9/80 Work Schedule Arrangements

May 25, 2023

980 work schedule arrangements

Many businesses work in line with a traditional 9-5 schedule. However, in the post-pandemic world, some organizations have found benefits from adopting flexible working opportunities.

The American Opportunity Survey highlighted that flexible working arrangements are a top three motivator for finding a new job, alongside better pay or working hours and better career opportunities.

The 9/80 schedule is a type of flexible working arrangement. It involves long working hours but allows employees to enjoy two guaranteed days off each month.

In this article, you can learn more about how the 9/80 schedule works and the potential benefits it could bring to your company.

What is a 9/80 work schedule?

A 9/80 work schedule describes a two-week working pattern that divides 80 working hours across nine days.

This compressed work schedule typically involves working eight nine-hour days, one eight-hour day, and taking one day off. Staff can choose to have one full day off every other week or work a four-hour day every week.

The objective of the 9/80 work schedule is to boost engagement and productivity in the workplace by allowing employees to enjoy a better work-life balance.

When an employee works a 9/80 work week, the first week ends at midday on the first Friday, and the second work week begins afternoon on the same day. This ensures the employee is paid 40 working hours per week, and no overtime payment is due.

Example of 9/80 work schedule

Here is an example of a typical 9/80 work schedule:

Week 1:

Monday: 8.30 am - 1 pm (30-minute lunch break) 1.30 pm - 6.00 pm

Tuesday - 8.30 am - 1 pm (30-minute lunch break) 1.30 pm - 6.00 pm

Wednesday - 8.30 am - 1 pm (30-minute lunch break) 1.30 pm - 6.00 pm

Thursday - 8.30 am - 1 pm (30-minute lunch break) 1.30 pm - 6.00 pm

Friday - 8.30 am - 1 pm (30-minute lunch break) 1.30 pm - 5.00 pm

Week 2:

Monday: 8.30 am - 1 pm (30-minute lunch break) 1.30 pm - 6.00 pm

Tuesday - 8.30 am - 1 pm (30-minute lunch break) 1.30 pm - 6.00 pm

Wednesday - 8.30 am - 1 pm (30-minute lunch break) 1.30 pm - 6.00 pm

Thursday - 8.30 am - 1 pm (30-minute lunch break) 1.30 pm - 6.00 pm

Friday - Day off

Benefits of a 9/80 work schedule

980 work schedule arrangements

Experimenting with a flexible 9/80 work schedule can offer benefits to both employees and employers, including:

Faster commutes

If you employ staff with lengthy commutes, they may find that traveling outside peak hours allows them to avoid heavy traffic. As well as getting to and from work more quickly, this removes the adverse physical effects of commuting to work. This study analyzes the link between commuting time and total days of sickness absence.

Improved flexibility

Allowing staff to start earlier and finish later improves business coverage. This means the organization is able to offer longer operating hours to customers and key stakeholders.

Managers can also plan employee working patterns to ensure more staff are available on busier days of the week. Days off can be planned for quieter days, when fewer staff are required.

Increased productivity

Most employees will view an extra day off as a reward. They might feel motivated to work harder on the other days of the week. Enjoying an extended weekend can also help to boost morale, which means employers implementing a 9/80 work pattern may see lower rates of sickness absence.

Better work-life balance

As a result of all of the above factors, employees working to a 9/80 work pattern can enjoy a better work-life balance, allowing them to juggle commitments at work and in their personal lives. Working a 9/80 schedule means they are guaranteed to have two days off per month. They can use this time to rest, socialize or plan appointments.

Drawbacks of a 9/80 work schedule

Although there are several benefits to a 9/80 work schedule, there are a few disadvantages to consider too.

Longer working days

Some employees may struggle with working an extra hour every day. This will largely depend on the working environment and duties.

For example, people working in roles that involve heavy manual handling may find working a 9/80 work schedule more difficult than someone working in an office administration role.

