Thinking of Adopting the 9/80 Work Week? Read This First

Being a business owner or manager can be tough, especially when the time comes to figure out employee scheduling. There are a variety of scheduling techniques one can utalize to determine best fit for your business, as this can be a critical factor to determining success. The 9/80 work week falls outside of what most would consider, so why is it we see more and more businesses looking to transition to such a roster?

A 9/80 work schedule is where employees work on a two-week work schedule, dividing up 80 hours into 9 days. Working a 9/80 schedule can call for long work hours, however, it grants employees two extra off days throughout the month.

Take a dive with us into the world of scheduling and see how implementing a 9/80 work week could possibly benefit you as a business owner, your employees and your company as a whole.

What is the 9/80 Work Schedule?

When you think of a work schedule – your mind is trained to immediately think of the traditional schedule: Monday through Friday, somewhere around the hours of 8am-5pm.

Now companies have found ways around the typical – spicing things up a bit by using an array of different scheduling techniques. However, we’re focused on the 9/80 work schedule here.

The basis of a 9/80 work week involves working 9 days within two weeks – totalling up to 80 hours. Now, keep in mind that there are different ways of setting up your shifts to achieve a 9/80 schedule.

The typical way that 9/80 schedule functions is by having eight nine-hour days, one eight-hour day, and then one day off over a two weeks span – which means you have one week in which you have three off days (including weekends). This totals out to working 9 days in two weeks, at a total of 80 hours for the pay period.

For my business owners and managers, here’s one for you. When it comes time to do payroll, make sure you are putting the eight hour day at the end of the week. Doing this allows you to put the first four hours of the work day in one week, and the last four hours in the following week.

This type of work schedule can prove beneficial to the overall success of your company, but if you don’t have a true understanding of your operation requirements, customer needs and staff wellbeing, there are some components to this which can also be detrimental. This is why proper communication and proper research is paramount when implementing this type of schedule.

It is not something that you can just up and enforce. Take your time and weigh out your options. Luckily for you, below are some already laid out benefits and disadvantages to consider.

Related post: Alternative Work Schedules: Pros and Cons

Sticky notes

Employee Benefits of the 9/80 Schedule

Keeping your employees happy and engaged is a huge part of running a successful company.

You may be concerned about swapping to a 9/80 work schedule, afraid that it would not sit well with your employees. However, the benefits that come with this type of schedule might intrigue your employees – making a potential transition go smoothly. Below is a list of benefits typically shared by employees.

Extra Day Off

We all love to see a three day weekend, and implementing a 9/80 work schedule allows that to happen. Let’s say before swapping to this type of schedule, your schedule is set to work the traditional Monday through Friday – having Saturday and Sunday off. Swapping to the 9/80 allows employers to give one of those Fridays off entirely. No staff member has ever said no to 3 days away from the office!

Wondering what to do on your days off – Read This: Help! Should I Stick to a Night Shift Schedule on Days Off?

Well Rested

Remember that extra off day? Implementing this work schedule means constant reaping of its benefits. No matter what field of work you are in, we all have days where we are just mentally drained, and we need time to recoup. Recouping is healthy for our minds and for our bodies. Getting extra off days means more time for leisure, it means giving your body more time to rest. Rested employees perform better. If you can’t sleep this post will help.

Healthy Work / Life Balance

Regardless of what shift you work, finding a balance between your work and home life is often difficult. Implementing a successful 9/80 work schedule could mean a healthier balance between your work life and your home life. The extra few days off gives you the opportunity to schedule doctors appointments, run errands, or simply just have some fun. This promotes a healthier balance, and one is rarely getting in the way of the other.

Related post: The Complete Guide To A Rotating Shift Work Schedule

Company Benefits of the 9/80 Work Schedule

As a business owner, not only do you need to think about how implementing a new schedule can benefit your employees, but how it can benefit yourself as well.

Wanting to understand the benefits you will personally reap is not selfish – it is smart. Below are a few ways that implementing a 9/80 roster could benefit companies directly. 


The 9/80 work schedule doesn’t just help the employee – it benefits the employer just as much. When it comes time to interview potential employees, you always need that one shiny thing that drives working for you home. The 9/80 work schedule could be your something shiny!

A 9/80 work schedule will set you apart from other businesses in your field because it is not as common – it intrigues people.

Recruiting people is not always easy, people weigh the pros and cons of a job more heavily now – no longer just blindly accepting jobs. You need an incentive going into interviews, let a 9/80 be one of those incentives.


Options, a business owner’s favorite word. Having options is great and implementing a 9/80 type of schedule gives you the option of where to add the additional hour.

Say you are swapping from a regular 8 – 5 standard schedule, do you move your opening time to 7 or push back your closing time to 6? That option is in the hands of the business owner and management. Be mindful when making this decision. What option could potentially bring in more revenue? These are the questions that you should be asking yourself if you are considering to make a swap. 

