980 Work Schedule A Flexible Approach to Work-Life Balance

June 26, 2024

The 9/80 schedule is currently emerging as a solution to the typical and monotonous 9-5 work shift.  Where the 9-5 shift offers off on weekends only, the 9/80 work schedule creates a space of one weekday off every second week. 

We know this may baffle your mind and confuse you in the beginning. But this intriguing strategy is simple to understand and easy to implement in organizations. 

980 Work Schedule

This blog unravels the seemingly complicated but simple maths behind the 9/80 work schedule and how it adjusts the work hours to deliver one weekday off twice a month. 

What Is the 9/80 Work Schedule?

1’st Week

Day Hours
Monday 9
Tuesday 9
Wednesday 9
Thursday 9
Friday 8 (4+4)
Saturday & Sunday Off
Total hours for 1st week 44

2’nd Week

Day Hours
Monday 9
Tuesday 9
Wednesday 9
Thursday 9
Friday Off
Saturday & Sunday Off
Total hours for 2nd week 36
Total hours for 2 weeks 80 hours + one workday off

 At first, the 9/80 work schedule may seem perplexing, but once learned, it can fit into your mind like a key in the lock. 

Let’s decode its mechanism. 

The 9/80 work schedule includes dividing 80 hours into 9 days at the place of 80 hours for 10 usual days (like we do for the 9-5 work schedule).

The first four days are nine hours and the fifth day is an eight-hour day. The next week follows the same pattern to make the 80 hours for a total of 9 days. 

This is off from the second week, the hours for two weeks are still the same—80 hours. 

And that is the beauty of this work schedule!

Now, that you have understood the mechanism of the 9/80 work schedule, let’s dive into some of its benefits for employees. 

Should Organizations Consider the 9/80 Work Schedule?

This point is debatable. Where a faction of experts is concerned about the emerging health challenges with the implementation of the 9/80 work schedules, another faction claims the schedule gives more time to workers to rest and recover from job burnout. 

Despite the claims, organizations can implement the pilot program to assess the challenges and decide whether the model is successful in their organization or not. 

9/80 Work Schedule: Pros and Cons

There is an array of merits and demerits with the 9/80 work schedule implementation. This segment underscores both elaborately. 

Elaborated below are some of them. 

Productivity Boost

Employees find one day off a great help in their work life. They can enjoy this one day off for personal enrichment and reenergizing for the upcoming week. It enhances productivity and improves their work output. A study disclosed that work support from organizations positively impacts employees’ productivity. This schedule allows employees to replenish more than the traditional with 9-5 work shifts with 2 days off as it delivers 3 offs in two weeks with no change in the number of hours. 

Less Operational Costs

Employers can downsize their operational costs by giving one day off to their employees without downsizing the work hours. The 9/80 work hours allow employers to save on costs like maintenance, utilities and facilities, and technology and IT costs. These saved costs can be used by employers to invest in growth measures or to avail additional perks to employees to enhance their workplace experience. 

Less Commuting 

Employees who have long commute hours in their fate may benefit from the 9/80 work schedules. Giving employees a day off enables them to commute one day less than in the typical 9-5 word schedule. Less commuting will save their physical energy and aid their mental well-being by traveling less and staying at home on their day off. Additionally, saving on commuting expenses further enhances their mental peace, creating joy and increasing job satisfaction alongside high productivity. 

Better Social Life

More time to socialize and reconnect with loved ones is another facet of the 9/80 work schedule. With the enforcement of the schedule, employees can experience an enhanced social life that can help boost their work productivity. The 9/80 schedule helps employees mingle more with their social circle and enjoy an enhanced social life. 

Time to Do Personal Chores

With the 9/80 work schedule, employees may find it easier to run errands or visit critical places in their personal lives. For example, local, state, and federal government offices, law firms, accounting firms, schools and universities, libraries, corporate offices, banks, and automobile dealerships are typically closed on weekdays, almost majorly around the globe. The work schedule gives an advantage to utilizing the day off strategically to meet the requirements that are otherwise not available in the 9-5 work schedule. 


It’s not that the work schedule 9/80 offers only benefits. There are multiple cons as well when it comes to the implementation of the 9/80 work schedule. For example, not all industries can adopt this work schedule. Healthcare and retail can face difficult challenges as these must be operable 24*7 for services. Also, a service interruption in these domains may result in economic impact as these comprise the lifelines of a region/country. 

Additionally, other certain issues arise with the 9/80 work schedule listed below. 

Increased Fatigue

Ever since the concept of 9-5 was implemented in 1926, when the automotive industry magnate, Henry Ford, employed his workforce for a standard 9-5 work schedule, workers have been ritualistically following this and aligning their lives to this idea. Also, it is not a hidden secret that the 9-5 can get monotonous, exhausting, and fatigue-inducing.  Adding to this pain, increasing one hour more in each day may seem suffocating and unproductive for many. For, there are many employees, who may find it easy to adapt, many will have to work hard to normalize the increased fatigue and lethargy they may experience. In the long run, this may even affect the employee retention rate.

Longer Workdays

An addition of one hour in the typical 8-hour shift for five continuous days will increase the duration of the work hours. Longer workdays for prolonged periods can decrease the attention span and reduce productivity. Staying at the workplace for a longer duration may severely affect mental peace, resulting in frustration and overall dissatisfaction with the job. Additionally, giving one day off every two weeks may seem a good idea but if we analyze there are repercussions to it. Our body’s circadian rhythm (physical, mental, and behavioral changes throughout the 24-hour cycle) is likely to be influenced by the sudden changes in the working hours. This may result in slow metabolism, sleep disorders, mental health issues, chronic fatigue, and impaired cognitive function. 

Childcare Challenges

The 9/80 work schedule will have a strong impact on child and pet care. Children and pets have emotional needs from their guardians. Unmet emotional companionship from parents/guardians can cause psychological and mental conflicts inside a child. Moreover, school-aged children may require parents for assistance with school work, projects, and assignments that foster trust and healthy dependency on parents. 

For instance, a working mother who leaves home at 8 o’clock and comes back by 6 o’clock will have to wait one hour more to meet the physical, mental, and emotional needs of her children. This increased distance may lead to separation anxiety and disturb the children’s regular mealtime, naptime, and bedtime schedules. Ultimately, parents may have to settle for expensive alternative childcare arrangements, leading to additional expenses in their budget and finances. 

Coverage Gaps

Long gaps in service may result in gradual regression of a company’s growth. Scenarios with quick expert consultation may be hindered by the 9/80 work schedule. Other crucial aspects of business growth like prompt client servicing, resource allocation, workload distribution,  unplanned absences, leaves, and shift adjustments need to be tended to ensure the businesses thrive in a competitive era without missing opportunities to expand their growth. 

The Bottom Line

The 9/80 work schedule is a uniquely tailored, intelligent strategy to manipulate the hours and make space for one day off without downsizing the work hours. However, due to its narrow application, this work schedule cannot be applied to every industry. Fields like customer service and healthcare require immediate attention and constant presence to resolve customer queries and deliver immediate support. 


Should I implement the 9/80 work schedule in my organization?

Yes, the 9/80 work schedule is an intelligent strategy to provide your employees with one workday off which they can utilize to attend to some crucial tasks they might have in their personal life. 

What are the benefits of the 9/80 work schedule in your organization?

Several benefits of the 9/80 work schedule are enhanced productivity, better work-life balance, improved sociability, and fewer work days in number.