Table of contents
  1. How Does a 9/80 Work Schedule Operate?
  2. Employee Benefits of a 9/80 Work Schedule 
  3. Employer Benefits of a 9/80 Work Schedule 
  4. Disadvantages of a 9/80 Work Schedule
  5. How to Implement a 9/80 Work Schedule
  6. Conclusion

A 9/80 work schedule is an arrangement where employees work 80 hours over nine days in a two-week period, typically resulting in every other Friday off. Employees work eight 9-hour days and one 8-hour day across the two weeks, allowing for an extra day off without reducing their total working hours.

To accomplish 80 hours of work, the employee will work eight nine-hour shifts and one eight-hour shift during the first week. Then, in the second week, the employee will work four nine-hour shifts and have Friday off.

An alternative way of running this schedule is to have an employee work four nine-hour shifts, followed by a four-hour shift, and then repeat this schedule the following week. Although employees won’t receive a full day off in the two-week period, they’ll receive two half-days off every Friday. 

How Does a 9/80 Work Schedule Operate?

To an outside observer, the 9/80 seems a lot more complicated than a simple five-day, 40-hour workweek. However, when you break it down into individual weeks, you can see a pattern develop.

The first week involves a total of 44 hours: 

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Total
9 hours 9 hours 9 hours 9 hours 8 hours 44 hours

However, the second workweek involves just 36 hours, which can be a real draw for employees: 

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Total
9 hours 9 hours 9 hours 9 hours No work 36 hours

Effectively, employees have three-day weekends twice a month using this schedule, and in months when there is a public holiday, workers may even receive a four-day weekend.

💡 Pro Tip: 

Take advantage of an employee time clock app to ensure employees are working the correct number of hours and eliminate manual timekeeping.

That way, your staff can clock in and out work right from their phones no matter where they’re located, and the app will automatically create digital timesheets recording everyone’s total hours.

Employee Benefits of a 9/80 Work Schedule 


A major benefit of this type of scheduling is that it provides employees with flexibility, allowing them to vary their work schedules. The Department of Labor even refers to work schedules that fit outside of the normal 9-5 work day as flexible work schedules

Decreased time spent in commute

No one enjoys sitting in traffic, waiting to get to work. Because the 9/80 format allows employees to take one day off in a two-week period, an entire day of commuting is cut from their life. In addition to this, when an employee works a nine-hour shift, they may experience less traffic on their commute home because they miss rush-hour traffic.

Greater work-life balance

Knowing that there is a day off coming up allows employees to plan out their months to make better use of their personal time. Employees may book important appointments on those days or spend this time with family and friends.

Reduced burnout

When workers have more time to themselves, they’re less likely to experience employee burnout. Having two 3-day weekends a month provides them with more free time to relax, unwind, and decompress.

Employer Benefits of a 9/80 Work Schedule 

Attracting talented employees

As an employer, you can pitch the 9/80 work schedule as an advantage of joining your company, alongside other benefits such as your medical plan, company culture, and professional development plans. This indicates potential hires that you care about the well-being of your employees.

Increased productivity

Some employers have argued that this schedule breaks the monotony of the regular 40-hour workweek, allowing their employees to establish healthier and more productive work rhythms. In the second workweek, in particular, you may see a boost in employee morale as workers anticipate the long weekend ahead. Employees may also be motivated to work harder, ensuring that they have completed tasks before their time off. 

Equally, having an extra day off to recharge allows employees to come back to work more refreshed, and ready to contribute more to the company.

Disadvantages of a 9/80 Work Schedule

Several disadvantages of a 9/80 work schedule include:

  • Longer workdays: Employees may experience increased fatigue due to the extended daily work hours, which can impact productivity and work-life balance.
  • Scheduling conflicts: Coordinating meetings and project timelines can be challenging when team members have alternating Fridays off.
  • Reduced coverage: On days when employees are off, there may be reduced staff availability, impacting customer service or operational efficiency.
  • Adaptation issues: Some employees may struggle to adapt to the altered schedule, particularly if it disrupts their personal routine or family commitments.
  • Potential overtime costs: If not managed properly, the 9/80 schedule could lead to unintended overtime costs for the employer.

How to Implement a 9/80 Work Schedule

Ready to go ahead with a 9/80 work schedule for your team? Here’s an overview of how to do it:

Conduct research

First, conduct some market research by reaching out to companies within your network that already use a 9/80 schedule. This can provide you with practical examples of how to properly implement it on your own team. Consider asking the following:

  • Was it difficult to transition from a 40-hour work week to the 9/80 work schedule? 
  • What were its immediate benefits? 
  • What challenges did you face in the first year? 
  • Would you recommend it to other businesses? 

Next, reach out to your employees to gauge how they feel about a possible 9/80 schedule. Be sure to explain to them the expectations for the workload throughout each week. You may hear several opinions, but if there is a generally positive feeling about the program, you could run a trial of the schedule. 

💡 Pro Tip:

Use employee surveys to gather real-time feedback about a potential change in their schedules.

With Connecteam, for example, you can create your own customized surveys directly in the app using any question format you like. Then, easily send it out with a click. Each employee will receive a notification on their phones and be able to complete the survey right from their mobile devices.

Prepate payroll for this change

The accounting department may experience issues early on when adding up the hours. Since your employees will be working 44 hours in the first week rather than the standard 40, if added up incorrectly, it may appear that employees are entitled to receive four hours of overtime. To mitigate this issue, switch to a pay period of two weeks, particularly if you have been using weekly pay periods. 

It is worth noting that in some states, such as California, overtime is calculated by the hours worked in a single day, and any time over 8 hours is considered overtime. This is protected by law, and so you may not be able to run this work schedule if you operate in certain states. 

Seek Feedback

During the trial phase, you should seek feedback from your employees to understand whether they feel the new schedule is benefiting—or hindering—them. In addition, speak to the managers at your company to see if the employees have continued to meet key performance indicators. If you find the trial to be successful, you can implement the work schedule full-time, using the feedback you’ve obtained to refine processes for both managers and employees. 


The 9/80 work schedule allows employees greater flexibility, contributing to morale and boosting loyalty. It can also be an effective way to jumpstart productivity, as employees returning from a three-day weekend may be more refreshed and ready to contribute in the workplace. If you choose to implement this program, ask for continuous feedback and monitor changes to productivity in order to ensure a successful transition.