February 7, 2023
10 min read
Is the 9/80 work schedule effective? Assess it with productivity monitoring software.
What is the 9/80 work schedule?
In the last couple of decades, the 9/80 work schedule has been gaining popularity all over the world. According to Forbes
“The 9/80 is a tactic championed by Andy Lynch, CEO of North Star Marketing”. The 9/80 work schedule is when employees work 80 work hours, over 9 days: 8 working days are 9 hours long, one working day is 8 hours long, and every 10th day is off.
The 9/80 work schedule is when employees work 80 work hours over 9 days and every 10th day is off.
The demand for alternative work schedules among employees has been confirmed in a survey by Ernst & Young Global Ltd
. The survey took place in 16 countries, among 16,000 respondents. According to the survey, for more than half (54%) of employees, it’s important when employers offer alternative work schedules.
Alternative work schedules are favored by employees.
What about the 9/80 work schedule? Is it favored by employees? Is it effective productivity wise?
Favored by employees but no proof of productivity increase
Numerous studies have found that alternative work schedules are favored by employees. Happier employees create healthier workplaces. In turn, a healthier work environment should also be beneficial for employers.
However, no key performance indicators
have been found about a productivity increase. In fact, the 9/80 schedule has been linked to various problems, and it doesn't work well for parents, who have to work around their children’s schedules. You can read more in the article below.
Having gone through numerous research studies we have not found any proof of a productivity increase when using the 9/80 work schedule. Instead, the 9/80 schedule has been linked to various issues. Please read below.
Let's have a closer look at a few cases, like Twitter, BAE Systems, and more, to understand why and how effective the 9/80 schedule is for them.
Examples: Twitter, BAE Systems & more
Twitter and the 80-90 Musk’s work schedule
Ronnie Chen, Sr. Engineering Manager at Twitter, tweeted: “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 & the team leads would be taking it. If you’re a people manager, you have a responsibility to normalize actually using the perks.”
In Twitter the initiative of implementing the 9/80 work schedule was not met with great comfort.
Elon Musk, the owner of Twitter since 2022, is a very hard working man. His working week is 80-90 hours long! We doubt the 9/80 schedule will remain in the company now Elon Musk has ownership.
We doubt Elon Musk will like the idea of implementing the 9/80 schedule in Twitter. He works on the 80-90 working schedule.
BAE Systems is a world-famous aerospace and defense company. Its employees work nine days of nine hours and enjoy one extra day off every other week. This schedule was introduced during the so-called dot-com boom in 1996 as an additional benefit of working for the company. The goal was to retain employees and attract new talent. Although the dot-com boom has long since passed, the 9/80 schedule is still in use at the company. BAE Systems does not claim that the 9/80 schedule led to increased productivity. Rather, this schedule has simply become a tradition.
BAE Systems implemented the 9/80 to attract new employees during the dot-boom. It is not clear if the schedule is effective in improving employee productivity level.
The oil and gas company switched to the 9/80 schedule back in 2002. Chevron management made an agreement
with employees that every other Friday would be an extra day off. There is no evidence that the new work schedule resulted in an increase in employee productivity. However, the employees see alternative work schedules as a benefit.
It’s not clear if the 9/80 helped increase employee productivity in Chevron. Employees see it as a benefit.
Roth Staffing Companies
Roth Staffing Companies: "We call our 9-80 work schedule 'the slam dunk' (overhead volleyball shot). While many of our competitors work 12 hours a day or more, we want to leave our employees more time for leisure and family." Employees of this company are mostly women, who generally see the 9/80 working hour schedule as a great benefit.
9/80 work schedule advantages
1. Surveys confirm employees feel happier with the 9/80 work arrangement.
2. When employees are well rested, they are more productive. A three-day break is enough for a trip out of town or even a smaller trip.
3. If employees have more free time, they are less likely to be absent from work due to personal problems and sick leave. Work-life balance is also a high priority for millennials and Gen Z, so it is a method of attracting young talent.
4. Employers save on electricity with a day off every other week.
5. Less commute. The 9/80 saves your employees about 26 hours per year.
6. Employers report a healthier work environment and less stress for employees.
7. Employers benefit from a larger candidate pool.
Employees love to have an extra day off, that’s for sure.
Employers get a larger pool of candidates because employees see the 9/80 schedule as a benefit.
9/80 work schedule disadvantages
According to the SHRM Foundation research
, the 9/80 work schedule is linked to a few risks. Because employees work 9 hours a day instead of 8 hours a day, it increases health risks. It also increases the risks of accidents and burnouts.
The 9/80 schedule is linked to health risks, burnout, and increased risk of accidents.
Other disadvantages include:
- Hard time getting back into the rhythm of work after the long weekends.
