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What is a 9/80 Work Schedule – Advantages & Disadvantages

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In this era of the modern workplace, employees are increasingly seeking a work culture that offers flexibility and better work-life balance. That’s why, many organizations are pivoting towards a human-centric work culture that focuses on improving employees’ morale and their engagement. This shift has led to the emergence of several alternative work schedules. Among these alternative approaches, the 9/80 work schedule is getting high popularity. Read this blog to know – what is the 9/80 work schedule and what are its advantages & disadvantages.

What Is the 9/80 Work Schedule?

The 9/80 work schedule is a compressed two-week schedule, where employees get an additional day off in the second week. In other words, the working hours of two weeks are split in a way to provide an extra day off in the second week.

In this model, employees work the same number of hours (80) in every two weeks as a standard work schedule, but they cover these hours in nine days rather than ten. The 80 work hours of two weeks are split in such a way that 44 work hours are completed in the first week and 36 work hours are completed in the second week. 

In the first week, employees have to work for 9 hours each for first 4 days and 8 hours on a Friday. And, in the second week, the employees work for 9 hours each for 4 days and get Friday off

9/80 work schedule format

Example of a 9/80 Work Schedule

This is an example of 9/80 work schedule:

Week I

first week of 9/80 schedule

Total hours: 44

Week II

second week of 9/80 schedule

Total hours: 36

Total working hours of 2 weeks: 44+36= 80 hours

Week I

  • Mon: 9 am – 1 pm, 1-hr break, 2 pm – 7 pm
  • Tue: 9 am – 1 pm, 1-hr break, 2 pm – 7 pm
  • Wed: 9 am – 1 pm, 1-hr break, 2 pm – 7 pm
  • Thu: 9 am – 1 pm, 1-hr break, 2 pm – 7 pm
  • Fri: 9 am – 1 pm, 1-hr break, 2 pm – 6 pm

Week II

  • Mon: 9 am – 1 pm, 1-hr break, 2 pm – 7 pm
  • Tue: 9 am – 1 pm, 1-hr break, 2 pm – 7 pm
  • Wed: 9 am – 1 pm, 1-hr break, 2 pm – 7 pm
  • Thu: 9 am – 1 pm, 1-hr break, 2 pm – 7 pm
  • Fri: Employees get the day off

Different organizations can choose to have different work timings, however, the total work hours remain fixed. For instance, an organization can choose to start the shift at 7 am and can have a break from 11 am to 12 pm, then end the shift at 5 pm.

Comparison of 9/80 vs. Normal Schedule

Here’s the depiction of the 9/80 work schedule with respect to the normal working schedule-

comparison of 9/80 schedule with normal work schedule

In a standard 9 to 5 schedule, employees work 8-hours each for 5 days in a week, then get Saturday and Sunday off. Thus, in a two-week period, this adds to a total of 80-hours over 10 working days.

In 9/80 schedule, employees work for 9 hours each for first 4 days and 8 hours on a Friday, and, in the second week, they work for 9 hours each for 4 days and get the Friday off. This way, in a two week-period, it adds to a total of 80-hours, but over 9 working days.

We have listed some of the major pros and cons of this alternative work schedule that may help you determine whether or not this schedule is the right fit for your organization.

Pros of 9/80 Work Schedule

For Employees

  • Promotes Work-Life Balance 

The 9/80 is considered a promising schedule for promoting a better work-life balance. The long weekend due to an extra day off helps employees disconnect from work much better. This long weekend offers them better opportunity (if on Friday) to go on a vacation and spend time with family. In other words, the consecutive 3 days off allows them to plan a short trip without the need to take additional vacation leaves.

It also gives them more time to pursue their personal interests and hobbies. What’s more, having time off on a workday (usually Friday) allows them to complete their errands, such as visiting a bank or seeing a doctor, since such establishments are usually closed during weekends.

work life balance depiction

  • Increases Employee Productivity 

Having an extra day off acts as a reward for employees, which results in greater productivity and enthusiasm for their daily work. An extended weekend enables employees to relax and rejuvenate much better compared to a regular weekend. This, in turn, reduces the likelihood of burnout and gives them the necessary zeal to accomplish their work duties on time. 

