20 Creative Twists On 40-Hour Work Week

40-hour work week schedules

Do you work a traditional 40-hour work week? Are you looking to inject some flexibility and creativity into your week? Wait, this is starting to sound like an infomercial.

I wrote this article for people who are in this situation:

  • The amount of hours you work each week feels about right
  • But the pattern (when the work hours fall) is getting boring
  • So you’re looking for alternative schedules to consider

I asked our list of contributors to share their weekly work schedules if they 1) work about 40 hours per week but 2) in a non-traditional format. I got 48 replies and we’re highlighting the best ones here that range from 35-50 hours per week.


The 40-Hour Work: 20 Creative Schedules To Try

4-10 work schedule (compressed work week)

40 hours per week over Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday




An employee works for four, 10-hour days then is off for three days each week. This keeps the typical 40-hour work week but compresses it into one less day.


Read the complete guide to the 4-10 schedule.


Looking for an alternative schedule or remote job?

Take a look at Flexjobs, the world’s biggest job board dedicated to flexible work. You’ll find dedicated filters to “flexible” and “alternative” schedules.

Search for jobs on Flexjobs.


‘4 days of work, 3 days of bliss’

40 hours per week over Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday




I usually only work four days a week for 10 hours each. I love having three days off, so I try to strive for this every week.


This change has made such a big difference in my life. I have more time to spend with my friends and family, more time for the gym and to relax. I am much more focused when I work, and find I have not been exhausted for quite some time.


– Donny Gamble of PersonalIncome.org


9-80 work schedule (5-4/9 schedule)

80 hours over a two-week period (with every other Friday off)



During a two-week period, the employee works 80 hours across nine days instead of ten. The plan is to spread eight hours of work, typically done on a Friday, across the other nine days in the period to earn an extra day off every other week. The most common way to do this is four nine-hour days followed by an eight-hour Friday. The next week is four nine-hour days followed by a Friday off.


Read the complete guide to the 9-80 schedule.

9-72 work schedule

40-hour week followed by a 32-hour week (every other Friday off)



This is where employees have a normal five-day, 40-hour week followed by a four-day, 32-hour week. In other words, every other Friday is off with normal work days outside of that. If you have positions that are required to be on during normal work hours (like client work or support), you could have half of your team on each Friday for coverage.


Half-day Friday policy (36-hour work week schedule)

36 hours over five days (half days on Friday)



Full-time employees work 36 hours per week rather than 40. Typically, the work day ends at lunch time on Friday to meet the allotted time. The opportunity here is to give people a compressed amount of time to work on Friday, then enjoy the afternoon off. Typically, Friday afternoons are the least productive time.


‘Time for the outdoors’

40 hours per week over Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday


I basically work 38-40 hours across four days. I work a standard eight-hour day starting at 8:00 AM and finish at 4:00 PM. I then take a two-hour break to spend on some kind of sporting activity like surfing, hiking, running or cycling. Then I come home, shower, and have supper. I then do another two-hour session from 8:00 PM to 10:00 PM.


This schedule gives me a day off to do what I love, and ends work earlier to capitalize on the remaining daylight.


– Marc Mason of Beginner Surf Gear


40 hours per week over Monday, Wednesday, Friday


I work Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, and take care of non-work tasks and responsibilities on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I work 10 hours or more on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays to compensate for my time off on Tuesdays and Thursdays.


I realized that I needed to offer more flexibility in terms of the time that I could allot to help my wife at home, and this schedule works for us.


– Ian Sells of RebateKey

‘As you go’

35 hours per week over Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Sunday


I have a detailed list of tasks per day, but I make sure there is at least an hour or two per day reserved for ‘surprise’ tasks – which, in my line of work, always come up last-minute.


I need a day free during the week to accommodate a change in schedule (a trip to the dentist or doctor for myself or the kids, to attend a meeting with a teacher, etc.) If I have any remaining work on Friday, then I work a half day on Sunday.


– Geninna Ariton of Trendhim

‘When the inspiration strikes’

40 hours per week over Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday


I try to complete all the tasks for my clients within a 4-day workweek. This takes me approximately 35-40 hours, and I don’t force my work (since it is all written). I also work 2 days out of the week on my own personal and professional development, which usually tallies about 15-20 hours depending on my productivity. Stacking my tasks keeps me accountable to deadlines, and also means I can keep enough time in the schedule to work on building my own blog audience, submitting pitches to other publications, and staying up-to-date on continuing education in my field. I found that I not only have more creative impulses, but also have the energy to follow through on them.


– Ashley Schuering of Confessions of a Grocery Addict

‘Two blocks’

45 hours per week over Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday


Monday to Friday: 7:00 AM – 12:30 PM, 2:30 PM – 5:30 PM (8.5 Hours/Day) Saturday: 7:00 AM – 11:00 AM (4 hours If needed)


My first child was recently born, and I had to rethink my schedule so I could spend more time with her. With my new schedule, I now have a large block during the day where I play with my daughter, eat lunch, and spend time with my wife.


– Cody Richard of Full Circle Homebuyers

‘Flexible schedule’

40 hours per week over Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday


Though I work a normal 5-day week, I take longer breaks throughout the day, and often end early on Friday around the lunch hour. I’ve found that I’m most productive when I work in blocks of an hour to a few hours, rather than sitting in front of my computer for a long stretch of time.


