What is a 9/80 Work Schedule? Is it Right for Your Business?



What is a 9 80 Work Schedule? Is it Right for Your Business?

Gone are the days of rigid 9 to 5 schedules. As a small business owner or startup looking for innovative ways to offer better work-life balance, the 9/80 work schedule might be your answer.

This flexible scheduling model allows your team to complete their 80-hour work commitment over nine days instead of the usual ten, giving them every other Friday off. It’s not just about working fewer days; it’s about rethinking how work fits into life. By adopting the 9/80 schedule, you’re stepping into a modern approach to work that could lead to happier, more productive employees.



So, What Exactly is a 9/80 Work Schedule; Is It Right for Your Business?

A 9/80 work schedule is a type of compressed work schedule that allows employees to work 80 hours over nine days in a two-week period rather than the traditional ten days. This typically involves eight 9-hour days, one 8-hour day, and one day off over the course of a two-week cycle. Here’s how it often breaks down:

  • Week 1: Work four 9-hour days (Monday to Thursday) and one 8-hour day on Friday. This totals 44 hours.
  • Week 2: Work four 9-hour days (Monday to Thursday) and then have Friday off. This totals 36 hours.

The total hours worked over two weeks is still 80, the same as in a traditional 5-day, 40-hour work week, but with every other Friday off, employees enjoy a three-day weekend.

Historical Context and Popularity

The 9/80 work schedule started gaining popularity in the United States in the late 1980s and early 1990s. It was initially adopted in industries like aerospace and engineering and later spread to other sectors. The schedule was introduced as a way to offer greater work-life balance to employees, reduce commuting time and costs, and, in some cases, help companies save on operational costs. It’s particularly favorable in areas with long commute times or where work-life balance is highly valued.

Is the 9/80 Schedule Suitable for Your Business?

It’s important to note that while the 9/80 schedule offers benefits like a regular three-day weekend, it also means longer working days, which may not suit everyone’s personal or family life. Additionally, not all employers offer this schedule, as it may not fit with the needs or operational abilities of every business.


Small Business Deals


We’ll get into the pros and cons and more in this article about the 9/8- way of scheduling so you, as a business owner, can decide if implementing a 9/80 work schedule aligns with your company’s operational needs and culture.

Evaluating the 9/80 Work Schedule 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 days.

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 that 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.

What is a 9/80 Work Schedule? Is it Right for Your Business?

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 weekdays.



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.

What is a 9/80 Work Schedule? Is it Right for Your Business?

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.



What is a 9/80 Work Schedule? Is it Right for Your Business?

Environmental Benefits

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 downside 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.



Pros and Cons of a 9/80 Work ScheduleDescription
Employee Pros
Better Work/Life Balance- Employees enjoy an extra day off every other week, significantly improving their work/life balance. - This allows for more family time and personal activities, enhancing overall well-being.
Convenient for Personal Business- With a weekday off every other week, employees can efficiently manage personal tasks and appointments that are typically challenging to address during weekends. - This includes visits to the post office, financial services companies, or government agencies with weekday-only operating hours.
Improved Parental Benefits- The 9/80 schedule enables parents to actively participate in their children's activities. - They can drive their kids to school and attend school plays, sports tournaments, and other events that might otherwise be missed due to a traditional work schedule.
Employer Pros
Enhanced Employee Satisfaction- Offering a flexible 9/80 work structure can lead to a more content and satisfied workforce. - Employees appreciate the improved work/life balance and the added day off every other week, which can foster loyalty to your business.
Higher Levels of Productivity- Employees working during times that are more convenient for them tend to stay more focused and productive. - Reduced time spent in traffic and rush-hour commutes can result in more efficient task execution.
Environmental Benefits- A 9/80 working culture, with longer but fewer workdays, reduces the number of commutes employees need to make. - This benefits the environment by decreasing carbon emissions associated with daily commuting and portrays the organization as environmentally responsible.
Cons
Shortened Evenings- The longer workdays in a 9/80 schedule can reduce the amount of evening downtime employees have at home. - Employees may have less time for relaxation or personal activities in the evenings.
Potential Fatigue- Working nine-hour days can be physically demanding and may lead to fatigue. - Fatigued employees may not perform at their best, potentially affecting morale and productivity in the long run.

What is a 9/80 Work Schedule? Is it Right for Your Business?

Factors for Deciding if a 9/80 Work Schedule is Right for Your Business

Are you still on the fence about deciding if a 9/80 work schedule is the right fit for your Business? For your consideration, here’s a summary of factors to help you decide if it is a suitable option:

Employee Pros of a 9/80 Work Schedule:

  • Improved Work/Life Balance: Employees enjoy an extra day off every other week, allowing for more family time and personal activities.
  • Convenience for Personal Business: With a day off during weekdays, employees can handle personal tasks like visiting government agencies or financial services companies.
  • Parental Benefits: Parents can be more involved with their children’s activities, from school pickups to attending events.

The Pros for Employers:

  • Enhanced Employee Satisfaction: A flexible 9/80 structure can lead to a more content workforce, fostering loyalty to your business.
  • Higher Productivity: Employees can focus better, thanks to a more convenient schedule and reduced commute times.
  • Environmental Benefits: Fewer workdays translate to fewer commutes, contributing to a greener and more responsible business image.

Cons of a 9/80 Working Schedule:

  • Shortened Evenings: Longer workdays leave employees with less evening downtime at home.
  • Potential Fatigue: Nine-hour workdays can drain energy levels, potentially leading to reduced morale and productivity.

