What is a 9/80 Work Schedule? Examples, Benefits, and Drawbacks

The 9/80 schedule allows employees to work 80 hours across nine days instead of the traditional 10 days while still completing a full two-week pay period. This type of work schedule begins by splitting the typical two-week pay period into two, with each segment consisting of a 9-day work period. This translates to working eight 9-hour days and one 8-hour day within the two-week cycle, while enjoying an extra day off every other week. Companies that implement this schedule carefully balance work expectations, ensuring that both employees and the organization benefit from this arrangement.

As with any work schedule, there are advantages and disadvantages to adopting a 9/80 arrangement. Some employees enjoy an improved work-life balance and reduced commuting time, while others may experience challenges with longer workdays and maintaining consistent productivity. It is important to examine the unique circumstances of each organization and its workforce to determine if the 9/80 schedule is the right fit.

What Is a 9/80 Work Schedule?

A 9/80 work schedule is a flexible work arrangement that allows employees to complete their usual 80-hour, two-week workload over nine workdays instead of ten. The structure typically has employees working for nine hours on eight of those days and eight hours on one of the days, with one day off.

The most common implementation of a 9/80 schedule consists of the following pattern:

  • Monday to Thursday – 9 hours per day
  • Friday – 8 hours
  • Monday to Thursday – 9 hours per day
  • Friday – Off

This schedule results in employees receiving alternating Fridays off, giving them a three-day weekend every other week. Some companies may make slight variations to the arrangement to suit their operational needs, but the core concept of a 9/80 work schedule remains the same.

To implement a 9/80 work schedule, employers typically define a Fixed Employee Workweek (FEWW) lasting 168 hours, which equates to seven consecutive 24-hour periods. This FEWW begins at a specific day and hour, known as the Flexible Workweek Hour (FWH). As an example, the FWH could be set on Friday at noon, which would split the eight-hour workday into four hours credited to one workweek and four hours credited to the following workweek.

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Examples of 9/80 Work Schedules

Example 1:

  • Week 1: Monday – Thursday, 9 hours per day; Friday, 8 hours
  • Week 2: Monday – Thursday, 9 hours per day; Friday, off

Example 2:

  • Week 1: Monday – Thursday, 9 hours per day; Friday, off
  • Week 2: Monday – Thursday, 9 hours per day; Friday, 8 hours

Example 3:

  • Week 1: Monday – Wednesday, 9 hours per day; Thursday, 8 hours; Friday, off
  • Week 2: Monday – Wednesday, 9 hours per day; Thursday, 9 hours; Friday, 8 hours

While these examples demonstrate some common 9/80 work schedules, organizations can tailor the schedule to fit their needs and preferences. For example, some companies may offer more flexibility in choosing the day off each week, while others may have a fixed day off for all employees.

Pros of a 9/80 Work Schedule

Work-Life Balance

A 9/80 work schedule can be advantageous for both employees and employers. One of the primary benefits is improved work-life balance for employees. By having an extra day off every other week, employees can enjoy more time with their families, engage in hobbies, or pursue personal interests.

Furthermore, the longer hours in the remaining days of the week can allow employees to focus on their work and successfully complete tasks without feeling overly rushed. This compressed schedule can increase their overall productivity, in turn contributing to the success of the company.

Employee Retention

Another significant advantage of a 9/80 work schedule is increased employee retention. By offering this scheduling option, employers can demonstrate a commitment to employees’ well-being and show that they value work-life balance. As a result, employees may be more likely to remain with the company, reducing turnover rates and the associated costs of hiring and training new staff.

  • Increased job satisfaction
  • Reduced stress levels
  • Better employer-employee relationships
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Reduced Commuting Costs

Lastly, a 9/80 work schedule can lead to reduced commuting costs for employees. By taking one less commute to the office every other week, employees can save on transportation expenses such as gas, public transportation fares, and vehicle maintenance. This not only benefits the employees financially but also contributes to a reduction in traffic congestion and environmental emissions.

In addition to individual cost savings, organizations can also benefit from reduced overhead expenses on office resources like electricity, water, and office supplies, as employees are not present for an entire workday every other week.

Cons of a 9/80 Work Schedule

While a 9/80 work schedule offers numerous benefits, it also comes with some drawbacks that both employees and employers should consider before implementing this arrangement.

Potential for Burnout

With longer workdays, employees on a 9/80 schedule may experience heightened stress and fatigue. The extended hours can be challenging, especially for those with personal or family obligations. In turn, this may lead to increased susceptibility to burnout, impacting productivity and overall employee well-being.

Employer Management Challenges

For employers, implementing a 9/80 work schedule may require additional administrative tasks and oversight. Ensuring compliance with labor laws and maintaining accurate timekeeping records can be time-consuming. Additionally, coordinating schedules and effectively managing resources may become increasingly complicated, while adjusting to the new arrangement.

Coordination with Clients and Partners

Organizations that adopt a 9/80 work schedule may also face challenges when coordinating with clients and partners that operate on traditional working hours. This can lead to communication gaps or delayed responses, potentially causing delays in projects and tasks. Consequently, organizations must remain vigilant in maintaining effective communication and coordination outside of their immediate team.

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Tips for Implementing a 9/80 Schedule

Clear Communication

When implementing a 9/80 schedule, it is crucial for management to maintain open and clear communication with employees. This includes discussing the benefits and potential drawbacks of the plan, as well as clearly outlining any changes to existing policies and procedures.

Companies can use various communication tools, such as newsletters, team meetings, and intranet updates, to ensure that everyone stays well-informed. Employees should also be encouraged to voice their concerns or suggestions, as this feedback can prove valuable in refining the implementation process.

Establishing Expectations

Setting clear expectations for both employees and managers is essential for the successful implementation of a 9/80 work schedule. This may involve adjusting performance metrics, redistributing workloads, or modifying deadlines to accommodate the new schedule.

Managers should work closely with their teams to establish expectations and set achievable goals. They should also provide regular feedback and conduct performance evaluations to ensure that employees are adapting well to the new schedule and maintaining productivity.

Flexible Culture

Fostering a flexible workplace culture is a key component of implementing a 9/80 schedule effectively. This entails encouraging employees to embrace the new schedule and work autonomously, trusting them to manage their own workloads and deliver quality results in a timely manner.


Employers should carefully consider the potential pros and cons of implementing this type of schedule, and engage in open communication with staff to determine whether it would benefit the workplace as a whole.