– Kathryn Boudreau of CallerSmart

‘Self-controlled 40’

Up to 40 hours per week over Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday

  • First 20 hours: 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM each weekday
  • Remaining 20 hours (optional): 4:00 PM- 8:00 PM slots

Sometimes these are shortened, skipped or extended. Sunday is a non-negotiable free day. Saturday is usually free, but I have found that I sometimes have energy left for some catch-up work.


– Kaelum Ross of What in Tech

‘The five-day special’

40 hours per week over Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday, Sunday


“I work three ten-hour days (Monday to Wednesday), five hours on a Saturday, and five hours on Sunday to catch up on paperwork. I call it the five day special — it leaves a two-day block free to enjoy some much needed downtime. The new schedule has made me more efficient, easier to be around and a better person, both personally and professionally.


– Michael Rose of Hach & Rose

‘The on-and-off 10 and 12’

44 hours per week over Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday


I work on-and-off 10 and 12 — 10 hours on Mondays, 12 on Tuesdays, then 10 on Wednesdays and 12 on Thursdays.

By electing to put in the hours that I need to during the first four days of the week, I can be a full time parent on Friday and attend my children’s games and recitals, and just spend some positive time with them on the weekends. I’m the firm manager, and I have the luxury of being able to set my own hours.


– Ross Jurewitz of Jurewitz Law Group

‘Friday lite’

45 hours per week over Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday


I embrace a Friday-lite approach to the end of the workweek. Crushing it Monday through Thursday allows me to spend Fridays in solitude, planning for the week ahead.


I’m much more relaxed without the distractions of phone calls, messages, and meetings. It also allows me the opportunity to go out to lunch with my wife on a weekday, which is the kind of work break I like best.


– Jason Sherman of TapRm

‘4-day with a break in the middle’

35 hours per week over Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday


I schedule my week over four days — Mondays, Tuesdays, and then Thursdays and Fridays. This allows me to take a breather in the middle of the week, and I don’t become overwhelmed. It also allows me and my employees to set up meetings in a manner that suits our team’s schedule, and it gets the work done with minimal chance of burnout.


COVID played a big factor in deciding this. It has made my work-life balance much better and has given me time and energy to focus on my passion projects and bring new life into my work.


– David Farkas of The Upper Ranks

‘Life-work balance’

40 hours per week over Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday


As long as I get all of my tasks done on time, there are no specific times they need to be done. So I generally look at my week and block out times in my calendar for all of the important life things I want to prioritize, whether that’s workouts and appointments or something as simple as a dog walk. I work out the best time to schedule work, and assign tasks to certain times based on how I’m feeling, my creativity levels, and other factors. This means I’m giving 100% at all times. When I’m working, I am focused completely on my work. When I’m not, I try to switch off and recharge.


– Ruby Willow of Financer.com

‘Global 7-3’

50 hours per week over Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday


“My focus is to always be in the moment. My teams are scattered across the globe. I ensure collaboration happens by breaking up the workday. My head and body usually need rest, so I will take an afternoon siesta or a break midday. I keep office hours and family separate, and that is a hard and fast rule. My schedule is M-F, 8-3pm and 10pm – 1am. This allows me to give my work and my family my undivided attention.


– Dr. Subodh Simon Karmarkar of Refundwiz LLC

‘The 8-6 schedule’

40 hours per week over Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday


As a psychologist, I tend to work a lot with other people, and a lot of what I do is dependent on the availability of my clients. This can mean working late to accommodate clients that work during the day. More often than not, I work between 8am and 8pm, but only 4 days a week.


Working this schedule means that I can be available more for my clients’ needs, but it also means that I can work 4 days a week instead of 5. This gives me more free time to create a healthier work/life balance.


– Alexander Burgemeester of The Narcissistic Life

‘A little bit each day’

45 hours per week over Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday


Balance is the main reason I have decided to work this schedule. I love getting up early and working out, as well as ending my day early to cook dinner and get outside. I feel happier and more productive each day because it doesn’t feel like a grind. I typically work a half day Saturday and quarter day Sunday mainly because I love what I do but also to give myself a more prolonged break from work to reset my mind.


– Andy Kolodgie of The House Guys


I work with clients who are buying homes. They are looking for houses during their off hours, so I need to be available to them on weekends or evenings. During the day I’ll push my loans through the process. I work a little each day, but overall I don’t work more hours than a regular job. I like this schedule as it affords me so nice breaks throughout the day.


– Jeffrey Loyd of Mortgage Acuity

See Also: The 60-Hour Work Week

Where to find alternative schedule jobs

If your current job doesn’t allow for the flexibility you’d like, remember: we’re in a job applicant’s market! If you’d like to see what’s out there for flex-schedule positions and companies, take a look at Flexjobs. You’ll find dedicated filters to “flexible” and “alternative” schedules.

Search for jobs on Flexjobs.

We hope you find this article useful. Just so you know, Buildremote may collect a small share of sales from the links on this page to help keep this site running.

About the author


Henry is the founder of Buildremote.

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