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9/80 work schedule: What is a 9/80 schedule?

A flexible work schedule can be a great way to improve company productivity, boost employee engagement, and ultimately improve your bottom line. However, there are various alternative work schedules to choose from, so it can be difficult to narrow down your options.

In this guide, we’ll take a deep dive into the 9/80 schedule. The 9/80 is a compressed work schedule that allows employees to gain a day off while still working full time. Keep reading to learn how a 9/80 schedule works, or use the links below to find the answers to your questions right away.

What is a 9/80 work schedule?

A 9/80 work schedule is a scheduling method that consists of eight nine-hour workdays, one eight-hour day, and one day off every two weeks. This schedule allows employees to work 80 hours in nine days, hence the name 9/80.

Typically, employees will have four nine-hour days and one eight-hour day during the first workweek. The following week, employees earn their Friday off, giving them a three-day weekend without compromising their pay. At first, this unfamiliar concept may be difficult to comprehend, so let’s take a look at an example.

Example of a 9/80 work schedule

As mentioned, the 9/80 work schedule is split into two weeks. Here’s a sample of a 9/80 workweek schedule to help you visualize it better:

Week one

  • Monday: 7 a.m. – 11 p.m., one hour unpaid lunch break, 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Tuesday: 7 a.m. – 11 p.m., one hour unpaid lunch break, 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Wednesday: 7 a.m. – 11 p.m., one hour unpaid lunch break, 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Thursday: 7 a.m. – 11 p.m., one hour unpaid lunch break, 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Friday: 7 a.m. – 11 p.m., one hour unpaid lunch break, 12 p.m. – 4 p.m.
  • Saturday and Sunday: Off

Total hours worked: 44

Week two

  • Monday: 7 a.m. – 11 p.m., one hour unpaid lunch break, 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Tuesday: 7 a.m. – 11 p.m., one hour unpaid lunch break, 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Wednesday: 7 a.m. – 11 p.m., one hour unpaid lunch break, 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Thursday: 7 a.m. – 11 p.m., one hour unpaid lunch break, 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Friday: Off
  • Saturday and Sunday: Off

Total hours worked: 36

This is just one variation of the 9/80 work schedule. Employees can also start their work at 8 a.m. and clock out at 6 p.m. No matter their schedule, just make sure they work nine hours four days a week.

What are the benefits of a 9/80 schedule?

A 9/80 schedule benefits your employees and your business. Besides giving employees a three-day weekend, there are numerous benefits that a 9/80 work schedule can provide. Let’s take a look.

Boost employee morale and productivity

With an extra weekday off, employees will feel more refreshed and energized by the time they come back to the office. This can lead to more engagement, motivation, and productivity from your team. Plus, with an extra hour in their workday, they can complete more projects and tasks.

Increase recruitment

Today’s modern, fast-paced hiring environment makes it challenging for employers to find the right talent for their business. Offering employees a 9/80 work schedule can be a valuable recruitment technique. By setting your company apart from competitors, you’ll benefit from a larger candidate pool that allows you to be more selective when hiring.

Improve work-life balance

A 9/80 work schedule can help employees dedicate more time to things they love outside of work. From spending a weekend with family to enjoying a day learning a new skill, the possibilities are endless. They can also use their guaranteed days off for something more practical, such as doctor’s appointments or parent-teacher conferences. This can lead to employees using less sick leave and requesting fewer days off.

Less commuting

Because the 9/80 schedule allows employees to work earlier or stay later than a typical nine to five, they can avoid heavy traffic. This means employees can also save on gas and don’t have to put as many miles on their vehicles. It’s a win-win for your employees and the environment with less pollution from carbon dioxide emissions. And, if you happen to cover a portion of commuting costs for employees, you’ll also save on these expenses.

What are the drawbacks of a 9/80 work schedule?

