Is it right for your business?

Most organizations follow the standard 9 to 5 work schedule. However, many companies are now looking at alternatives and a 9/80 work schedule is one of them. This type of schedule involves long hours spread over two work weeks. In this article we will look at what a 9/80 work schedule is and what the possible advantages and disadvantages of this work pattern are.

First things first… What is a 9/80 work schedule?

A 9/80 work schedule basically includes a total of eight nine-hour days, one eight-hour day and one day off, spread over a period of two working weeks. So with a 9/80 work schedule, employees work 80 hours over nine days (hence the name: 9 days/80 hours) instead of the usual 10 days (assuming it’s a five-day work week).

This allows the organization to give its employees a whole day off every other week. And because this is spread over two workweeks, for salary calculations you must apply the first half of the eight-hour workday to the first week and the second half to the following week.

Still confused? Let’s simplify it!

Let’s understand this concept with an example. Assuming you have a 5-day work week and your workday starts at 8am with a one-hour lunch break, a 9/80 schedule will look something like the one shown in the figure.

What this essentially means is that with this work schedule, your employees will work more on weekdays and then earn an extra day off every other Friday.

Benefits of 9/80 work schedule

The usual 9 to 5 schedule is comfortable, as most of us are used to it. However, there are certainly advantages to this new work schedule. Let’s look at some of the benefits of a 9/80 work schedule.

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1. Increased productivity

With fewer workdays and extra days off, companies are giving employees extra control over their work schedules. Which in turn will boost employee morale and encourage them to work more and be more productive.

2. Higher flexibility

Organizations can be smart about resource allocation and make the most of the 9/80 workflow. The flexibility allows them to separate and split the team to ensure the optimization of resources. So some of your employees can take Friday off, while others have Thursday as their week off. This way you make optimal use of your resources to achieve the objectives of your organization.

3. Less commuting

Now that employees are going to the office one day less, it reduces the hassle of traveling. Additionally, organizations can combine the 9/80 work schedule with the work-from-home model. Where the working time is still 9 hours, but the employee will now work from home. The challenge, however, is ensuring they are ready to work from home – in terms of infrastructure and other factors.

4. Higher employee satisfaction

Your employees travel less, have flexible work schedules and save on travel costs and time while enjoying a much better work-life balance. What does this mean? All these positive things point to higher employee satisfaction. And let’s not forget: when employees are happy, they tend to be more productive, which is good for the overall culture of the teams and the company.

5. More customer satisfaction

When your employees are happy and satisfied, this will also be reflected in your customer satisfaction figures. Imagine a customer service representative stuck in traffic and frustrated about being late to the office. When this agent is on a customer call, they may show signs of irritation that will affect the quality of the call and therefore the customer experience. An agent who is well rested and happy will now have a much better and more pleasant interaction with the customer.

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Disadvantages of 9/80 work schedule

Now let’s look at some of the potential pitfalls of a 9/90 work schedule that you should consider before making a decision.

1. Exit Policy

Implementing this schedule may require you to reconsider and restructure your leave policies. For example, sick leave is now 9 hours instead of the usual 8 hours. You may therefore have to adjust things again when dividing your sick leave hours (usually 72 hours).

2. Resource management – ​​Inadequate staff

This is especially worrying for smaller companies. You don’t want the majority of your staff to have a day off on Friday or Monday. So care must be taken to split the team to ensure a five-day working situation. However, that can bring its own challenges when it comes to managing who gets the extra day off and when.

3. Implementation problems

It can be difficult to get employees used to the new 9/80 work schedule. Like a nine-hour workday, they had to come early or stay late. That requires some adjustment on their part and can get in the way of their obligations and planning. This makes them skeptical of the idea.

4. Problems with overtime

You may need to check overtime. Like employees who used to leave work early at, say, 5 p.m. and were used to completing their tasks by that time, can now start a new project/assignment to fill that extra hour. This can stretch things further and lead to overtime. If this is a rare occurrence, then it’s fine. However, if it happens more often, it will increase your expenses in the long run.

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In a nutshell

There are certainly many benefits to having a 9/80 work schedule. However, it all comes down to your unique business requirements. A company where leave policies are not well structured, or where business functions require teams to be present at similar times or where there may be overtime issues or sectors with a greater influx of customers during certain hours, may want to reconsider this approach to working. That said, with the right policies and technology, you can make this work to your advantage. It’s just a matter of understanding the needs of your business, customers and employees while working towards the objectives.

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