Life Style

A Complete Guide to the 9/80 Work Schedule

Are you a 9 to 5-er longing for more flexibility in your work schedule? The 9 to 5 workday was introduced in the 1920s by the Ford Motor Company and standardized by the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938. It allowed workers who had been grafting for up to 18 hours a day to have more recreation time, more sleep, and ultimately become more productive.

But fast-forward to the 21st century, and there’s room for improvement in our work-life balance. And that’s where the 9/80 work schedule comes in.

What Is a 9/80 Work Schedule?

The 9/80 work schedule is a compressed workweek where an employee (or freelancer) completes 80 working hours spread over nine working days instead of ten working days within a two-week period.

So, how does it work? If your regular work schedule is a 40-hour workweek (Monday to Friday, 9 am to 5 pm), you’ll complete 80 hours over ten working days, so eight hours each day. When switching to a compressed 9/80 schedule, you’ll need to work longer hours over a shorter period of nine days.

The reward? A day off and a long weekend every second Friday.

Example of a 9/80 Work Schedule

A popular approach to the schedule is to work a nine-hour day for eight days (for a running total of 72 hours) followed by a single eight-hour day on day nine (to bring your total to 80 hours) before your off day on day 10.

Example of a Typical 9/80 Pattern

First week:

  • Monday: 9 am to 6 pm
  • Tuesday: 9 am to 6 pm
  • Wednesday: 9 am to 6 pm
  • Thursday: 9 am to 6 pm
  • Friday: 9 am to 6 pm
  • Saturday: weekend
  • Sunday: weekend

Second week:

  • Monday: 9 am to 6 pm
  • Tuesday: 9 am to 6 pm
  • Wednesday: 9 am to 6 pm
  • Thursday: 9 am to 5 pm
  • Friday: day off
  • Saturday: weekend
  • Sunday: weekend

However, if you feel energized in the first workweek of your 9/80 schedule, you might prefer to front-load your hours by working ten or more hours at first to work fewer hours in your second week.

Example of a Front-Loaded 9/80 Pattern

First Week:

  • Monday: 8 am to 6 pm
  • Tuesday: 8 am to 6 pm
  • Wednesday: 8 am to 6 pm
  • Thursday: 8 am to 6 pm
  • Friday: 8 am to 6 pm
  • Saturday: weekend
  • Sunday: weekend

Second week:

  • Monday: 9 am to 4.30 pm
  • Tuesday: 9 am to 4.30 pm
  • Wednesday: 9 am to 4.30 pm
  • Thursday: 9 am to 4.30 pm
  • Friday: day off
  • Saturday: weekend
  • Sunday: weekend

Depending on the type of work you do and your personal flow, you may prefer to start earlier in the morning or work later into the evening.

Remember: if you’re an employee, your employer will need to approve your change in work schedule. However, if you’re a freelancer or small business owner, the possibilities are limitless as long as you have a suitable way to track your hours.

What Are the Benefits of Following a 9/80 Pattern?

If the 9/80 schedule tempts you, there are plenty of benefits to this style of working.

More Time Off

Perhaps the greatest advantage is that the 9/80 gives you more time off work. Expect 26 three-day weekends every year when you switch to this model. That’s far more than you’ll get if you rely on the eleven public holidays offered in the US, eight bank holidays in the UK, or twelve state holidays in Canada. And the more time off work you have, the less likely you are to need sick leave.

Increased Productivity

The 9/80 work schedule means that the second week is a four-day week, and numerous studies have linked this model to increased employee productivity. Microsoft Japan recently committed to a four-day workweek. The result? A 40% boost in productivity!

Employee Retention

Flexibility is essential for employee morale, giving people the chance to arrange their work schedules around their home and family commitments. An EY Work Reimagined Employee Survey found that 54% of employees around the world would quit their jobs if their employers didn’t provide the opportunity to work flexibly using models such as the 9/80.

Less Commuting

Longer hours at work and an extra day at home mean two days less commuting each month. One of the perks is the financial saving for any employees who rely on transport to get to work. But it also means more time at home to run errands, spend with family, or for leisure.

What Are the Potential Downsides of 9/80 Work?

A compressed work schedule has some challenges for employees and employers to consider.

Synchronized Employee Schedules

Employers may find it difficult to track the work schedules of their team members unless the entire organization is following a compressed program in sync and taking the same days off. If employees are unexpectedly on sick leave when other employees are on their three-day weekend, this could leave companies with a potential staffing issue.

Payroll Management

HR departments may have queries about how to handle paid leave such as vacations or sick days, or setting up payroll for employees who are following the 9/80 or any other alternative work schedules.

Fatigue and Productivity

For employees or freelancers, longer workdays can be challenging, and you may find this pattern doesn’t work for your productivity if you’re too tired to focus due to the extra hour or so each day.

Working Parents

While many working parents can benefit from the flexibility of a 9/80 schedule, there will be some who can’t make longer hours suit their family life. For example, nine or ten hours of work on some days may be impossible due to childcare availability.

Employee Tracking

If you’re self-employed or must report a timesheet to your employer, you’ll need a convenient way to report your clocked hours without giving yourself extra admin.

How to Track a 9/80 Work Schedule

While you could use a traditional timesheet template to track your hours or even include your info on an Excel spreadsheet, it’s easier to track your work schedule using time management software. Some options are:

1. Clockify

Clockify allows you to set up a simple employee clock-in/clock-out system, either by creating time cards and logging hours in a personal timesheet or by using the timer function. The software is free and works across all major platforms.

Report your time by exporting to PDF, CSC, or Excel as required.

2. Toggl Track

Toggl Track is a scalable time tracking solution—it’ll fit in with your workflow whether you’re a team of one or have a distributed team of thousands. For added functionality, integrate the software with over 100 tools like Zapier,, or ClickUp using the Toggl track browser extension.

Toggl is free for up to five users—if you’re using it to track employee hours across a larger team, the price is $18 per user, per month.

3. Harlow

Time-tracking is a key feature of Harlow’s freelance management software. It’s simple to track your time against specific projects, clients, or tasks. Not only will you know exactly how long you’ve been working, but you’ll also gain valuable insights into how productive you’ve been with your time!

A free 14-day trial of Harlow is available before you choose either the $30 per month plan or the annual $330 subscription (for a one-month saving.)

Getting Started With Your Flexible Work Schedule

Does the 9/80 sound like a work pattern that could supercharge your productivity? Plan out how you’ll spread your 80 hours over a nine-day period, and check with your boss if you require permission to switch your timetable up.

Don’t forget to use time tracking software like Clockify, Harlow, Toggl, or alternatives to record your new schedule.

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