Forget 9 to 5. Today’s working schedule is all about 9/80. A 9/80 working schedule refers to a two-week period that involves employees working eight 9-hour days and one 8-hour day with one day off every other week.
In a 9/80 arrangement, the four 9-hour days are followed by an 8-hour workday, which is split into two 4-hour slots. The first 4-hour period ends the first of the two working weeks and the second 4-hour session marks the start of a second working week.
The employee then works for four more days at 9-hours a day followed a day off.
Employee Pros of a 9/80 Work Schedule
The 9/80 work pattern is designed to help employees get a better work/life balance, as staff get an extra day off every other week. With an extra day off, employees can enjoy more family time, spending time doing their favorite hobbies or going away for a long weekend.
With a work day off every other week, employees are able to carry out personal business that they are typically unable to do when they just have the weekends. Such personal business might include going to the post office, visiting a financial services company or having an appointment with a government agency, which is only open during week days.
For employees with children, a 9/80 work schedule enables them to be more involved parents by driving their kids to school and attending plays or sports tournaments they wouldn’t otherwise be able to see.
The Pros for Employers
By offering a more flexible 9/80 working structure at your business, you may reap the benefits of a more satisfied workforce, who, because they are enjoying a more flexible working environment with greater work/life balance and with a three-day weekend every other week, reward you by staying loyal to your business.
Higher Levels of Productivity
By working at a time that’s more convenient to them, 9/80 structures can help employees stay more focused and productive and with less time spent in traffic and or having to rush home, team members can perform tasks with greater ease and efficiency.
By working longer but fewer days, a 9/80 working culture relies on less commutes to work, thereby benefitting the environment and helping organizations be seen in a more environmentally friendly and corporately responsible light.
Cons of a 9/80 Working Schedule
The downsides of working a 9/80 pattern is that an employee’s evenings are shortened. Working a longer day they have less time to spend at home in the evenings.
Less Energized Employees
Having to work for nine hours a day can be zapping to energy levels, which, in turn, may fatigue employees meaning they are not working at their best, which could potentially lead to declining morale amongst the workforce.
Is a 9/80 Schedule Right for Your Business?
Whether your business would benefit from implementing a more flexible 9/80 work schedule vastly depends on your industry and whether your business can operate outside the traditional 9 to 5 working day.
If, for example, you are a service-based industry and your business can operate outside conventional working hours, offering a more condensed working week for your employees — where they can get work done in longer days and then have a longer weekend to take off and relax — could provide several tangible benefits to your business, including increased productivity and staff loyalty.
By contrast, if you run a business that solely operates during the working day, such as a sandwich shop or a hairdressing salon, offering flexible working schedules might not be suitable.
One example of a company which successfully offers the 8/90 model is Raytheon, a company providing defense, civil government and cybersecurity solutions. Raytheon prides itself on offering flexible work schedules to its employees, including the 9/80 model, which gives staff every other Friday off.
According to the organization’s website:
“Innovation, creativity and flexibility are important in order for Raytheon to be able to respond effectively to challenging business needs.”
“Raytheon also recognizes the importance of workplace flexibility for its employees. Raytheon supports a variety of flexible work arrangements including compressed work weeks, flexitime, job sharing, reduced hours and telecommuting. The particular flexibility options will vary depending upon the type of work performed and the work location.”
Thanks to prolific advancements in telecommuting technology and changing working practices, flexible working, whereby businesses, employees and entrepreneurs can conduct work when and where they see fit, is a phenomenon few businesses can afford to ignore in order to attract and retain the best talent and ultimately remain competitive.
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