9/80 Work Schedule

What Is a 9/80 Schedule?

A 9/80 work schedule is an alternative one in which employees work for nine days in two weeks instead of ten days on a traditional nine-to-five, Monday-to-Friday schedule. A 9/80 schedule is usually split into eight nine-hour days and a single eight-hour day, which translates to an additional day off every other week. This structure is often called a “compressed” schedule because employees still work 80 hours in total while working fewer days.

Examples of a 9/80 Work Schedule

How does a 9/80 schedule work, exactly? The following table illustrates the most common way to arrange one:

Total Hours
Week 1
9 hours
9 hours
9 hours
9 hours
8 hours
44 hours
Week 2
9 hours
9 hours
9 hours
9 hours
Day off
36 hours

For payroll purposes, the last four hours worked in Week 1 are applied to Week 2.

While this is a typical breakdown, there are other variations of the 9/80 schedule. For example, you may want to move an employee’s eight-hour day to the second week, resulting in one week with 45 hours and the second week with 35 hours, for a total of 80 hours over a two-week period. You also could let employees choose to be off on another day instead of Friday.

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What Are the Benefits of a 9/80 Work Schedule?

A 9/80 work schedule has several benefits for both employees and the company overall such as:

Better Work-Life Balance

A 9/80 work schedule gives your employees two additional days off each month to tend to matters in their personal lives such as scheduling appointments, practicing their hobbies, or spending time with family and friends. Having this time to recharge can often reduce mental and physical stress, leading to improved health outcomes.

Less Commuting

Many employees dislike having to sit in traffic on their way to work. With an 80/9 schedule, employees can reduce wear and tear on their vehicles and save money on gas.

Decreased Absenteeism

Having two extra days off means your employees won’t have to take as many days off work to complete their personal to-do lists or maintain their mental and physical health. When employees adhere to their work schedule, efficiency and performance can improve across your organization.

Increased Engagement and Productivity

Disengaged employees cost employers $8.8 trillion annually in lost productivity. When employees are not engaged, they perform poorly, collaborate less, and create less-than-stellar customer experiences. They’re also less likely to stick around.

A 9/80 schedule gives employees more time off for rest and recreation. In turn, they’re more likely to be focused, engaged, and productive when they’re on the clock.

Better Ability to Attract and Retain Talent

An alternative work schedule is a powerful perk to attract candidates seeking flexibility and a forward-thinking work environment. Some candidates love the idea of being able to have a few extra days off during the month and are more likely to choose employers that offer this option.

More Scheduling Flexibility

A compressed schedule allows employers to provide additional days while ensuring operations run smoothly. It’s also easy to make the 9/80 schedule work for your needs.

You can always split employees into groups and alternate which Friday each group will have off. This allows you to offer the benefits of an alternative schedule while ensuring all shifts are covered.

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What Are the Downsides of a 9/80 Schedule?

Though a 9/80 schedule can offer many benefits, it may not be best for every organization. Consider these potential challenges as well before moving to this type of schedule for your employees:

Longer Workdays

An 80/9 work schedule is only viable when your employees agree to work longer days. This can cut into their recreational time at the end of the day, giving them less time to relax at home. For some, working longer hours can decrease productivity by as much as 20%.

Strict Adherence

The 9/80 schedule requires strict adherence to work well. Time tracking will become challenging and overtime inevitable if employees constantly ask to switch their days off or adjust arrival and departure times.

Overtime can also easily become an issue if employees are less productive during the day and need to work even longer to compensate for it.

Policy Alterations

Most sick leave and time off policies are based on an eight-hour workday and a 40-hour workweek. You’ll have to adjust the numbers in your policy as well as any software that automatically calculates time off accrual to reflect that a day off may mean nine hours, and a workweek may include more than 40 hours.

Not the Right Fit

The 9/80 schedule isn’t the right fit for every business. For example, your company may have very few employees and must operate every weekday. If you can’t split your employees into groups and alternate schedules, you may not have enough people to cover critical shifts.

Deciding Whether a 9/80 Schedule Is Right for Your Company

Before you implement a 9/80 schedule, it’s a good idea to evaluate whether it’s the best move for your company. Take a closer look at these important considerations:


First, consider the size of your staff and your customers’ needs. Smaller companies may not be able to make the 9/80 schedule work because there aren’t enough people to cover all shifts.

Also, consider whether certain staff members are needed every day to perform specialized tasks that other employees aren’t able to do.


A 9/80 schedule is best for industries where employees already typically work regular schedules, move at their own pace, and would benefit from longer hours. This might include software engineers, accountants, business consultants, and graphic designers.

An alternative schedule may not work as well for customer-centric industries like retail or food service. A 9/80 schedule is also unsuitable for industries where staff cannot work extended days for safety reasons, like manufacturing and construction.

Employee Feedback

If your staff doesn’t like the idea of a 9/80 schedule, you may run into problems with implementation, as it will be challenging to keep them engaged. Switching to this schedule against their wishes can result in more turnover and less productivity.

You also need to ensure your leadership is on board and agrees that it’ll help the company achieve its strategic goals.

Resources and Policies

Before moving to a 9/80 scheduling model, consider how to shift your time off accrual and sick leave policies. You’ll also need robust payroll software to accurately track time and ensure employees get paid correctly.

Having an HR team will also be helpful to answer employee questions and ensure everyone makes a smooth transition to the new schedule.

What Does Research Say About the 9/80 Schedule?

While not much research has been done on the 9/80 work schedule in particular, recent studies suggest as many as 90% of employees desire more flexibility in their work. In fact, 54% of employees would consider quitting their jobs if their employer did not offer some flexibility regarding when and where they work.

However, trends indicate the world is trending toward shorter workdays, as the average workday decreased by 37 minutes in the last year. This is in direct contrast to the premise of the 9/80 schedule, which calls for longer workdays in exchange for more days off per month.

Anecdotal reports suggest alternative work schedules may be beneficial to productivity as well; however, quantitative proof of increased productivity is a bit more elusive.

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