Decreasing Carbon Footprint

One of the biggest movements amongst companies right now is that of decreasing your carbon footprint. Decreasing your carbon footprint means eliminating the emissions of CO2 as much as possible.

Swapping to a 9/80 can help in doing such. The two extra days off a month means less commuting back and forth to work. Let’s say you are a large company with 800 plus employees – imagine what taking away two trips from each employee can do for your environment.

Disadvantages of the 9/80 Work Scheudle

We all know that when any change is implemented, it comes with a string of disadvantages attached to the tail end of it. Implementing a 9/80 work schedule is no different in this area – there are some prominent disadvantages that should be taken into account.  

Longer Work Days

The traditional work week consists of five day weeks, at eight hours a day. This work week is followed by most companies, therefore, it is something that we have all gotten accustomed to.

When you swap over to working a 9/80 work schedule – you are adding an extra hour to your work day. That extra hour might not seem like much, but it can prove to be problematic. You either have to add that extra hour at the beginning of your shift, or at the end of the shift. If you choose to add it at the beginning, you run into problems like getting your children to school on time – or getting accustomed to waking up at an earlier hour.

Adding it at the end of your shift could lead to decreased productivity, or running into issues like picking up your children from school (if applicable).

Potential Staffing Gap

In order for the 9/80 schedule to work, you need to ensure that your business is already properly staffed. A company that is already understaffed could take a hard blow if swapping to this alternative work schedule.

The problem with this type of schedule comes when employees start to call off work. For example, say you have two employees that call out and your other employees cannot come in – causing a big staffing gap. Before implementing this schedule determine whether or not you have enough staff to where call-outs are not a blow to productivity.

1st / Last Hour of Work and Decreased Productivity

This disadvantage is strictly based on the people that you hire and their output. Sometimes it can take a while for your employees to get into the groves of things, we see it happen all of the time. If you have a group of employees that are just collectively not morning people – you can see a decline in your productivity if you add another hour at the beginning of the shift.

On the other hand, some employees find it hard to be motivated the closer it gets to quitting time. So, with that you could see a decrease in productivity if you have to put the additional hour at the end of the work shift.

If you decide to go with the alternative scheduling, try investing in your employees’ opinions and see which route would work best for you.

Related post: Shift Work vs 9-5: What Working Schedule Best Suits You?

9/80 Work Week Sample

Week One

Monday9 hours
Tuesday9 hours
Wednesday9 hours
Thursday9 hours
Friday8 hours

Week Two

Monday9 hours
Tuesday9 hours
Wednesday9 hours
Thursday9 hours

Industries That Have Embraced The 9/80 Work Week

If you are contemplating wether your current industry is right for a 9/80 schedule, take a look at other similarly structured businesses / industries and see what they do.

Most industries can force this type of schedule to work if necessary. However, there are a handful of job types that work perfectly with this schedule.

The typical industries that implement this type of schedule are service industries and many manufacturing companies. Below is an example list of professions that have had a rise in generating a 9/80 roster.

  • Call Centers
  • Nurses/Doctors
  • Factory Workers
  • Warehouse Workers

These four are not the only four that are seen implementing this type of schedule, but they are a good starting point!

Nurses, this is a timely one for you – Tired of Being a Nurse? You Haven’t failed. Here’s What’s Next

Ways to Implement the 9/80 Scheudle

If you do not take the right steps in implementing this type of schedule, you can do more harm to your company than good. So what are some ways of successfully starting the 9/80?

Have an Intact Policy

Before you start, write up a new company policy. Within this policy, lay out all that your employees need to know about the change. Letting your employees know upfront what is expected of them can go a long way.

Understand the Legality

Like with everything, implementing a new schedule comes with new legality rules. Take the time to fully grasp all the legal aspects that go into the new hours that are being put into place. Doing this will save you some trouble down the road.

Trial Run

Like I have said, putting a new schedule in place comes with its own challenges. It works perfectly for some, and for others it is a complete train wreck. One way of determining whether or not a 9/80 works for you and your people is doing it as a trial only.

What you can do is keep your current scheduling plan in your pocket and hold on to it. Then, set out a time frame for a trail run for your new schedule. This way both you and your employees can get an idea of what is to come.

Either it works or it doesn’t, but a trial run allows room for modifications. If it doesn’t work – you can always revert back to your initial schedule.

Should You Invest in the 9/80 Scheudling?

Swapping your company to working on a 9/80 schedule is not something that should be taken lightly. This route of scheduling is not ideal for every business. If you are looking into the 9/80 schedule, ensure you are doing the proper research and this article was a great starting point!

You need to fully understand the scope of the 9/80 schedule – both the risks and rewards. There are many factors that need to be considered before settling on this type of scheduling. However, if you can get the kinks worked out, a 9/80 could be your perfect match!

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Daniel Smith

Managing a global sales team I've experienced the challenges of working at all hours of the day and night. Being a shift worker I know how tough it can be balancing everyday life when you feel like you haven't slept in weeks! Providing advice and tips on how to manage your schedule, whilst still staying healthy is where I can help.

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