Is a 9/80 Schedule Right for Your Business?

  • Industry-Dependent: Suitability depends on your industry’s ability to operate outside traditional 9 to 5 hours.
  • Service-Based Businesses: If your business relies on conventional working hours, such as a sandwich shop or hairdressing salon, flexible schedules may not be practical.
  • Examples of Success: Some companies, like Raytheon, have successfully adopted the 9/80 model, but it may not fit all industries or businesses.
  • Telecommuting and Flexibility: With advancements in telecommuting technology, flexible work schedules are becoming essential for attracting and retaining top talent and staying competitive.
FactorDescription
Employee Pros of a 9/80 Work Schedule
Improved Work/Life BalanceEmployees enjoy an extra day off every other week, providing more time for family and personal activities.
Convenience for Personal BusinessWith a weekday off, employees can attend to personal tasks like visiting government agencies or financial services companies.
Parental BenefitsParents can actively participate in their children's activities, including school pickups and attending events.
The Pros for Employers
Enhanced Employee SatisfactionA flexible 9/80 structure can lead to a more content workforce, fostering loyalty to your business.
Higher ProductivityEmployees can focus better due to a more convenient schedule and reduced commute times.
Environmental BenefitsFewer workdays mean fewer commutes, contributing to a greener and more responsible business image.
Cons of a 9/80 Working Schedule
Shortened EveningsLonger workdays can reduce employees' evening downtime at home.
Potential FatigueNine-hour workdays may lead to fatigue, potentially affecting morale and productivity.
Is a 9/80 Schedule Right for Your Business?
Industry-DependentSuitability depends on your industry's ability to operate outside traditional 9 to 5 hours.
Service-Based BusinessesBusinesses reliant on conventional working hours may find flexible schedules less practical.
Examples of SuccessSome companies, like Raytheon, have successfully adopted the 9/80 model, but its applicability varies by industry.
Telecommuting and FlexibilityAdvancements in telecommuting technology make flexible work schedules essential for attracting and retaining talent.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is a 9/80 work schedule?

A 9/80 work schedule is a two-week work arrangement in which employees work eight 9-hour days and one 8-hour day, with one day off every other week.

How does the 9/80 work schedule typically operate within a two-week period?

In a 9/80 arrangement, employees work four 9-hour days, followed by an 8-hour workday split into two 4-hour slots. The first 4-hour period ends the first week, and the second 4-hour session marks the start of the second week. Then, the employee works four more days at 9 hours each before enjoying a day off.



What are the advantages of a 9/80 work schedule for employees?

Some key benefits for employees include:

  • Improved Work/Life Balance: An extra day off every other week provides more time for family and personal activities.
  • Convenience for Personal Business: With a weekday off, employees can take care of tasks typically unavailable on weekends, such as visiting government agencies or financial services companies.
  • Parental Benefits: It enables parents to be more involved in their children’s activities, including school pickups and attending events.

What are the advantages of a 9/80 work schedule for employers?

Employers can benefit in several ways, including:

  • Enhanced Employee Satisfaction: A more flexible work environment with improved work/life balance can lead to a content and loyal workforce.
  • Higher Productivity: Employees can focus better due to a convenient schedule and reduced commute times.
  • Environmental Benefits: Fewer workdays mean fewer commutes, promoting an environmentally friendly and responsible image.

Are there any drawbacks to a 9/80 work schedule?

Some potential drawbacks include:

  • Shortened Evenings: Longer workdays can leave employees with less evening downtime at home.
  • Potential Fatigue: Working nine-hour days can be tiring, potentially affecting employee morale and productivity.

How can I determine if a 9/80 work schedule is right for my business?

The suitability of a 9/80 schedule depends on your industry and business operations. Service-based industries operating mainly during traditional working hours may not find it suitable. It’s essential to assess your specific needs and industry context.



Can you provide an example of a company successfully implementing the 9/80 work schedule?

One example is Raytheon, a company in the defense, civil government, and cybersecurity solutions industry. Raytheon offers flexible work schedules, including the 9/80 model, where employees enjoy every other Friday off.

How does a 9/80 work schedule contribute to a more environmentally friendly business image?

By reducing the number of commutes to work, a 9/80 work schedule promotes environmental benefits by decreasing carbon emissions associated with daily commuting.

Is the 9/80 work schedule becoming a popular choice in today’s workforce?

The 9/80 work schedule, along with other flexible work arrangements, is gaining popularity due to advancements in telecommuting technology and changing work practices. It is seen as a way to attract and retain top talent and stay competitive in various industries.

Are there industries where a 9/80 schedule is less practical or suitable?

Industries heavily reliant on traditional 9 to 5 working hours, such as retail or customer service, may find it less practical to implement a 9/80 schedule. The suitability of this schedule depends on the nature of your business and operations.



Photo via Shutterstock 2 Comments ▼



Gabrielle Pickard-Whitehead Gabrielle Pickard-Whitehead is a professional freelance writer and journalist based in the United Kingdom. Since 2006, Gabrielle has been writing articles, blogs and news pieces for a diverse range of publications and sites. You can read "Gabrielle’s blog here.".

2 Reactions
  1. Honestly, this sounds awful. How are you suppose to get into some kind of routine that is in sync with your family, friends, and the rest of the world? I know this schedule is only being suggested for certain industries where they are likely to be working nontraditional hours anyways but I don’t think having a more complex schedule will actually help employees in the long term.

  2. Not really a fan of this. I think that employees need more free time in order to be creative and productive. They can then decide on when they should rest with leaves.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*