For most working-class people, there is a standard 40-hour workweek wherein they work eight hours a day for five days a week. The recent pandemic, however, has brought everyone out of the reverie of the ordinary and made them realize that there are, indeed, other options and ways of working as well. Some are even more productive than the usual schedule. One of them is the 9 80 work schedule. What is it? Let’s find out.
In this article, we will talk about what is 9 80 schedule, what are its benefits, what are the pitfalls, how can you implement it, and much more.
What is the 9 80 schedule?
We have already defined a standard work schedule of 40 hours. A 9 80 work schedule is a little different. But it is a little similar too. For starters, both standard work week and 9 80 work schedule comprise 40 working hours per week, only the implementation is different.
A 9 80 work schedule maps the working hours for two weeks rather than one week. It consists of eight days of nine hours each, followed by one eight-hour day, and one day off every alternate week. Thus, while it follows the same principle of working for 40 hours as per the standard work schedule, a nine eighty work schedule basically divides the eight hours of the ninth working day in those eight working days, so that one extra day off can be availed.
Basically, the usual ten working days are converted into 9 working days if the organization follows a 9 80 work schedule. An extra day off didn’t hurt anyone. But are the employees happy enough to pitch an extra hour every day to make up for it? As said, a 9 80 work schedule has its pros and peeves both. But first, let’s find out how to make it a success.
How to ensure your 9 80 work schedule works the best way?
Implementing any change in the organization requires proper planning before its ultimate execution. It also requires ample and accurate communication, especially if it is going to bring about a big change in the routine of the employees. A 9 80 work schedule, of course, falls in this category and thus it is important for you to know how to implement it properly and what things to keep in mind to ensure it is implemented in the best way possible.
Here is what you should ensure before you start with the formalities of implementation:
It is important to consult the higher management whether or not this is a good idea. In fact, the best way is to put out feelers and emailers to the entire organization and know their views on this change in their workweek.
Consulting the employees will let you know whether or not the wave is in favor of a 9 80 work schedule. Once you know that most of them have warmed up to the idea, it’s time to start communicating the benefits internally. This is a challenging part. You need to keep the communication alive not only to make the convinced employees excited but also to turn the minds of those who are not quite keen on the idea.
Implement a fixed day
The best way to make sure that your 9 80 work schedule works well is to fix one day in two weeks as the off day. Mostly, Friday works. The long weekend gives employees enough encouragement and motive to work energetically the rest of the days. Also, make sure that the alternate eight-hour workday also falls on a Friday.
The whole point of the 9 80 work schedule is to include an extra hour in the rest of the working days to give employees one extra off day. Fixing one day is the best strategy. However, in some of the cases, especially in digital and media industries that work on a little more flexible schedule, the employees may ask for a switch for the off day. Do it as per your company policy but monitor it closely to avoid any confusion or manipulation.
Manage the holiday
Make sure that you fix your system in a way that you can segregate the working hours from the off-day ones. That means if a public holiday falls on a nine-hour workday, it should read as eight hours working and one hour of vacation. Further, sick leaves too should be dealt with depending on whether or not it falls on a 9-hour workday.
While this may look a little odd and slightly tricky to follow, once when the routine sets in, 9 80 work schedule is quite great to follow.
But, it is equally important to know its pros and cons before plunging right into the work schedule.
What are the benefits of a 9 80 work schedule?
The main benefit of a 9 80 schedule is the benefit of a long weekend that it provides with a simple technique of dividing one workday over the rest. It helps boost employee mood and the overall work environment.
Following are some of the benefits of having a 9 80 schedule:
- With two extra work offs in hand, employees manage to strike a balance between their personal and professional life, thus amping up their work-life balance
- Given they will have more offs to deal with their personal life, there will be fewer professional interruptions. As a result, work will be smoother, better, and more consistent
- A two-day off week is good, but a three-day off week is even better. Having a three-day weekend every alternate week gives employees ample time to rest their mind and body and even take a mini-vacation if they want
- A 9 80 schedule is known to visibly increase employee productivity as they have more control over their work schedule. Further, an extra day off works as a morale booster, encouraging them to perform better
- One extra hour of work is great for continuity and often gives the employees to complete tasks that may otherwise spill over on the next workday, on the same day itself. This saves considerable time and energy
What are the disadvantages of a 9 80 work schedule?
While a 9 80 work schedule does come with a plethora of benefits, there are a few pitfalls as well. Let us chart those out for you.
- Longer workdays can lead to lethargy and reducing productivity, especially when the employees start wearing out after working for eight hours
- Employees are used to an eight-hour workday and thus working nine-hours a day may lead to excessive exhaustion which may also affect their focus and thus end up having the opposite effect
- There may be issues over overtime payment for the non-exempt employees. It is important to get that cleared before you implement the 9 80 work schedule
- If yours is a client-based business, having an extra hour may not be as efficient if your client organizations are inactive during those hours
- It is also important to make sure you cover all the staffing gaps, especially if you are a small business with a core team in action
- For businesses with fixed hours yet flexible schedules, implementing a 9 80 schedule can be a bit tricky, especially when there are employees who walk in early or even those who come late. This needs to be kept in check
Does your business need a 9 80 work schedule?
More than need, it is whether you work in an industry which can cope with this kind of work schedule. For a 9 80 work schedule, it is important to plan and communicate well and in advance. This makes the implementation becomes easier. Once done, it may have a few hiccups in the start but then becomes easy to follow and keep a track of. Also, the pros of a 980 workweek more often than not supersede the cons. It increases the productivity of employees and fosters a better and happier work culture in general.
Does your organization have a nine eighty work schedule in place? If not, are you planning to implement one? Do share your experience with us at @HarmonizeHQ