A 9/80 schedule isn’t suitable for all employees or businesses. From extensive work hours to calculating payroll, there are various challenges that stem from this type of schedule, such as:

Longer workdays

The 9/80 schedule only works if employees work nine hours four times a week. At first glance, an additional hour may not seem like a lot. However, as time goes on, it can take a toll on your employees. At the end of their shift, they may feel like there’s very little time for themselves, leading to burnout. Moreover, if employees are waking up earlier than usual to accommodate this schedule, their sleeping habits could be thrown off, interfering with their focus.

Abuse of the system

There are many ways that employees can cheat or abuse the 9/80 system. For example, if employees feel burnt out, they may start completing their projects outside of their regular hours. This is especially true as working from home becomes more popular. Workers might also stay clocked in to take advantage of overtime pay, costing your business money. Prevent this from happening with time tracking software like QuickBooks Time.

Less coverage for shifts

If you’re a small business owner, you may already have a limited staff. A 9/80 workweek schedule can make staffing gaps more prominent for your business. Even if team members have different days off, your business still may not run as efficiently. It’s important to recognize whether or not you’ll have enough employees to fulfill day-to-day operations with this type of schedule.

Complicated overtime

Overtime is already a complicated subject on its own. When you add a fluctuating workweek to the mix, it can make calculating overtime pay much more challenging. Because 9/80 work schedules require workers to have a fixed day off, additional time off requests can push non-exempt employees into overtime. This could happen if an employee regularly has Friday free but needs the Friday in their first workweek off as well. Allowing your employee to work on their scheduled off-duty day will make you responsible for overtime pay per the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Need help with overtime laws? Take a look at our state-by-state guide on overtime laws.

Is a 9/80 schedule a good fit for your business?

A 9/80 schedule isn’t recommended for every business. To find out if it’s a good fit for your organization, here are a few considerations to keep in mind:

  • Is your team interested in an alternative schedule? Not all employees want a fluctuating work schedule like the 9/80. It’s important to gather their thoughts and opinions before making this significant change.
  • Do you have the resources? If your resources are limited, you may run into some issues with a 9/80 schedule. This includes not having enough funds to cover overtime expenses or employees for optimal shift coverage.
  • How does your business operate? You need to focus on both your current business operations and what you expect the future to hold as well. Is the 9/80 schedule scalable for your business?

If you’re still unsure about implementing a 9/80 schedule at your company, you can do a trial run. Try it out with your team for a month and see how they like it.

How do you implement a 9/80 work schedule at your business?

If you’ve decided to move forward with a 9/80 schedule, here’s how to get started:

1. Discuss the plan with employees and management

The first thing you must do before implementing a 9/80 work schedule at your business is to discuss it with your employees and management team. This step requires you to investigate what flex days your employees want and see if they’re possible to establish. Additionally, you should communicate with managers to see what steps are necessary to make a 9/80 schedule a reality.

2. Create an official policy

This official policy should outline the expectations for your employees. It’s essential that you’re as detailed as possible to prevent miscommunication between you and your team. A few things to mention are details about overtime and working off the clock. Work closely with your human resources department to make sure your policies align with the U.S. Department of Labor laws.

3. Put a reliable payroll system in place

Without a robust payroll system like QuickBooks Payroll , you may struggle to hande the changes that come with implementing the new schedule. For example, you might accidentally end up paying your employees overtime for their first 9/80 workweek. You want to ensure your employees receive accurate wages per their payroll schedule to avoid possible fines and lawsuits.

Make the switch to a 9/80 work schedule easier with QuickBooks Time

Depending on your business and the size of your workforce, a 9/80 work schedule can be valuable for employee productivity, satisfaction, and recruitment. If you’re thinking about implementing this type of alternative schedule at your company, ensure you have time-tracking software to make the switch easier.

From creating employee schedules to team management functionality, QuickBooks Time allows you to seamlessly transition your team to a 9/80 schedule. Plus, with powerful integration capabilities, you can connect to your preferred accounting, bookkeeping, and payroll software.

Looking for other alternative schedules to implement at your business? Check out our employee work schedule survey for additional scheduling methods.


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