Within a sea of 4-day workweeks, 52-17 hacks, 2-2-3 work settings, and other whatnots lives the 9/80 work schedule. The mysterious 9/80 may not say much without proper explanation, so we’re doing the clarification part in this article.
Today, flexible work schedules are nothing new, and companies can choose whatever works best for their employees. Hence, exploring options is a good idea as there’s a slew of schedule types beyond just flexible hours.
The 9/80 work schedule may not be the most popular one out there, but it offers certain benefits that may be well-suited for some types of companies. In this article, we’ll learn what it is, check out a 9/80 work schedule example, and discuss whether a 9/80 schedule is worth implementing.
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First things first – what is a 9/80 schedule?
In short, a 9/80 schedule is a working model where an employee works 80 hours in 9 days over two weeks. In a standard setting, an employee would work 80 hours in 10 days over two weeks.
As a result, an employee gets a four-day workweek every other week. Yet they still do 80 hours of work in two weeks, the same as in a regular setting.
A 9/80 work schedule example
To give you a better understanding of this model, let’s take a look at a typical 9/80 work schedule example.
On the first of the two weeks, the employee puts in 44 hours of work:
(9 am-6 pm)
(9 am-6 pm)
(8 am-5 pm)
(10 am-7 pm)
(9 am-5 pm)
On the second of the two weeks, the employee puts in 36 hours:
(9 am-6 pm)
(9 am-6 pm)
(8 am-5 pm)
(10 am-7 pm)
In this example, the employee has worked a 44-hour and a 36-hour workweek, totaling 80 hours. But the length of the workdays has been tweaked, giving the employee an extra day off on the second of two weeks.
It’s important to note that many variations are possible in the 9/80 work schedule. You can diversify the start and end times of the workdays, as well as implement the so-called front-loaded pattern when employees work five 10-hour workdays on the first week, four 7.5-hour days on the second week, + have a day off. It depends on your employees’ preferences and the company’s workload.
What are the 9/80 work schedule pros and cons?
Now that we’ve explored how a 9/80 schedule works, we can discuss whether the 9/80 workweek model fits your company. And what’s a better way to do that than weighing the pros and cons, right?
But, after exploring the benefits and downsides of the 9/80 work model, we discovered that, like with most things in life, it’s not black and white – pros for some may be cons for others and vice versa.
So, we made a list of things that will be affected by the 9/80 work schedule and added some musings for you to explore instead.
Guaranteed two days off per month can positively impact work-life balance. Employees may plan family time, schedule necessary appointments, or even take a 3-day trip somewhere. 4-day work weeks are fantastic and allow you to rejuvenate much better than the traditional combo of a Saturday and Sunday off.
The downside is that employees have to work longer hours on other days. While a 9-hour day is not muuuch more than an 8-hour one, it still takes an hour away from your employees’ evening chill or morning self-care time. Thus, there are two sides to the coin for the 9/80 work schedule from the work-life balance point of view.
Regarding productivity, the beneficial aspect is similar to the one we just looked into regarding the work-life balance. Employees get additional days to rest. Hence, they are more energized when they return and can be more productive.
And yet the extended hours on other work days also pump more energy out of your workers. Is the extra day off enough to balance that out? Dunno.
Research shows we’re not even close to being fully productive for eight hours straight – the regular workday length. If we’re asked to work for 9 hours, is it even possible to be productive? Thus, with the 9/80 schedule, you risk that, in reality, employees will still keep working 8-hour days simply because they’re not robots.
It may be a good idea to test the 9/80 work schedule and see if and how your employee productivity changes. Use a productivity tracking tool to make data-based conclusions.
The 9/80 schedule can add more flexibility to your workers’ lives, leading to higher job satisfaction. If you combine the 9/80 weeks with the option to start and end workdays as your employees prefer, they might feel more in charge of their time and like their jobs more.
The con – not everyone will love the setting, and it’s almost a given. Same as not everyone loves remote work or is a fan of hybrid work options. By implementing a new working-hour format, you will risk receiving negative feedback from your employees and decreasing their job satisfaction.
This is more HR and payroll management-related point, but the 9/80 work schedule may add an extra burden to HR departments and payroll clerks. Handling paid leaves, vacations, and sick days with a non-standard work model may be tricky. However, time tracking tools can provide HRs with the necessary data on hours and days worked, making all things wages and leaves easier to manage.
Employee schedule management
The 9/80 work schedule is easy to track if the whole company (or team) is taking the same days off and synchronizing their work hours. Add more flexibility to this model, and it can cause chaos in employee schedule management. Should employees happen to take unscheduled sick leave while their colleagues are enjoying a three-day weekend, your company may be short-staffed.
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Conclusion on the 9/80 work schedule
As you can see, implementing the 9/80 work schedule in your company has both positive and negative sides. What is also important to consider is the industry you’re operating in. Such sectors as manufacturing, retail, or hospitality will likely have more challenges in adopting the 9/80 model as they require staff presence to, for example, cover opening hours and deal with in-person customers. Moreover, some jobs requiring manual physical work cannot enable extended shifts.
And yet, if you see benefits in going with the 9/80 workweek, try it out! Be sure to discuss the new model with your employees first, ask for their opinions, and consider their thoughts. After all, your staff will be the ones working this schedule, so they must be on board to at least try it.
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