9/80 Work Schedule: The Manager’s Guide

9-80 work schedule

Just about 100 years ago, Henry Ford popularized the five-day, 40-hour work week. Since then, most of the working world has operated on that schedule or something similar.

But there are other options, folks! And many of us do different work than Ford assembly-line workers.

In this article, we break down everything you’ll need to know about the 9/80 work schedule which allows for an extra workday off ever other week. Use the links below to jump to a section that interests you the most.

 

What is the 9/80 work schedule?

During a two-week period, the employee works 80 hours across nine working days instead of 10.

The idea is to take off every other Friday and spread those eight Friday hours of work over the other nine working days. Here is the two-week schedule:

  • Week 1: Monday – Thursday for 9 hours per day, Friday for eight hours (44 hours total)
  • Week 2: Monday – Thursday for 9 hours per day, Friday is off (36 hours total)

 

How many hours is a 9/80 schedule?

The 9/80 work schedule has 80 hours of work over two weeks, a typical setup, but with every other Friday off. One week, an employee works 44 hours. The next week, the employee works 36 hours.

Most people call it the 9/80 compressed schedule since you have nine work days and 80 hours over of work compressed into those days. Some might call it the 5-4/9 schedule because you work five days one week and four the next, totaling nine over the two-week period.

 

9/80 work schedule calendar

Here is a 2023 calendar for the 9/80 week. Fridays off are marked in green and US federal holidays marked in blue. These would be the typical days off for a company using this schedule.

9/80 work schedule calendarDownload the image | Use the template in Canva

 

9/80 Work Schedule Examples

These are the types of 9/80 schedules you can implement. In the next section, we provide a 9/80 schedule template you can download and make your own.

 

Standard 9/80

For visual learners, here is a typical 9/80 schedule template for a full month. Most 9/80 organizations operate with this template. The schedule compresses 10 business days into nine over a two-week period with one set weekday off for all employees every other week.

Curious to know, “What does the 9/80 work schedule look like?” Here is the two-week schedule:

  • Week 1: Monday – Thursday for 9 hours per day, Friday for eight hours (44 hours total)
  • Week 2: Monday – Thursday for 9 hours per day, Friday is off (36 hours total)

9-80 work week schedule template

Download the image | Use the template in Canva

 

Flexible 9/80 Work Schedule

A flexible 9/80 schedule could mean a few different things depending on the company:

  • Any individual employee works the 9/80 schedule but chooses their day off (rather than all having the same one)
  • Every employee works the 9/80 schedule but has flexibility to adjust their start and end times within the day

Learn more about flexible work schedules.

 

9/80 Shift Schedule

Some teams need to have employees present during all business hours, like a local government or teams that offer support, for example. Others need to have staff 24/7, like a hospital. For those scenarios, organizations can apply the 9/80 schedule in shifts. This is how it works:

  • Group 1: Works the 9/80 schedule with every other Monday off.
  • Group: 2: Works the 9/80 schedule with every other Friday off.

With that two-week shift schedule, eight days have every employee working. Every other Friday has 50% staff and every other Monday has 50% staff.

 

Optional 9/80 Work Schedule

Since the 9/80 work week is a compressed schedule, employees are still working 40 hours per week (or 80 over two weeks). For that reason, you can always choose to make the 9/80 schedule optional for your employees.

  • Some employees may choose to work a standard five-day, 40-hour work week
  • Others may choose to work a 9/80 week

 

Similar Schedules

If you’re looking for other ideas, these alternative work schedules are similar (although not necessarily the same amount of hours:

  • Four-day work week (or 32-hour work week): Four, eight hour days per week
  • 4/10Four, 10-hour work days per week
  • 9/72: Eight-hour workdays with every other Friday off
  • Half-day Friday: Eight-hour workdays on Monday – Thursday, then four hours on Friday.

 

9/80 Schedule Agreement Template

If you’d like to offer your employees the option to work a 9/80 schedule, you may be looking for an agreement template to make your own. I’ve made a template that you can work with in Canva, Google Docs (or download to Microsoft Word), or a PDF.

