is a 9.80 work schedule worth the hype, breaking down the popular idea
Are you looking to hire the best talent for your business? But is it proving to be difficult to compete with big enterprise employers, known for their flexible work arrangements and creative packages? Here is a potential solution to your dilemma. Implement a 9/80 work schedule.
What is a 9/80 work schedule?
It is an alternative work schedule that requires employees to work 80 hours over a two-week work period. But isn’t it similar to the regular schedule? Here’s the catch. Employees in the newer version need to work for nine days over a couple of weeks, instead of the regular ten.
Here is how the work schedule is commonly implemented.
Week 1: Employees work for nine hours on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, and eight hours on Friday – for a total of 44 hours in the week.
Week 2: Employees work for nine hours on the first four days of the week starting from Monday and get Friday off – for a total of 36 hours in the week.
Consequently, an employee works for 80 hours over two weeks, while getting 2 three-day weekends over the course of a month or 26 three-day weekends over a year.
But a 9/80 work schedule might pose certain overtime issues for organisations in certain jurisdictions as employees are clocking 44 hours once every two weeks.
While the above 9/80 schedule is the most common example, businesses can implement other variations too – as long as the schedule encompasses eight 9-hour workdays and 80 hours in a couple of weeks.
Week 1: Employees work for nine hours on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, and four hours on Friday – for a total of 40 hours in the week.
Week 2: Employees work for nine hours on the first four days of the week starting from Monday, and work for four hours on Friday – clocking 40 hours in the week.
In this variation, employees are working for 80 hours in two weeks while getting half-day Fridays, instead of a three-day weekend every other week.
Pros and cons of a 9/80 work schedule
While there are certain benefits to this work schedule, it’s important to remember that it’s just an alternative and therefore, might work well for some types of businesses and not so well for others. Read on for the benefits first.
Improved work-life balance
An extra day off every two weeks is beneficial in the way that it gives employees more time to engage in personal activities and spend a little less time on commute. The schedule also improves their morale, making them happier and more engaged.
A 9/80 work schedule boosts productivity as employees no longer need to address personal matters during the workday, owing to the extra two days off in a month. And an extra working hour means there is more time to complete tasks.
Better talent attraction and retention
A recent EY survey found employees – when given a choice between flexibility in where they work and flexibility in when they work – will choose the ‘when’ option in greater numbers. So implementing a 9/80 work schedule might help attract and retain talent.
But the schedule isn’t just all roses and sunshine, as the saying goes. Here’s why.
Longer working hours
Even if it’s just an extra working hour, it might lead to fatigue and poor work performance for some employees. There’s also the case of getting home an hour later, potentially leading to more stress and less sleep.
With the regular version of a 9/80 work schedule, employees are required to clock 44 hours once every couple of weeks. This might raise overtime issues for businesses in some jurisdictions. It’s always good to consult with an expert before implementing.
Depending on the nature of your business, if your organization requires consistent staffing throughout the workweek, employees might not get their tenth day off every two weeks – meaning getting the extra day off midweek.