9/80 Work Schedule

With the 9/80 work schedule, employees gain an extra day off work every two weeks. But is it the right rota pattern for your business? Find out here.
  • Author: Siva
  • Last updated: December 9, 2022
  • 5 Minutes
9/80 work schedule pattern in workplaces and its statutory laws and benefits explained by Papershift

© / Adobe Stock

Are you an employee longing for more flexibility in your work schedule? Are you an employer who is struggling to motivate staff and keep them happy? If you are either of these things, then a standard 9 to 5 workday probably just won’t cut it and you may need to drastically change your scheduling to something like a 9/80 system.

But what is a 9/80 working schedule and how can a business manage it? In this guide, you will learn what the 9/80 schedule is, how to know if it is right for your business, the pros it offers, and best practices for its implementation.

Let’s begin

What is a 9/80 working schedule?

Definition : 9/80 Work Schedule
A 9/80 schedule is a two-week work schedule that compresses the same number of work hours (usually 80 hours) into nine days rather than ten. With the 9/80 work schedule, employees gain an extra day off work every two weeks.

The aim of the 9/80 system is that it reorganizes work schedules to enhance employee productivity and engagement while also improving their work-life balance.

What does a 9/80 schedule look like?

There are multiple ways businesses can implement a 9/80 schedule. The most common involves eight 9-hour days, one 8-hour day, and an extra day off every two weeks. For example:

Week 1

Monday: 9-hour shift

Tuesday: 9-hour shift 

Wednesday: 9 hours

Thursday: 9-hour shift

Friday: 8-hour shift

Total of 44-hours worked

Week 2

Monday: 9-hour shift

Tuesday: 9-hour shift

Wednesday: 9-hour shift

Thursday: 9-hour shift

Friday: Day off

Total 36-hours worked for a combined 80 hours over the 2 weeks.

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Why is the 9/80 schedule becoming popular?

The Covid-19 pandemic transformed how many companies operate their scheduling, with a huge shift towards hybrid scheduling models and work-from-home policies.

Post-pandemic employees are looking for more flexibility in their work schedules and a better way of balancing their work and personal lives. For many employees, the pandemic highlighted the downsides of the standard 5-day working week, the unhealthy work-life balance, and the potential burnout it produces. As a result, alternative approaches to work schedules are gaining popularity, with the 9/80 schedule one of the forerunners.

Businesses are seeing that implementing more employee focussed scheduling has the ability to improve employee motivation, boost productivity, and increase engagement, offering more value to businesses and greater flexibility for employees.

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Here’s our simple & proven employee scheduling guide for rota managers and supervisors.

How do I know if the 9/80 system is right for my business?

Transitioning to a 9/80 schedule often requires significant organizational change. As such, it’s important to understand if it will be a good fit for your business before implementing it.

Here are several areas to consider when thinking about introducing 9/80 scheduling:

a. Industry and business model

The industry you operate in and the business model you utilize are major factors determining whether the 9/80 schedule is a good or bad routine for your employees.

Before considering any move, you should ask yourself the following questions:

  1. How does your company operate?
  2. How many staff do you have?
  3. What are your staffing requirements throughout the week?
  4. What tasks do your staff carry out?

Generally speaking, the 9/80 schedule offers more benefits and is simpler to implement when staff works the same hours with the same days off every two weeks.

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Examples of workforces best suited to the 9/80 schedule include:

  • Software developers
  • Business consultants
  • Graphic designers
  • Accountants
  • Online tutors
  • Video editors
  • General office staff

Industries where 9/80 scheduling can be challenging include:

  • Retail
  • Hospitality
  • Manufacturing
  • Construction
  • Logistics

b. Ask yourself, do your staff even want a 9/80 schedule?

Before undertaking the transition, you need to undertake a detailed consultation with the entire workforce to understand their thoughts and opinions.

Understanding your workforce is vital. You need to know how your employees work best, when they are most productive, and their preferences for scheduling.

It can often help to run a trial scheme for specific teams or departments. Often employees can change their minds after seeing the schedule in action.

c. Make sure you have sufficient resources

Implementing the 9/80 can require significant resources. You will often need:

  1. The appropriate number of employees and skillsets to ensure shift coverage matches demand at all times.
  2. The capability to transition employees to the new schedule.
  3. A robust payroll system to adapt to the new schedule.

One of the most complicated aspects of implementing a 9/80 schedule is making sure you don’t end up paying overtime due to having working weeks that total more than the employees contracted hours.

Having a good payroll system (like the one we provide at Papershift) can help.

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

There are many benefits to the 9/80 schedule. Here are a few to think about.

a. It can help boost employee productivity and morale

Implementing a 9/80 schedule can significantly benefit employee productivity, morale, engagement, and motivation.

With an extra day off every two weeks, employees get more time away from the office to focus on themselves, allowing them to feel more refreshed and ready to work when they are back on shift.

b. Greater flexibility in scheduling

Post-pandemic, employees are placing a greater emphasis on flexibility and work/life balance. This includes hybrid models and working from home, but it may also mean alternative schedules.

The 9/80 schedule can often offer a better balance for employees and greater flexibility with extended periods away from the office.

c. It can help businesses improve recruitment and retention of staff

Businesses with traditional work schedules are finding it harder to recruit and retain staff in the modern workplace. 

Offering alternative work schedules, such as the 9/80 schedule, is becoming a valuable recruitment tool, allowing businesses to attract more and better candidates.

Is there anything I can do to help implement a 9/80 working schedule for my business?

Yes, there is. Our biggest tip for making any drastic changes to your scheduling model is to make sure you have the right tools for the job.

Having a good shift scheduling software can make the transition far easier to manage and take the pain out of planning. Take a look at our trusted scheduling suite and see how it can help you with all your staff management needs.

In conclusion

Does the 9/80 sound like a shift pattern that could help your business and supercharge your productivity? If it does, then don’t forget to check out our all-in-one scheduling solutions to help you with the transition.

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Written by Siva

I write & describe the value & benefits delivered by Paperhift's rota planning, staff time tracking, and employee payroll management software. Especially useful for Shift Planners, Rota Managers, Team Admins, and HR Teams :-)