Keep in mind: This template is not legal advice. Please advise your HR or legal team first to determine the right language for your 9/80 work agreement depending on your type of organization, employee status, state or country, etc.

9/80 work schedule template

Use the template in Canva | Use the template in Google Docs | Download a PDF

 

Benefits Of The 9/80 Work Week

The 9/80 schedule comes with benefits for the employees and the company. At BAE Systems, 17,000 of the 18,000 of the employees (as of 2007 but the company still works the schedule today) in the group work the 9/80 schedule. “I’ve had employees say that they stay here because of 9/80,” says Amy Shevlin, vice president of human resources, “Both for themselves and their families, who now rely on the extra weekend day for family activities and time at home.”

Here are the benefits we’ve seen for the individual (employee) and the company (employer):

For Individuals & Freelancers

  1. Work-life balance: An additional day off every other week, or 26 per year.
  2. Personal time: An additional day for personal use and development
  3. Lower cost for childcare: Having every other Friday off can remove the need for a nanny or day care that day
  4. Recovery time: Having a three-day weekend every other week helps get downtime away from work, which in turn, helps people be more refreshed at work
  5. Less commuting: For office-based companies, you’ll commute nine days instead of ten (saving 10% of your total commute time)

 

For Companies & Managers

  1. A way to attract talent: Having 26 extra days off every year is a benefit companies can use to attract more applicants seeking that work-life balance
  2. Better employee retention: The 9/80 schedule is unique, and if your employees like it, you’re more likely to keep them with the company long term
  3. Happier employees (less burnout): Employees get a longer break every other week making for a happier and potentially more productive team
  4. Same amount of hours: Companies can offer this benefit without decreasing work hours at all (if that’s necessary for the organization)

See Also: 22 Four-Day Work Week Benefits

 

Downsides Of The 9/80 Schedule

For Individuals & Freelancers

  1. Longer work days: On the nine-hour days, you may lose focus toward the end of the day
  2. Shorter evenings: You’ll lose an hour outside of work, potentially hurting your workout routine or time with family on those days

 

For Companies & Managers

  1. Less coverage (for customer support): For organizations that need people available during business hours, you lose a day of support every other week
  2. Less productive hours: The extra hour in a nine-hour day may be less productive than the hours on a typical Friday
  3. Not for everyone: Some people may not like the nine-hours days, which could remove some people from your talent pool (hiring) and current team (retention)
  4. Focus on hours instead of output: This schedule is so specific in its way of counting hours that it puts the emphasis on hours rather than output.

 

Companies Using The 9/80 Policy

We scoured the internet for companies that use the 9/80 work week so you could learn from the real policies in use. In the table below, you’ll see all of the 9/80 work schedule companies we could find. You’ll see links to legal documents from 20 years ago to prove it!

Organization

Policy

Jobs

Background

BAE Systems

Permanent

9-80

"BAE Systems, a global defense and aerospace company, offers a work schedule called 9/80, where employees work 9-hour days for 9 days and everyone in the group has every other Friday off. They introduced the schedule in 1996 to attract and retain employees during the dot-com boom."

Chevron

Optional

9-80

"To accommodate the '9/80' work schedule, the work week will be redefined with every other Friday as a non-work day. The work week will begin after 4 hours (half way through the work day) on the Friday worked."

City of Corona, CA

Flexible

Optional

9-80

"For employees who work a 9/80 flex schedule, please note the following regarding how to report your regular time and overtime (OT):

The term “Flex Day” means the day you work every other week (either on Friday or Monday, depending upon the schedule you have selected)"

Roth Staffing Companies

Permanent

9-80

"The slam dunk is our flexible 9-80 schedule. The majority of our competitors average 12-13 hours per day. While they make a great living, they don't have a great like without the balance."

City of Redding, CA

Optional

9-80 
4-10

"The purpose of the Modified Work Schedule Policy is to enable City employees the flexibility of working a modified schedule rather than the traditional work week (8 am to 5 PM - 5 days per week)."

