The 4/10 schedule is an increasingly common way for companies to provide employees with flexibility and help create a work-life balance. In this article, we’ll discuss what 4/10 hour shifts are, their pros and cons, and introduce you to how employee scheduling software can streamline your scheduling process. 

Table of contents
  1. What Is a 4/10 Schedule? 
  2. What Are The Pros And Cons Of A 4/10 Schedule?
  3. Employee Scheduling Software to the Rescue
  4. The Final Word on 4/10 Work Schedules

We all have learned over the past years that employees highly value flexibility in the workplace and a healthy work-life balance. 

To recruit and retain top talent, many companies are trying out different work schedules other than the traditional 9 to 5 to support their employees’ needs. And one of the most popular alternative schedules is – you guessed it – the 4/10 schedule.

But what exactly are 4/10 hour shifts? What are the most significant benefits and drawbacks for you as an employer and your employees? And how can employee scheduling software help simplify and streamline your entire scheduling process? 

Let’s dive right in

What Is a 4/10 Schedule? 

The Office Of Human Resources notes, “a compressed schedule involves longer but fewer work days so that you can complete a full 80 hours during each biweekly pay period in less than 10 work days.” 

This means that employees have an extra day off during the week. This doesn’t mean that employers must always agree to a 3-day weekend; the employee can also request the extra day off be taken during the week as well. 

It’s important to keep in mind that a compressed schedule isn’t right for everyone. Consider several pros and cons before deciding if a compressed schedule is right for you. For example, is working a 10-hour shift doable for every employee? Furthermore, research shows that working long hours isn’t necessarily good for productivity. 

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Additionally, some state overtime laws must be followed, and scheduling employees can become more difficult if everyone is on a 4/10 schedule. Therefore, it’s important to be up to date on all overtime laws in your state, but we’ll go into those details later on. In addition, management must be able to efficiently create a working schedule that can accommodate all employees’ needs and wants. 

In order to schedule employees, more and more companies are turning to new technologies such as employee scheduling apps to assist management with all their scheduling needs. These software solutions, like Connecteam’s employee scheduling app, take all manual paper processes and streamline them onto a digital platform. 

4/10 work schedule example of Connecteam app

Before we get into scheduling softwares and all its benefits, let’s discuss the major benefits and disadvantages of compressed scheduling so you can better understand if it will fit your needs. 

What Are The Pros And Cons Of A 4/10 Schedule?

Just like any other workweek schedule, the compressed workweek approach has its advantages and disadvantages—both for employees and employers. 

Let’s take a look at some of the main pros and cons you should keep in mind as an employer. 

Pros of a 4/10 Schedule

1. Increased employee productivity

Studies have shown that with a 4/10 work schedule, management will notice an increase in employee productivity and performance. Even though they’re working the same amount of 40 hours, a compressed work schedule gives employees an extra day off during the week or a three-day weekend to rest and recharge. This can give employees the necessary boost to perform well on the job and allows them to truly value the time they have during work. 

2. Enhanced employee happiness & well-being

Workforce Institute’s research demonstrates that a 4/10 work schedule reduces employee stress and boosts their happiness and well-being. Having an extra day off each week allows employees to find a better work-life balance. In this context, offering 4/10 hour shifts have also shown to increase employee attendance. Overall, a happy workforce will give a big boost to your company’s culture and morale. 

3. Improved recruitment & retention 

Nowadays, employees are looking for flexibility. And offering flexible working hours has proven to help attract and retain top talent.

Particularly in the case of small businesses, Business News Daily says it perfectly, “attracting and retaining top talent is a major concern for small business owners across every industry. While things like competitive wages, top-notch benefits and adequate vacation time are important, for high-demand employees, such features are widely considered to be the bare minimum. If you want to attract the best workforce possible but can’t necessarily afford to increase salaries or benefits, offering flexibility is an excellent strategy”. With that in mind, if you’re a small business currently recruiting for new talent, it may be time to offer compressed or flexible scheduling as an option if you aren’t already. 

Benefits of 4/10 work schedule infographic

Cons of a 4/10 Schedule 

1. Not suitable for all

Some employees may feel that working 10 hours a day is way too long and will easily cause them to burn out quickly. This is especially true for some specific industries where employees may be on their feet for a long period of time or driving for extended periods. In these cases, it may not be a great fit. 