In addition, the 9/80 work schedule helps employees better concentrate and complete more tasks in a day due to longer work time. A study from Journal of Physics Conference reveals that implementation of a compressed work week such as 9/80 schedule helps reduce job stress, and enhances work productivity.

Furthermore, organizations that implement a 9/80 work schedule witness fewer vacation and sick leave requests or other kinds of absenteeism. 

  • Reduces Commuting Time

In this shift, the employees start or leave work one hour later or sooner than the usual shifts, which allows commuters to avoid heavy traffic. Leaving work at a time different from the rush hour helps commuters avoid heavy traffic and spend less time in travelling. Therefore, long-distance commuters find this work schedule beneficial over traditional 9-5 work time. In addition, employees also save one day of commuting time due to an extra day off every two weeks.

For Employers

  • Helps in Hiring Talented Employees

In this competitive era where employees have more choices, they look for organizations that provide the most perks and benefits while switching their jobs. In fact, a survey from EY reveals that 33% of the employee respondents prefer to have a shorter work week.

Therefore, having a 9/80 work schedule can help employers attract a large candidate pool since it offers better work-life balance and extra days off than any other organization. Besides, this schedule also gives employers a better opportunity to retain their existing employees.

  • Lowers Operating Costs

With two additional offs in a month, organizations are able to reduce their infrastructure and maintenance costs. This can happen as companies can choose to keep their offices closed during these two days. For instance, when Microsoft Japan shifted from a 5-day to 4-day a week schedule, their electricity cost was cut down by 23%. 

In addition, many employers witnessed other organizational benefits, such as energy conservation and lower utility cost, as per the published survey

  • Lowers Absenteeism

It has been observed that employees who work in the 9/80 work schedule are less likely to request vacation or sick leaves. This schedule allows them to organize and manage their personal and work lives in such a way that they would barely need any time off to accomplish their personal duties or responsibilities.

  • Improves Employee Performance

The extra day off every two weeks works as a bonus for employees. It has been observed that employees tend to feel more productive and motivated when they get an extra day off, which results in higher employee engagement and quality work.

Pros of 9/80 Schedule for Employees and Employers

For Employees For Employers
Promotes Work-Life Balance Helps in Hiring Talented Employees
Increases Productivity and Efficiency Improved Employee Performance
Reduced Commuting Time Lower Absenteeism
  Lower Operating Costs

Cons of 9/80 Work Schedule

For Employees

  • Lowered Productivity Due to Extended Workday 

It’s a well-known fact that employees are most productive at the start of the day. As the day progresses, productivity starts to decrease. Some employees might find it very tough to work on a nine hour shift and may start slacking off their work. They might experience lethargy and tiredness due to the extra hour added to every workday. 

  • Not Suitable for All Employees

The 9/80 work schedule looks appealing to most employees; however, this model does not suit everyone. For example, in order to accommodate an extra hour, an organization can choose to start the office early, due to which employees can face inconvenience in their morning schedules and experience disrupted sleep patterns.

They will have to arrange their morning routine in order to reach the office on time. Especially parents who pick up and drop their children at school may have to start their day early. Apart from that, they might find this work schedule too tiring and taxing due to the extended working hours.

For Employers

  • Unavailable Customers, Clients and Business Partners

It’s likely that when your employees work for an additional hour, the customers or clients may not be available. Depending on your schedule, the extra work hour might fall outside of normal business hours. So, in spite of the fact that your staff is happy with this schedule, if your business partners or customers are not active during that extra hour, then that extra hour may not be utilized productively, which will lead to lower sales.

  • Complexity on Vacation and Sick Day Leaves 

This alternative work schedule requires re-evaluating the existing PTO leave policy. For example, if an employee requests for a sick or vacation leave on a 9-hour day, the company loses an extra hour of work compared to a standard work day. This is also the case if a public holiday falls during one of the 9 hour workdays.

Therefore, you need to assess and redefine your vacation and sick leave policy before implementing the 9/80 work schedule. Organizations can tackle this issue by tracking these leaves as 8 hours of work, and the extra hour can be considered as vacation time. 