City of Coronado, CA

Permanent
9-80

"The CITY and the UNION acknowledge the implementation of the 9/80 work schedule for employees in the Public Services Department. The CITY will review, and, if feasible, implement a 9/80 work schedule proposal from the UNION for the Golf Course Operations Department."


Lockheed Martin

Permanent 

9-80

Work-life balance at Lockheed Martin is very opportune because we have a 9-80 schedule, so we get every other Friday off."

Twitter

Optional

9-80

"Twitter announced support for a 9/80 schedule (1 day off every other week) but none of my reports were comfortable taking it until we announced that myself & team leads would be taking it. If you're a people manager, you have a responsibility to normalize actually using the perks."

Denbury

Partial
9-80

Listed under the company's time off policy:

"9/80 Flexible Work Schedule for Employees in Plano"

General Dynamics

Optional

9-80

"How flexible? Most employees are on a 9/80 schedule working 8, 9-hour days and 1, 8-hour day over a two-week period, getting every other Friday off. We also offer Holiday Leave, Paid Time Off and My Time – time off that doesn’t need to be accrued."

SAIC

Optional 
9/80

"Optional work program providing the choice of having every other Friday off at most work locations. This flexible work program allows you to work 80 hours over 9 days and have an additional day off during a two-week pay period."

Textron Systems

Partial
9/80

"At Textron Systems, we have a variety of Compressed Work Week schedules for our employees. Depending on job function and location, we offer a 9/80 schedule (every other Friday off), a 4/10 schedule (every Friday off), or a combination of the two."

Aera Energy

Optional

9/80

"You start with four weeks of paid vacation each year, 10 paid holidays each year and a 9/80 work schedule that gives you every other Friday off."

Leonardo DNS

Optional

9/80

"We understand there is more to life than work. That’s why we believe it is important to offer such programs like our flexible work schedule with our 9/80 Program..."

Fluidra

Partial
9/80

"Our alternate work week (9/80) offers most employees every other Friday off."

UCLA

Partial

9/80

"A full-time work schedule that consists of 40 hours in one designated workweek, or 80 hours in two consecutive workweeks.  On our campus, alternate work schedules consist of flextime and compressed workweeks."

Hunt Consolidated

Partial
9/80

"A 9/80 work schedule allows our employees the flexibility to better meet their personal needs while also considering the needs of the office. Under this schedule, employees work 9 hours a day from Monday to Thursday; work 8 hours on every other Friday; and have the alternate Friday off."

Los Alamos National Laboratory

Optional
9/80

"The most popular work schedule is the '9/80'—employees work 80 hours over a nine-workday (two-week) period, with a Friday off every other week.

Talk to your manager about available options and how to select the option that is right for you."

Headspace

Permanent
9/80

"Here at Headspace Inc. we have a 4-day week every other week and our 5-day week has a no-meetings Friday. The Friday on our 4-day week is called a "MindDay" all employees are actively encouraged to take the day off for their mind."

Fifth Tribe

Trial
9/80

"We initially said it would be a two-month program during July and August. The way it worked was that we would look at all of the client accounts and split the company in half. This way, the clients wouldn’t experience any breakage in services."

Calibre

Permanent
9/80

"As the pandemic and restrictions were taking a toll on mental health and wellbeing, Ben, Calibre’s CEO, decided to switch to a four day (32 hours) work week, every two weeks, effective immediately."

University of Colorado

Optional
9-80

"As is required for the University worksite, the supervisor will establish the employee’s remote work schedule; supervisors have discretion to require the employee to track  time worked and record hours not worked with the appropriate leave designation (annual, sick, comp time, leave without pay, etc.) and, if eligible for overtime, must receive supervisor authorization prior to working overtime."

City of Seattle

Optional
9-80

"The City’s normal hours of operation are from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. each day from
Monday through Friday, except on days designated as City holidays. The appointing
authority may establish employee work schedules that vary from the statutory schedule as
long as business operations continue as required by municipal law."

