Does the traditional workweek sometimes seem like a marathon? If so, how would it feel if the same number of hours could be achieved in fewer days? Enter the 9/80 work schedule.

For those unfamiliar, here’s the gist.

Basically, it’s a compressed workweek. However, it allows employees to work 80 hours over nine days instead of the standard ten — assuming a five-day week. Typically, this is achieved through two weeks of nine-hour workdays and an eight-hour day.

You may be wondering why people would embrace such a schedule. The main perk is that employees get a three-day weekend every other week.

Sample 9/80 Work Schedule

Implementing the 9/80 schedule can be done in many different ways. However, the most common schedule involves eight 9-hour days, one 8-hour day, and an extra day off every two weeks. For example:

Week 1

  • Monday: 9 hours
  • Tuesday: 9 hours
  • Wednesday: 9 hours
  • Thursday: 9 hours
  • Friday: 8 hours

44 hours worked

Week 2

  • Monday: 9 hours
  • Tuesday: 9 hours
  • Wednesday: 9 hours
  • Thursday: 9 hours
  • Friday: Day off

36 hours worked

Flexibility is what makes the 9/80 schedule so appealing. For example, employees might work from 8 a.m. to noon, take an hour-long lunch break, and then work from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Or, some employers could start the day at 7 a.m. and end the day earlier at 5 p.m.

Regardless of how the hours are arranged, they remain a 9/80 schedule as long as four days each week involve nine hours of work.

The Advantages of a 9/80 Work Schedule

It’s never easy to deal with changes, whether you’re an employer or an employee. Still, adapting to different work habits and incorporating them into your daily routine is essential.

Here are several benefits employees and employers can expect from a 9/80 work schedule.

Employee benefits of a 9/80 work schedule.

There will likely be significant life changes that you and your family members will have to deal with. However, you’ll be able to spend more time together due to this life-changing situation. As an employee, you can take advantage of the following advantages when you start a 9/80 schedule.

  • Maintaining a work-life balance. Employees are guaranteed two extra days off per month. As a result, they can schedule appointments, conduct personal business, or take a vacation with family or friends. Also, it can result in fewer sick days, no-shows, and time-off requests Additionally, 95% of respondents in APA’s 2023 Work in America Survey rated work/life boundaries as very important (61%) or somewhat important (34%).
  • Increased productivity. Employees often see their additional day off as a well-deserved reward. To achieve it, they might work even harder throughout the week. This can improve morale, resulting in a more positive attitude among employees.
  • Choice of the day off. It is up to employees to decide whether to take an extra day off.
  • Less commuting time. If you commute, a 9/80 schedule will allow you to avoid the usual traffic jams at peak times. With an average commute time of 27 minutes, 9/80 workers get home at approximately the same time and still have a day off every other week.
  • Fewer Interruptions. Employees will have more time to resolve personal commitments, allowing them to finish things without interrupting work. This will, in turn, make them more engaged and productive.
  • Higher motivation. When this schedule is incorporated into a person’s work routine, they receive an additional day off to look forward to, which is a great motivator. As a result, employees’ morale and performance can be boosted.

Employer advantages of the 9/80 work schedule.

In addition to the benefits this alternative work schedule provides employees, the following benefits also apply to businesses.

  • Fixed schedule. Unless in an emergency, employees cannot request frequent changes to 9/80 work schedules.
  • Decreased tardiness and absenteeism. Employees who arrive at work at 7 a.m. or 8 a.m. tend to avoid rush-hour traffic and be more punctual. Also, the 9/80 program allows employees to organize their lives and work to minimize the chance that they will be absent from work due to personal issues.
  • Improved employees’ performance and productivity. When employees have an extra day off to look forward to, they are more motivated and show quality work.
  • Employee retention and attraction. To attract and retain top talent, it may be beneficial to offer a flexible schedule. In fact, almost 2 in 3 workers consider workplace flexibility (location, hours) to be important. Moreover, according to the EY 2021 Work Reimagined Employee Survey, 54% of respondents would quit their jobs if employers did not provide some flexibility in work hours and locations.
  • Lower costs. A 9/80 is simple to implement and only obliges the employer to pay for the voting expenses. Moreover, alternative work schedules can reduce energy and utility costs.