  • Overtime Complexity

In many countries, the overtime payment triggers as soon as an employee works beyond 40 hours a week, whereas, in the 9/80 work schedule, employees are supposed to work for 44 hours in the first week and 36 hours in the next week. Therefore, depending on the local labor laws, some employers might need to pay an overtime of additional 4 hours worked during the first week of the bi-weekly cycle. 

For instance, the California Labor Code 510 states that employees who work over 8 hours a day are eligible for overtime compensation. Therefore, it’s necessary to consult legal experts like attorneys, accountants, HR business partners, etc., to stay compliant. This will ensure that you work within the legal framework without the need to pay unnecessary overtime remuneration. 

an employee being reminded about overtime via a clock

  • Harmful for Small Enterprises

9/80 work schedule can pose a challenge to certain industries such as manufacturing, retail or hospitality that require consistent business operations as these companies usually need staff round the clock. 

Organizations with large workforces can easily split their workforce into two teams so that workflow is not disturbed due to employees’ days off. However, small enterprises may not have sufficient employees to extend coverage by splitting the workforce into two teams. Thus, this schedule may not be suitable for such small enterprises.

Cons of 9/80 Schedule for Employees and Employers

For Employees For Employers
Lowered Productivity Due to Extended Workday Unavailable Customers, Clients and Business Partners 
Not Suitable for All Employees Complexity on Vacation and Sick Day Leaves
  Overtime Complexity
  Harmful for Small Enterprises

Best Practices for Implementing 9/80 Work Schedule

Analyze if the 9/80 Schedule Is for You

Before implementing the 9/80 schedule in your organization, you, as an employer, must analyze whether or not this schedule suits your industry type and business. It requires assessing the size of the staff, weekly staff requirements, and the nature & needs of your business.

To have better clarity, 

  • List all the possible pros and cons if you implement this schedule in your organization or business. 
  • Consider potential issues or contingencies that may arise due to the implementation of this schedule. 
  • Try to assess the impact on your business, if any, in case your staff stays on time off an extra day every two weeks.
  • Check if your business requires continuous operation on all 5 workdays. Can that be tackled with multiple staff shifts, or would it require any other plan? 

For example, industries such as retail, hospitality, and manufacturing often require consistent business hours, so a 9/80 schedule may not be a perfect fit for them. However, other industries, like IT, or telecommunication, can find this schedule suitable. 

Once you have all these pointers in one place, it’ll help you make a prudent decision regarding whether or not this schedule is good for your business.

Plan the Schedule Keeping Everyone in Loop

Once you’ve decided to implement the policy in your business or organization, you need to map out the implementation plan with the help of management. It’s necessary to communicate this model to your staff and take their feedback on the same. You can conduct a short survey among employees to understand how they respond to this new model. 

You can also ask for their individual preferences regarding which day of the 2-week, would they like to avail of the day off. Based on what the majority says, you can make a decision regarding this.

Develop a Written Policy

It’s necessary to curate a formal policy or guidelines for this schedule. Make sure to entail all the details, and specifications related to the work timings, days off, PTO policy, and overtime to avoid any ambiguity or confusion. 

A clear written policy will ensure that your employees are well acquainted with this new schedule, reducing the chances of any misconduct. Also, an employer should get buy-in from their management so that they can proactively respond to the staff concerns in case any problem arises. 

management discussing guidelines to be documented in 9/80 work schedule policy

Manage Payroll and Overtime Pay

One of the challenges faced by employers while implementing the 9/80 work schedule is in the area of payroll processing. In this schedule, the first week consists of 44 hours, and the second week comprises 36 hours. According to certain labor laws and regulations, work done beyond 40 hours a week is considered overtime. This may require employers to compensate employees with overtime pay, as the first week has 44 work hours in total. 

Management may resolve this issue by running the payroll on a two-week schedule basis rather than a weekly basis. 

For example, while calculating the payroll, HR can include the first half of the eight-hour workday in the first week and the second half of the eight-hour day in the second week.

Consider Legal Consequences and Compliance

When an organization switches to the 9/80 work schedule, local authorities may ask them to notify about their weekly schedule and whether or not they will operate as per the regulations defined. 

Therefore, make sure that the schedule you implement complies with federal and state overtime laws, such as Fair Labor Standards Act(FLSA). You can take help from any legal expert or attorney to ensure that your work policy and payroll processing comply with regional regulations. 