San Bernardino County

Optional
9-80

"The County offers the 9/80 Work Schedule in order to provide a valuable employee benefit, support the County’s Commute
Trip Reduction Program, and improve County operations by providing work schedule flexibility and enhancing employee
morale"

The interesting trend I found is that most of these organizations are local governments of defense contractors. It seems like if a competitor or partner is willing to make the schedule change, the next organization will as well.

If you’re interested to learn more about the changing nature of work schedules, take a look at this list of four-day work week companies.

 

How To Implement 9/80 Schedule

Payroll

Gusto does a good job explaining how to change your payroll here to accommodate for the change. To summarize, normal pay weeks run from Sunday to Saturday (seven days). If you kept that format with a 9/80 schedule, you’d be paying four hours of overtime every other week. To implement the 9/80 schedule, you need to track work hours in two-week segments instead.

 

Rollout

Like we recommended with the four-day work week, you can roll out the 9/80 in phases to reach the final, permanent policy. Here are some options:

  1. Seasonal: Implement a seasonal 9/80 schedule for the summer. For eight or 10 weeks, try out the policy with all employees. If it goes well, implement the new schedule permanently.
  2. Optional: Make this an optional program, not a requirement. Employees could choose to switch at any time.
  3. Flexible: Allow employees to choose their day off. If Monday works best for some and Friday for others, allow that choice.

 

Documentation

Depending on how your organization runs, you’ll most likely want to document which employees opted into the 9/80 schedule, when it started, and which days people work. Most organizations that use the 9/80 have an agreement contract in place for employees to sign.

As I mentioned in the section earlier in this article, I’ve made a template that you can work with in Canva, Google Docs (or download to Microsoft Word), or a PDF. Use the links below to get the template.

Keep in mind: This template is not legal advice. Please advise your HR or legal team first to determine the right language for your 9/80 work agreement depending on your type of organization, employee status, state or country, etc.

Use the template in Canva | Use the template in Google Docs | Download a PDF

 

Implementing The 9/80 Work Schedule In California

The 9/80 work schedule is an acceptable alternative work schedule in California if agreed upon by the employer and employee. California Labor Code 510 (section a)  states “Any work in excess of eight hours in one workday and any work in excess of 40 hours in any one workweek… shall be compensated at the rate of no less than one and one-half times the regular rate of pay.” Unless “an alternative workweek schedule [is] adopted pursuant to Section 511.” 

If you take a look at our list of organizations using the 9/80 schedule, many of them are cities in California. It’s become a popular alternative work schedule for local governments throughout the state.

Please note: this is not legal advice. Please consult with your legal team before implementing the 9/80 schedule.

 

9/80 Implementation Resources

Throughout the article, we shared a few helpful resources for setting up a 9/80 work work. Here they are again so you can see them all in one place.

9/80 work schedule calendar 9/80 holiday calendar for 2023

(Download the image | Use the template in Canva)

9/80 work week template 9/80 work week template

(Download the image | Use the template in Canva)

9/80 work schedule template 9/80 employee agreement template

(Use the template in Canva | Use the template in Google Docs | Download a PDF)

 

Where To Find Flexible Jobs

Flexjobs

The first place I’d look is Flexjobs, the world’s biggest job board for remote and flexible work. You’ll find dedicated filters to “flexible” and “alternative” schedules.

Search for alternative work week jobs on Flexjobs.

Other options

  • IndeedThis is the biggest job board in the world. Although they aren’t focused on alternative jobs, they’ll have most or all of the alternative jobs out there.
  • 4dayweek.io: This job board focuses on remote, 32-hour jobs in software if you’re interested in that schedule.

 

View other unique work week schedules

This is part of our series highlighting unique work schedules. Have a look:

Some of the links in this article are affiliate links that may provide Buildremote with a small commission at no cost to you.

About the author

Henry OLoughlin

Hi, I'm the founder of Buildremote. I have worked from home for a decade and ran a fully remote, four-day work week company for eight years. I've made all of the mistakes running a distributed team. I hope if you read my work, you'll be spared.

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