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

Despite its benefits for employers and employees, a 9/80 schedule also has some disadvantages. Below is a list of disadvantages from both the employer’s and employee’s perspectives.

Disadvantages of a 9/80 work schedule concerning employees.

Here are some drawbacks of a 9/80 work schedule that negatively impact employees.

  • It may not be suitable for everyone. While this work schedule may appeal to many employees, it is not for everyone. For example, people working two jobs or in single-parenting situations may find this schedule too exhausting. Additionally, childcare must be paid for and arranged.
  • An extended workday. The additional hours each day of a 9/80 work schedule can be challenging to some employees, even with the benefit of a day off. Depending on the working environment, an additional hour can increase employee stress and burnout.
  • Fixed work schedule. It has already been mentioned that a 9/80 schedule is fixed and cannot be easily changed. As such, in the event of unforeseen circumstances, employees are not allowed to request leave, and their timesheets must be filled out a year in advance.

Disadvantages of a 9/80 work schedule concerning employers.

From the employer’s perspective, there can also be disadvantages.

  • Scheduling. Employees with critical decision-making roles might have difficulty dealing with unforeseen circumstances when their scheduled days off fall on weekends. It is also common for communication with suppliers and customers to be negatively affected during days off. Uneven distribution of scheduled days off can lead to confusion and missed deadlines within a department.
  • Insufficient overtime hours. It is still necessary for some businesses to hire overtime workers, even if employees work one hour more on this schedule. As a result of a 9/80 work schedule, only a handful of workers would apply for overtime work because it would be tiresome. An extra shift could be added, resulting in significant resource expenditures.
  • Poor performance. It is not possible for all characters to successfully adapt to this work schedule. There is a possibility that some employees will have difficulty adjusting to this schedule. In this case, their performance might not meet the required standard.
  • Less coverage for small businesses. Those with few employees may have difficulties adhering to the 9/80 schedule. The number of employees may not be sufficient to split the day off and increase coverage. The employer may have just enough employees to split into two teams but not enough to complete the work efficiently throughout each team’s shift.
  • Leave-related expenses. When an employee takes sick leave or vacation days on a 9-hour day, the company loses one hour of work. In addition, if the holiday falls on the employee’s day off, the employer must give them 8 hours of holiday credit.
  • Customer and business inactivity. It is possible that your customers and other businesses aren’t active during the extra hours of work associated with a 9/80 schedule. When other companies are closed, and your customers are elsewhere, you may lose productivity and even revenue if you cannot keep your team members on task.


Flexibility, such as a 9/80 work schedule, is a great way to boost your employees’ productivity or attract and retain talent. Although implementing a 9/80 schedule may be challenging at your organization, it offers many advantages to your employees.


How many hours is a 9/80 schedule each week?

The 9/80 schedule is a two-week schedule with 80 hours. In contrast to a more traditional 40-hour schedule, one week has 44 hours of employment and the next 36. Despite how the weeks are divided up, the second week actually begins on Friday afternoon of the first week.

Does the 9/80 schedule exceed the 40-hour workweek?

Short answer: no.

Since the employer considers the extra four hours you work on Friday of the first week to be the start of the next work week, they are not counted as overtime. In any case, working extra hours on that Friday before noon qualifies as overtime. In addition, overtime can be earned if you work over 80 hours for two weeks.

What are the rules for a 9/80 schedule?

You must follow the specific rules of your company to achieve a 9/80 schedule. For example, you may work nine-hour days on other days and a half-day on Friday. Also, you may be able to enjoy three-day weekends more consistently if you have a schedule that gives you a day off every two weeks.

Is a 9/80 work schedule right for me?

Your individual preferences, work style, and job requirements will determine whether a 9/80 schedule is right for you. The following points should be taken into account:

  • Workload. A 9/80 schedule may not be suitable for someone with a heavy workload. You may have to work longer hours to get everything done because of the longer workdays.
  • Ability to handle long workdays. It may not be the best option for you to work a 9/80 schedule if you find it difficult to concentrate for long periods of time.
  • Desired work-life balance. The 9/80 schedule might be a good option if you want to improve your work-life balance. You can spend more time with friends and family on the more extended weekend.

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