Leverage the Right Tools and Infrastructure 

Leveraging this schedule calls for tracking the exact work hours that employees worked in two weeks. To streamline this task, you may leverage appropriate tools so that there’s no room for any error. 

For example, you can deploy an efficient time tracking software that can record the exact working hours of each employee. Tracking work hours helps in the accurate calculation of the payroll as well. In addition, time tracking software calculates exact overtime hours, so ambiguity related to overtime and time off issues gets mitigated. 

Go for a Trial First

Before implementing the schedule across the entire organization, consider running a trial period in one of the departments or among specific employees. This trial test may help you understand if this schedule is suitable for your organization or raising any challenges. 

This trial period can provide an opportunity to assess the change in productivity, workflow, and challenges posed by the system so that you can address them beforehand. Once you’ve ascertained that this schedule is running smoothly, it can be extended throughout the organization. 

Would a 9/80 Schedule Work for Your Organization?

As mentioned earlier, the success of the 9/80 schedule depends on the industry or business you operate in. If your business requires continuous operation on all 5-workdays, you might need sufficient resources in order to split them into multiple shifts to provide coverage. However, if you do not have enough staff to provide enough coverage, then this system may not be apt. 

For example, if your organization operates in industries such as retail, hospitality, and manufacturing that require consistent business operations, the 9/80 schedule can do more harm than good. However, if you operate in a sector that employs professionals like software developers, accountants, business consultants, etc., the 9/80 work schedule can be suitable. 

9/80 Work Schedule Template (Free Download)

Check out this free 9/80 schedule template from Replicon that can help you implement this schedule in your organization efficiently. In this downloadable template, you can enter your clock-in, break, and clock-out time and it will calculate your total working hours for the two weeks. After taking inputs for two weeks’ work timings, it will show total working hours and will generate an error if the total working hours are below 80.

You can download this schedule in both MS Excel and Google Sheet format. Click on the buttons below to get started now.

weekly timesheet template

Download ExcelGoogle Sheet

Bottom Line

In short, a 9/80 schedule is a compressed work schedule that works on a bi-weekly basis instead of a weekly basis. Here, employees are required to work 80 hours in two weeks but obtain an additional day off every second week (usually on Friday).

This system provides more flexibility, boosts engagement and also reduces the absenteeism rate. However, this model does not suit all industries and therefore requires thorough, meticulous analysis before implementation. So, consider choosing this schedule only if it suits your industry type and also consult your staff to understand their personal preferences. 

If you implement this alternative work schedule for your organization, it is recommended to use an efficient time tracking software that can track employee’s time to avoid any ambiguity of overtime and contracted work time. You can leverage Replicon’s time-tracking software, which is trusted by global businesses and can capture employee’s time with 100% accuracy. Start your free trial here. 

Frequently Asked Questions:

1. What is a 9/80 work schedule in California?

According to California Labor Code section 510, before considering 9/80 for your business, this schedule must be approved in a secret ballot election by at least two-thirds of the employees of a certain department. An employer needs to reveal the wages, hours, and benefits in a written format and then conduct the election during working hours. 

The final result from the election needs to be presented to the California Division of Labor and Research. Also, if the organization implements a 9/80 work schedule, their employees fill in a form and provide their personal preferences for the day off between Monday to Friday. 

2. What is a 9/80 vs. 4/10 work schedule? 

9/80 work schedule is a bi-weekly work schedule, where employees work for 9 hours for first 4 days and 8 hours on the 5th day of the first week. Thereafter, they work for 9 hours for 4 days in the 2nd week to avail 1 day off. Whereas, in a 4/10 work schedule, the employees work for 10 hours for 4 days a week and get three days off every week.

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Sonika Malviya


Sonika Malviya


Sonika is a Marketing Communications Specialist at Deltek | Replicon, specializing in covering topics related to time tracking and workforce management software. With her in-depth knowledge of these topics, she translates technical details into understandable and relatable content to empower businesses to optimize their productivity, improve their workflows, and achieve greater success in managing their time. Beyond her professional role, Sonika finds solace and inspiration in her travels. She also practices meditation and has a flair for culinary experimentation, always eager to try her hand at cooking new cuisines.


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