9/80 Work Schedule: What It Is, Its Benefits And Challenges, And How To Get Started

Manager creating a 9/80 work schedule

Most people are familiar with the regular 8-hours-per day, 5-days-a-week, 40-hour workweek. But did you know there are alternatives to this standard schedule? One of the most popular is the 9/80 work schedule. But is it right for your company and your employees?

In this article, the management and scheduling experts at Sling tell you everything you need to know to decide for yourself. We’ll also show you how to implement this unique work schedule in your business.

What Is A 9/80 Work Schedule?

A 9/80 work schedule consists of a total of eight nine-hour days, one eight-hour day, and one day off spread over a two-workweek period.

More specifically, a 9/80 work schedule has employees working 80 hours over nine days (hence the name: 9 days/80 hours) rather than the usual 10 days (assuming a five-day workweek). This makes it possible for you to give your employees an entire day off every other week.

Coworkers discussing a 9/80 work schedule

In a typical 9/80 work schedule, your employees would work four nine-hour days (36 hours) followed by one eight-hour day. For payroll purposes, you apply the first half of the eight-hour workday to the first week and the second half to the following week.

All told, that adds up to 40 hours worked Monday through Friday of the first week, and 40 hours worked Monday through Thursday of the second week (all without overtime). You can then give employees the second Friday off completely without losing work hours.

Sample 9/80 Work Schedule

First Week

Monday: 7-12 and 1-5 with an unpaid lunch break in-between (9 hours total)

Tuesday: Same

Wednesday: Same

Thursday: Same (for a total of 36 hours)

Friday: 8-12 (first week ends) + 1-5 (second week starts)

Saturday: Off

Sunday: Off

Second Week

Monday: 7-12 and 1-5 with an unpaid lunch break in between (9 hours total)

Tuesday: Same

Wednesday: Same

Thursday: Same (for a total of 40 hours including the four hours worked the previous Friday)

Friday: Off

Saturday: Off

Sunday: Off

Keep in mind that this is just one example of a 9/80 work schedule. As an alternative, you could have employees start at 8:00 a.m. and work until 6 p.m. That would still allow for the requisite nine hours in one day.

What Are The Benefits Of A 9/80 Work Schedule?

Calendar used for a 9/80 work schedule

At first glance, you may conclude that the 9/80 work schedule only benefits your employees. But look a little deeper and you’ll see that the 9/80 work schedule also benefits your business. Here’s how.

  • Work/life balance: You guarantee employees two extra days off each month. This gives them time to schedule appointments, conduct personal business, or take a vacation with family or friends. It can also mean fewer sick days, fewer no-call/no-shows, and fewer time-off requests for your business.
  • Fewer interruptions: Employees will have more time to resolve personal commitments, so they won’t have to interrupt work to get things done. That’s better for their engagement and for the overall productivity of your business.
  • Less Commuting: The extra two days off each month means your employees won’t have to sit in traffic, they won’t have to use gas, and they won’t have to put miles on their cars.
  • Improved task completion: The extra hour of work each day means that your employees have a better chance of completing tasks on the day they start them.
  • Better rest: The extra two days off each month gives your employees more time to recuperate from the busy workweek. They’ll be refreshed and ready to work on that following Monday.

These are just a few common benefits you’ll see after implementing a 9/80 work schedule. You’ll likely discover other benefits too the longer you work this way.

But is it too good to be true? Let’s investigate the other side of the 9/80-work-schedule coin.

What Are The Challenges Of A 9/80 Work Schedule?

Business owners discussing the challenges of 9/80 work schedule

The challenges of a 9/80 work schedule often involve employee morale and payroll time tracking. Here are a few of the most common difficulties.

  • Longer workday: During the nine-hour days, employees may feel like they only have time to go home, eat dinner, and go to bed. That can wear on morale after a while.
  • Changing the regular day off: Sometimes, employees ask to switch the regular day off to better accommodate their schedules. This can make your time tracking much more difficult.
  • Early arrival or departure: Letting your employees adjust their arrival and departure times can lead to more than 40 hours worked the first week and less than 40 hours worked the second week, possibly resulting in overtime and a host of other problems.

Don’t let these challenges dissuade you from implementing a 9/80 work schedule. You just need to reinforce teamwork and group cohesion during the long workweek and enforce the rules of the schedule so you don’t run into tracking and calculating issues.

How To Get Started On A 9/80 Work Schedule

The best way to get started on a 9/80 work schedule is to first examine your corporate, business, and functional level strategies to see if it’s the best solution.

The next step would be to create a test schedule using Sling to see if fits in with the way you work.

Finally, you would want to discuss the change with your employees so that it’s not a surprise when they start working nine-hour days instead of eight.

Make Scheduling Easier With The Right Tools

Sling scheduling feature

Regardless of whether you choose the 9/80 work schedule or not, the best way to plan when your employees will work is with scheduling and time-tracking software like Sling.

Sling’s suite of tools — including scheduling, time clock, labor cost analysis and planning, employee messages, newsfeed, and tasks — makes creating even the most complex rotating shift or night shift as simple as point, click, and go.

For more free resources to help you manage your business better, organize and schedule your team, and track and calculate labor costs, visit GetSling.com today.

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