work, reducing the time spent in the traffic and the stress related to it.

Commuting is very stressful for many employees so the opportunity to make the work week schedule flexible enough to avoid that added stress is usually very well received.

  1. Better work-life balance

At the end of the day, most employees are striving toward better work-life balance and this is one of the main reasons why so many of them appreciate the 9/80 schedule. This two-week pay period enables them to have more days off and enjoy their free time with family and friends.

Cons of working 9/80 Schedule

Even though many of your employees will appreciate the offer to switch to a compressed work schedule there are some cons to consider. This list refers to potential problems your employees might encounter with the 9/80 schedule:

  1. Exhaustion from the extra hours daily

While younger generations might be able to withstand the added hour each day, certain employees and physically demanding roles they have might be too exhausting to work 9 hours shifts.

This is one of the reasons why so many employers choose to go with flexible work weeks where all the employees are accommodated. The only thing you need to consider is good scheduling software to support your business plan and make all the calculations and scheduling for you.

  1. Less free time during the week

Many workers will be motivated by the additional free day every other week while others might feel stressed because of the reduced free time each day. This is especially true for workers with family obligations, and busy personal schedules who value the time spent with family members every day.

  1. Problematic schedule for some employees

The same group of employees who have a problem with long hours each day might encounter additional problems with businesses that work on a traditional 9-to-5 schedule. 

If we consider the fact that many childcare services have strict working hours, and childcare can cost a lot, it’s not beneficial for all employees to be on a compressed work schedule.

This is why it’s vital to have open communication and ensure all the employees are on board with the decision, or simply offer a flexible schedule to accommodate them all.

Pros & Cons Of 9/80 Schedules For Employers

The changed and compressed work schedule can have many benefits for you as the employer, but there are a few drawbacks to consider before making the final decision.

Pros of offering a 9/80 work schedule to employees

  1. Increased productivity

One of the most important factors that influence the decision-making process when it comes to employers and the compressed schedule is increased productivity. Employees feel better and rested when they have an additional day off, and the employee morale in the company boosts teamwork and thus productivity.

  1. Talent retention

In today’s competitive market it’s hard to find and keep talented people on your team. It’s not enough to offer good compensation, vacation, and other perks, so many employers resort to compressed week schedules to attract and retain talents.

The three-day weekend is a very good opportunity for many employees to create optimal work-life balance and plan ahead of time.

  1. Flexibility

The compressed work schedule offers you as the employee a flexible work schedule each week. If you make and manage the schedule properly you can count on better workload coverage, better service response, and fewer sick or personal days off.

With a flexible 9/10 schedule, you can actually cover more days and more hours, all you need is good job scheduling software.

Cons of offering a 9/80 work schedule to employees

Most employers love to hear about increased productivity and employee retention, but there are some cons you need to know about in order to make the best decision for your company. 

  1. Not suitable for all businesses

A 9/80 work schedule is not the best solution for all businesses, especially smaller companies that rely on fewer employees to get the job done. In some cases there is a coverage problem and staff shortage, so you might have to create a schedule that works for you.

It’s a good idea to divide the workers into at least two groups, and have the days off on different days of the week. So, for example, one group would get Fridays off while the other is free on Monday.

This way you will cover all the workdays and still implement the new schedule.

Or try alternative work schedules such as the 4/10 or four-day workweek where the employees work for 10 hours each day and then have an extra day off each week.

  1. Less productivity in the additional hours

While it’s true that productivity has the tendency to increase with alternative work schedules, keep in mind that an extra hour each day might not be the best option for everyone.

Demanding roles where the employees need to stand for a long time, and work on the construction of similar roles might be too tired to perform by the end of the day. 

As a business owner, it’s up to you to decide what works best for your employees and try alternative schedules.

  1. Incompatible work schedule with other business partners

Most businesses run on the traditional 9 to 5 schedule and work every day of the week, so you might have problems with communication and collaboration with your partners. It’s not easy to adjust your employees to the new schedule and it can be even harder to sync everything with your business partners.

You can overcome the issue with careful planning each week, open communication, and proper workload coverage.

Using Technology To Implement a 9/80 Work Schedule 

To get the best results from the 9/80 work schedule you need to consider the following:

  • Open communication with the employees

It’s important to keep your employees in the loop and have a meeting about the eight nine-hour days. This way you can see if the majority of your employees approve of such a schedule or if you should stick to the traditional eight-hour day.

It’s also a good opportunity to define the time for a lunch break, set core office hours for the entire organization, and discuss shift coverage.

Switching to longer workdays will be an adjustment so giving employees enough time to get used to the two-week schedule is vital.

  • Improved planning and scheduling system

If you want your new schedule to be a success it’s important to consider how you are going to track work hours. With the nine-hour day, two-week periods, and one eight-hour day you need a fixed schedule and an easy way to track hours worked.

One of the best ways to manage working hours is with employee scheduling software. The technology used will help you create optimal working hours, ensure you are following the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), and run payroll smoothly.

With the scheduling app, you can communicate fast and efficiently with your employees and allow them to have a better insight into the work schedule ahead.

9/80 Work Schedule FAQs and Compliance Considerations

Do 9/80 work schedules work for hourly employees?

The 9/80 work schedule can be problematic for hourly employees because in some states there are laws that require each hour over the 40 hours worked per week to be compensated with overtime wages.

This is why it’s vital to create a schedule that divides the eight-hour day into two four-hour shifts. This way the week ends with the first four hours and the second week begins with the second four hours worked.

Keep in mind that there are exceptions for labor costs and overtime hours worked if you are on an alternative schedule. So, consult with your lawyers, and HR manager and check the local labor laws before implementing any changes.

How does overtime work on a 9/80 work schedule?

This work schedule is based on a two-week period and officially there are 80 hours worked in two week period, thus 40 hours each week. This means the extra hour every day is not counted as overtime if you manage your schedule well.

That’s why it’s important to closely monitor and organize the eight-hour workday and ensure this is when the first week ends and the second week begins. This way you will avoid potential 44-hour weeks and regulate the hours without paying extra for the overtime.

How do holidays work with 9/80 work schedules?

One of the most challenging things to manage in this type of schedule is sick leave, vacation, and holidays that fall on nine-hour days. If the employee uses the nine hours for sick days, vacation, or even if a holiday falls on that day the time lost is longer than if this happens on eight-hour days.

That’s why most employers track the time off as eight hours of labor and one hour of the vacation.

In case the holiday falls on the off day the employee can use eight hours off within the next 12 months from that day.

Organizing the 9/80 work schedule with time tracking software

The 9/80 work schedule might be a great opportunity for your company to attract more talents, retain the employees that already work for you, and boost productivity. However, this work schedule comes with a few downsides you need to consider before implementing the 80 hours of work in nine days.

The most challenging part of the new work schedule might be proper scheduling and planning ahead of time, as well as maintaining a good workflow and pay role.

With the help of a job scheduling app, it’s easy to manage your team, create the best work schedule and improve your communication with your employees. So, if you are ready to test your schedule and try the compressed work week you can rely on a scheduling app like Workyard to create the best plan and manage all the scheduling details for you.

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