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Is a 9/80 Work Schedule Productive?

This is an article ‘Is a 9/80 Work Schedule Productive?’ by Marc Primo


The most exemplary work schedules aim to balance completing tasks and provide workers with as much spare and vacation time as possible. Usually, equal time for work and life results not only in increased customer satisfaction but in employee wellness as well. Among other things, good time management can boost everyone's engagement, productivity, and loyalty. A work-life balance has always been important, more so today. Employees coming off the strains of the pandemic and returning to the office desire flexibility so they can complete errands, take care of household chores, and spend more time with their loved ones.



Naturally, a flexible schedule is very popular at the moment. Employers are aware of the advantages, and workers are looking for businesses that provide them. Some companies adopting hybrid work schedules are now trying four-day work weeks. For instance, Microsoft's office in Japan stated that adopting four-day workweeks increased employee productivity by 40%.


However, flexible schedules and their implementation are pretty challenging for small businesses. While employees desire more manageable shifts, customers demand round-the-clock availability, next-day shipment, and excellent customer service. As a result, several companies are experimenting with flexible scheduling using the 9/80 workweek.


What is the 9/80 workweek?


A 9/80 work plan divides the total working days over two weeks into eight 9-hour days and one 8-hour work shift. A typical workweek would include working nine hours a day from Monday through Thursday and eight hours on Friday. Such an arrangement means you would work nine hours daily, from Monday through Thursday, during the second week. Since you reached eighty hours on Thursday, you would get the second Friday totally off. The most typical 9/80 work schedule doesn't have to be that exact breakdown but for most businesses that practice the work schedule, that's how things typically go.


This method can be truly beneficial for most employees who work extended hours in the standard 8-hour workweek setting. Earning two free off days to add to your weekends within a month helps you manage your personal and social time more efficiently and can work wonders for your physical and mental wellness.


Reviewing the advantages of observing a 9/80 workweek is a two-way street for employee and employer.


The benefits of a 9/80 arrangement for employees


For employees, it promotes a healthier work-life balance that allows you more time to spend with the family, socialize, or just some well-deserved me-time.


Aside from that, a weekday off every 15 days gives you the freedom to complete errands that are simpler to complete during the week. Attending appointments with primary care doctors or observing your federal responsibilities is very much possible since government agencies are open during that particular weekday. Plus, parents can finally participate in weekday school-related events.


Another thing to consider from an employee perspective is that the drive to work can be pretty costly over a year. Expenses can be significantly reduced by having two extra days off within a month, which means you can also increase your personal savings.


The benefits of a 9/80 arrangement for businesses


The benefits of a 9/80 workweek are equally beneficial from the business perspective. Although the arrangement is conceptualized with focused employee benefits, it is still a set business plan and offers just the correct amount of coverage. Employers can use this information to properly budget expenditures, estimate range, and plan for better cost-efficiency in terms of operational expenses.


As mentioned earlier, the flexibility that a 9/80 workweek gives employees also promotes their overall wellness, which means that your employees are more in control of their schedules. This practice makes it easier for them to improve their work-life balance and manage their time towards boosted productivity. They can feel more accomplished throughout their workdays and still enjoy the freedom to offer a direct impact on company goals via their deliverables.


Perhaps, the best benefit for employers who observe a 9/80 workweek is how it creates appeal for more potential hires. In 2021, the Big Quit saw the most significant employee exodus, with over 47 million Americans quitting their jobs. Aside from the challenges of the pandemic, another reason for the great resignation was unacceptable working conditions and compensation.


The 9/80 work schedule shows potential employees that there is a more flexible approach to employment than some other firms, which could appeal to them. The appeal of better work-life balance and the possibilities of bonus day-offs with benefits can effectively persuade candidates to apply for your open positions.


Additionally, it could also be one of the perks and incentives to make your most loyal employee stay on board longer.


How to plan for a 9/80 workweek schedule


Usually, a pay period extends from Sunday to Saturday or Monday to Sunday. Considering this, ensure you add up salaries correctly because a 9/80 work plan jumps between work weeks, requiring 44 hours in the first week and 36 hours in the second.


You might have to pay four hours of overtime the first week if something goes wrong. As mentioned earlier, you should conduct payroll based on a two-week timetable.


However, this does not mean the method entirely spares you from a confusing payroll accounting method. Paid time-off also functions differently since they frequently count as nine hours of vacation, unless it's a Friday, while holidays are the same. To be sure you pay the right amount and observe fair salary practices, consult your accountants and compute according to state or federal laws before implementing the 9/80 workweek approach.


While the benefits are plenty, there is still a need to meticulously study how you can implement this innovative work schedule that requires legal, accounting, and human resources expertise. Avoid problems by considering all of the factors contributing to adjusting your former work hours and implementing your new work schedules based on fair rules and regulations in your employee handbooks. Making sure everything is in order prevents confusion and gives your employees better motivation, showing them that these adjustments are implemented with their welfare in mind.