Decreased productivity

Some people are most productive in the morning, others feel more motivated in the afternoon or evening. However the 9/80 hours are arranged, employers may see decreased productivity from some employees.

Organizations should also consider the impact that starting earlier and finishing later will have on staff members. For example, employees with children will need to arrange childcare to begin an hour earlier and end an hour later.

This means they might have to set their alarm an hour earlier and serve dinner to their children an hour later, which could have an impact on their overall schedule.

Limited coverage for small businesses

Depending on the size of the business, organizations may find it difficult to offer adequate coverage on a 9/80 schedule. This must be considered on a case-by-case basis, according to business demand and customer expectations.

Workload management difficulties

At the start of the arrangement, employees may find it difficult to manage their workload within their new working pattern. They may lack productivity during the final hour of the day.

They may even find themselves getting so involved in a task that they end up working later than their shift end time and require overtime payment.

Impact on sick leave

If an employee is off sick, they will usually be required to take nine hours of sick leave, unless the sickness absence falls on their eight-hour working day.

Public holidays

If a public holiday falls on the employee’s scheduled day off, they will be allowed eight hours leave to be used within 12 months following the date of the public holiday

If a public holiday falls on a nine-hour work day, the time record should be updated to reflect eight hours for the public holiday and one hour of vacation time

All of these factors will need to be closely monitored to ensure the 9/80 working patterns offers positive benefits to both employees and management.

Determining whether a 9/80 work schedule is right for your organization

980 work schedule arrangements

Here’s what you need to consider when determining whether a 9/80 work schedule is the right choice for your organization.

1. Operational requirements

Employers must consider operational requirements including customer service demands, business operating hours and staffing requirements.

They should also consider the opportunities for making cost savings. If the business can be closed for a full day every other week, this will help to reduce utility bills and other operating costs.

Most organizations are able to successfully implement some form of the 9/80 schedule. However, managers should consider whether choosing this type of work pattern will allow them to continue working in line with customer service demands.

For example, if the busiest day of the week is on a Friday, it wouldn’t be sensible to allow staff to take every other Friday off work.

Some industries and job roles are better suited to 9/80 working weeks than others. Large workforces are usually able to accommodate a 9/80 work pattern than smaller teams.

9/80 work schedules can work well for:

  • Software developers
  • Graphic designers
  • Business consultants
  • Accountants
  • Online tutors
  • Video editors

This is because it is generally easy for people in these job roles to work the same hours and take the same day off each week. For manual labor and service jobs, the 9/80 pattern can be difficult to implement, since employee contributions are relative to overall business output.

9/80 work schedules are unlikely to work well in:

  • Hospitality
  • Manufacturing
  • Construction
  • Logistics
  • Retail

These industries all employ customer-facing workforces. Staff must be available during standard business operating hours, the job roles are often physically demanding, and teams work towards time-sensitive deadlines throughout the week. It is still possible to implement a 9/80 schedule, but it can be more difficult to manage.

When deciding whether to implement a 9/80 schedule, organizations must consider:

  • If the organization has sufficient employees with the right skills sets to cover shifts in accordance with customer demand
  • If the organization has the resources to facilitate changes to the schedule, for example additional communication and training needs
  • If the existing payroll system can accommodate the new working pattern
  • If the HR team has sufficient resources to manage changes to sick pay and vacation leave

2. Employee preferences

If you are considering implementing a 9/80 work pattern, you will need to take employee preferences into account.

Many people are used to working 8 hours per day, 5 days per week. Being asked to change this might be a shock to the system at first. It can also pose a few problems to your staff, including:

  • Childcare issues. If your employees use daycare or other childcare, it might not be possible for them to organize this around the amended working hours.
  • Transport issues. If your employees rely on public transport to get to work, it may be impossible for them to arrive on time for the new shift start time or get home at the end of their later shift end time. This could mean they incur higher travel costs.
  • Health and wellbeing. Depending on the nature of the job role, some staff may find it too physically or mentally challenging to work longer hours.
  • Do they want more time off? Some people would jump at the chance to have an extra day off, others might not.
  • Do they feel overworked already? If so, they may struggle to manage their workload in line with the new working hours
  • Are they happy with the current schedule? If so, they might be reluctant to accept changes to this.

