9/80 Work Schedule: The Challenges And Benefits
by Abdul Aziz Mondal Business Development 10 May 2023
As a business owner, executive, or manager, the most important resource that will determine the success of the company is people. At every level of the organization, from interns up to CEOs, people are what make the day-to-day operations work. It also does not matter what size your company is, if the employees are not productive, then the brand will not be able to grow.
Happy employees are productive employees. You can try many different strategies for improving the culture of the company to elevate the morale of your team members, many of which can be successful. One concept that is growing in popularity is the 9/80 work schedule. Let’s break down how this method works and some of the benefits and challenges that come with it.
What Is The 9/80 Work Schedule?
Many companies across the country operate on a forty-hour work week. In general, employees work for eight hours a day, five days a week. This pattern continues all year, barring paid holidays and PTO.
The 9/80 work schedule functions a little differently. It covers a two-week period where employees still total 80 hours of work, but those hours are distributed across nine days rather than ten. That means that they will work nine-hour days eight times, then one eight-hour day, and then they get an extra day off. There are other models that a company can adopt, but the general rule is that nine-hour days give employees a half-day or full day off every other week.
It makes no sense to change up your work scheduling if it doesn’t help the company, right? Fortunately, this new schedule can provide a boost to your operations in multiple ways, though the chance of success often depends on the type of work that is done at your company.
Having an extra day off every other week is a huge boon to employees. Work-life balance is a hot topic for workers, and your company offering this opportunity can help team members experience a better balance between life at home and life at work. Think of how much happier your workers will be with a three-day weekend every other week.
Slightly longer work days make it easier for employees to focus on their tasks for an extended period with limited transition times. Plus, with better work-life balance, workers will be in much better moods, which correlates with increased productivity.
While work-life balance is an attractive trait for your current team members, it can also be an incentive for prospective workers when you are focusing on recruitment. Again, the benefit of a three-day weekend every two weeks at the cost of one more hour per day can be a tantalizing trade-off for potential employees.
While the benefits of the 9/80 work schedule often outweigh the challenges for a company, there are still some cons that come with this kind of model.
Longer Work Days
While nine hours may not seem vastly different from eight hours, it is still a longer work day that can be a drag on morale. Since people will be spending more time in the office, they could become more prone to decreased productivity by the end of the day. Perhaps you can mitigate some of these feelings by upgrading the office with features that make the space more comfortable.
Workers That Take Advantage
A 9/80 work schedule creates plenty of opportunities for employees to take advantage of overtime pay if they desire. This drain on resources can be avoided by simply laying out clear ground rules for the work schedule that everyone must follow to enjoy the benefits of that extra day off.
Productivity often comes down to how people respond to their work situations. If they feel comfortable, they can work harder and longer. Nine-hour days could negatively affect some of your employees if those long hours start to detract from their productivity levels. That first week can be tough with four nine-hour days and one eight-hour day, so monitor the effects on your workers to see how they are responding.
Adoption Requires Intensive Planning
If you do think that the benefits of a 9/80 work schedule could outweigh the challenges for your company, then it is crucial that you take steps to plan the change well. First, conduct some analysis of the company to see if a day off would harm operations in any way. Then, consider the type of work your employees do to analyze whether or not nine-hour days might diminish their abilities in some way. If you do choose to adopt this schedule, make sure that there is ample onboarding time for workers to be prepared for the changes. The happier your team members are, the more likely this change is to help the company succeed and meet its goals.