- Long working days can lead to a decrease in concentration on the tasks at hand.
- In addition, not every company adheres to such a schedule. Your competitors might work when you rest.
For the employers: your competitors work when you rest!
- Implementing the 9/80 schedule requires effort and time.
- The majority of client-based companies cannot really use the 9/80 schedule effectively.
Client-based companies cannot fully move to the 9/80 schedule.
- Working parents - nine hours of work may be impossible due to childcare requirements. They would be more interested in a free work schedule.
Parents with young children might find the 9/80 schedule impossible.
- New employees might find the 9/80 uncomfortable, as it might increase the training time.
How to assess the 9/80 schedule’s effectiveness
To assess the 9/80 researchers collected feedback from business owners, managers, and employees. Employers can easily see the benefit in their reduced electricity bills when assessing the 9/80, but they don’t really have any hard numbers to refer to when assessing employee productivity without technology.
A great way of assessing the 9/80 is to use employee productivity monitoring software. The software can be used as an automated research tool, free from human errors and guessing. It offers the actual numbers on employee productivity. Note: the software is only applicable in computerized offices.
One of the ways of assessing the 9/80 work schedule is to use employee productivity monitoring software.
Businesses strive to achieve the best productivity from their employees. Employee productivity in computerized offices consists of many factors, such as:
1. Employee attendance.
2. Employee computer active time.
3. Active productive time (this is not enough to be simply active; employees have to use productive applications and websites during working hours).
4. Employee focus level.
About us: we are WorkTime employee productivity monitoring software with 20+ years of experience in the field.
Based on our customers' feedback, employee attendance, active productive time, and focus level drop after vacations, holidays, long weekends, and even after regular weekends.
Employee productivity and focus drops after longer weekends (this information comes from the WorkTime reports).
For example, using productivity monitoring software you can measure employee distraction levels. By observing employee distraction levels you will find-out when your employees are less focused or less active.
Before going into the 9/80, assess employee productivity
Productivity monitoring software is a great help if you decide to implement the 9/80 in your company or department. But before doing so we suggest you don’t rush into it straight away. First, we recommend implementing employee productivity monitoring software
for a month to collect data on your employee productivity. Once you have the data collected, you will know your employee attendance quality, active time levels, productivity, and distraction scores . Following that you can implement the 9/80 schedule for some groups of people or departments. But remember to keep monitoring, so that in another month you have the numbers to compare!
Before implementing the 9/80 schedule apply employee productivity monitoring software. This will help to measure the 9/80 effectiveness.
Ask your staff first!
Switching to the 9/80 schedule requires a lot of effort. Before undertaking this massive change, make sure your employees are comfortable with it, because they are the ones who will be working under the new schedule. You can conduct a survey among your employees. Some suggested questions:
- Are you happy with your current work schedule?
- Do you feel overworked?
- How would you feel about the idea of 9 longer workdays, in exchange for an extra day off, every other week?
- Do you have kids? How would the 9/80 schedule work for you?
- Will the 9/80 schedule affect your after-work activities? Your eating habits?
The 9/80 schedule affects your employees a lot. Ask them first!
The 9/80 schedule does not only affect your employees. It affects many work processes in your company, as well as the software you use for maintaining attendance records, payroll, and so on.
The 9/80 schedule affects many work processes in your company and requires adjustments.
4/10 and other alternative schedules
Together with WorkTime you can evaluate other types of work schedules. For example, a four-day workweek pilot program is now underway in the U.S. and Canada.
The 4/10 work schedule
is another alternative to the 9/80. The 4/10 work schedule is when employees work four 10-hour days per week, instead of the traditional five 8-hour days. This schedule allows for three days off in a row every week, which many people find more desirable than the two days off you get with a 9/80 schedule.
Employee productivity monitoring software helps assess any work schedule effectiveness.
The bottom line
Employee productivity monitoring software
is a great tool to assess the 9/80 work schedule’s effectiveness. And not only to assess but also to maintain a good productivity level in your company.
WorkTime allows you to:
1. Evaluate how the 9/80 schedule affects the productivity of every employee, every department, and the entire company.
2. Compare whether the traditional schedule or the 9/80 schedule works better. When employee productivity, active time, attendance, and focus is better.
3. See if employee productivity, active time, focus drops after a long weekend or when employees work longer hours.
4. Find out if employees work during long weekends because they simply cannot get things done when working longer hours. Maybe they simply get tired when working 9 hours instead of 8?
WorkTime is great for a company of any size. With WorkTime, managers receive simple and clear employee productivity indicators.
In addition, with WorkTime your employees can be sure their privacy is not violated. The software does not record passwords or other sensitive information, like content or screens. WorkTime
is the only non-invasive employee productivity monitoring software on the market.