If you are not sure whether a 9/80 work schedule is right for your business, you might consider running a trial period for certain staff groups or departments.

3. Job duties

The 9/80 work pattern isn’t suitable for some job roles. For example, if you need people to be on-site or physically present to cover all business hours, it might not be possible to allow half of the workforce to take Friday afternoons off.

Also, if your workforce is expected to cover irregular business hours, the 9/80 work schedule is unlikely to be a good fit, as it will leave gaps in the rota where no one is available to assist.

4. Legal considerations

The law states that employees can work 40 hours per week. How these working hours are arranged is up to the employer and employee to agree on.

However, the FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act) requires employers to pay employees at a rate of time-and-a-half (1.5x) for any hours worked in excess of 40 hours per week.

As a result, employers must carefully manage employee’s working hours to ensure the 9/80 working week does not lead to unnecessary overtime payments.

To achieve this, the first working week of the 9/80 schedule must end at midday on the first Friday.

The second working week should commence straight after that (from the afternoon of the first Friday).

This ensures that the employee is only working 40 hours during each of the working weeks, so they are not entitled to any overtime payments.

Managers must also consider public holidays and leave entitlements.

If a public holiday falls on one of the employee’s eight-hour working days, they should be awarded eight hours of holiday credit to use within a specified timeframe.

If the public holiday falls on a nine-hour day, employees are given eight hours of holiday credit and must use one hour of their paid time off entitlement.

For sick leave, if the employee was due to work a nine-hour day, they will have nine hours deducted from their sick leave entitlement.

For an eight-hour working day, eight hours will be deducted from their sick leave entitlement.

Managing employee productivity and performance on a 9/80 work schedule

Setting up a 9/80 work schedule could help to boost the work-life balance for your employees.

With an extra day off every other week, employees should have sufficient time to relax, stay on top of their personal life and feel motivated enough to do a great job at work.

In theory, this should lead to increased productivity during their normal working hours.

However, this won’t be true for every member of staff.

So, after implementing the 9/80 work schedule, you will need to make plans to monitor its effectiveness. You should also engage with employees to learn more about levels of employee satisfaction within the business.

Using Neuroworx Goals and OKRs you can help your employees to stay on track with flexible targets. Setting goals for your employees makes it easier to monitor overall productivity and identify any ongoing issues.

You can see who is ahead and behind on their targets at-a-glance, which allows you to offer support exactly where it is needed.

Using Neuroworx tools, you can offer an anonymized system for collecting employee feedback, which allows them to be totally honest with their views.

The tools collect and compile the data, sending out reminders when required. All managers have to do is check the results and take the appropriate action.

Over time, you will be able to track and view trends to make sure you are optimizing the work environment for your staff.

Final thoughts

Ready to go ahead and implement the 9/80 work schedule in your organization? Whether you’re planning to run a trial period or you want to go ahead and implement 9/80 on a permanent basis, it’s vital that you keep track of the relevant metrics.

Knowing whether the changes that you’ve made are effective is key to business success. Keeping track of productivity and time tracking are two ways to weigh up whether employee performance has been affected by the new working pattern.

Neuroworx offers a suite of useful tools to help you stay on top of all this and more. We have a range of time-tracking tools and checks, allowing employees to track their time quickly and stay focussed on more important tasks.

With the Attendance Tracking function, all working hours are recorded in one central location, so employees and managers can check hours worked quickly and easily.

If your organization uses time-based remuneration, Neuroworx can calculate salary and overtime according to working hour schedules. This information can be fed directly into your payroll system, too.