In addition, not everyone works on a 4/10 work schedule, so there may be some scheduling or timing conflicts, for instance, with other business partners, clients, or contractors working a regular schedule. No matter what, a 4/10 work schedule should not make it difficult for employees to complete their daily tasks and it should not become an inconvenience to clients or other colleagues. 

There may be some employees who simply may not want to work a 4/10 schedule. If you’re going to implement a 4/10 work schedule at your business, it may be best to let employees try it first and then decide if it’s a right fit for them

2. Overtime regulations

There are overtime laws that need to be carefully followed and considered when deciding if employees should be on a 4/10 work schedule. In certain states like Nevada, California, and Alaska, any amount of time over 8 hours in a single day must be counted as overtime. This accumulates to a weekly 32 regular working hours with 8 extra hours of overtime pay. You must look into your state’s overtime laws and the maximum number of hours to comply. You can easily find resources located on the US Department Of Labor website. 

3. Increased complexity

Other aspects need to be carefully considered as well. For example, how will you calculate vacation time? How will management ensure all shifts are covered, and there are no scheduling conflicts or issues? BND advises, that if you want to implement a 4/10 schedule, “employees and management need to coordinate closely when switching to the new schedule. Managers need to ensure there’s proper coverage on the days that other employees are off. Further, managers need to ensure that the new schedules allow for a smooth workflow and that deadlines are met”. 

Similar to when managing rotating shifts, a 4/10 work schedule can create a lot of confusion and major headaches for payroll, especially if you aren’t using an employee time tracking and scheduling app to manage this. 

Connecteam employee scheduling app

Employee Scheduling Software to the Rescue

Employee scheduling software is a great way to easily manage and implement a 4/10 work schedule for your employees and transfer all tedious pen and paper processes over to one digital platform. It enables you to create schedules for your teams and resolve other issues mentioned above, such as overtime compliance.

Take Connecteam for example. This all-in-one employee scheduling tool allows you to quickly and easily create optimal schedules for your employees based on their availability and qualifications. You can use recurring shifts, templates, drag-and-drop scheduler, and auto-scheduling to save additional time. You can attach any relevant details, files, and information to shifts for your employees to access from any job site, right on their cell phones. It enables you to ensure that every shift is covered with automated reminders and notifications and alerts you of scheduling mistakes and conflicts. You also have the option to create open shifts for your employees to claim. 

As an all-in-one employee management solution, Connecteam has countless additional tools to help you ensure that your processes run smoothly. This includes features for accurate time tracking, task management, internal communication, and employee engagement. 

Overall, by using an all-in-one employee management app, you can efficiently implement a 4/10 working schedule and clearly see if it works for your employees based on measurable insights and data.

Make Scheduling a Complete Breeze with Connecteam’s Employee Scheduling App

Save valuable time and effort and start creating optimal schedules for your team in just a few clicks

employee scheduling interface

The Final Word on 4/10 Work Schedules

Before jumping into implementing a 4/10 work schedule for all your employees, it may be wise to gather some employee feedback first and see whether or not that is something your employees would be interested in. If so, there are a lot of pros and cons to consider before trying out this new type of schedule. 

While it may reduce stress, increase employee happiness, increase productivity, and increase retention rates, it may not be a good solution for all your employees. Be sensitive to all your employees scheduling needs, allow them to choose if it’s something they would want. 

In addition, you must make sure you’re in compliance with overtime laws in your state. If you’re unsure on what those exact laws are, a quick Google search for “overtime laws” followed by the state in which you are working, will help you find the answer. 

Make sure that the 4/10 work schedule doesn’t negatively impact your business. While your employees may want to be on a 4/10 schedule, that doesn’t necessarily mean that clients and customers are also working during those times. If you notice that employees are having difficulty connecting with clients, or you don’t have enough employees to cover shifts, then a 4/10 work schedule may not be the right fit for your business. 

Lastly, in order to streamline scheduling, time tracking, communication, and task management within your business then it would be a good idea to take advantage of employee management apps to do so. With Connecteam, you can schedule employees with the touch of a button and track overtime to ensure legal compliance. Not to mention a ton of other features to reduce day-to-day friction. 

Create Optimal Work Schedules with Just The Click of a Button

Easily and quickly schedule employees according to their availability & qualifications, attach shift notes, set automated reminders & notifications, create open shifts, and more.

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