9/80 Work Schedule: What It Is And How It Works

Working nine to five was once considered the “norm” — there was even a song written about it. But it’s not the only way to go. The 9/80 work schedule is another popular option, offering a little extra flexibility for your employees.

In this article, we’ll tell you what the 9/80 work schedule is and how it works. Then it’s up to you to decide whether it is a good fit for your team.

Table Of Contents

What Is A 9/80 Work Schedule?

Woman googling What Is A 9/80 Work Schedule?

A 9/80 work schedule offers a little more variation than the typical nine-to-five. Basically, instead of having employees work 80 hours over 10 days, it has them working 80 hours over nine, leaving the last day for some extra R&R.

To get more specific, over a two-week period, employees will work a total of nine hours a day for eight days and eight hours a day for one day. This affords them one working day off over the two-workweek period.

Although this compressed type of alternative work schedule may not be a good fit for all businesses and teams, many employees are likely to cheer over the extra time off the schedule affords.

How A 9/80 Schedule Works

Woman working a 9/80 work schedule

Deciding to implement a 9/80 schedule for your team means a little more work on the administrative side because the schedule will vary by week.

For week one, your employee will work four nine-hour days followed by an eight-hour day. For week two, they will work four nine-hour days followed by a day off. This adds up to 44 hours on the first calendar week and 36 on the second.

You might be wondering how this alternative schedule works without incurring overtime. For payroll purposes, instead of following the calendar week, the work week will end and the next week will begin halfway through the eight-hour day.

Doing this allows you to “book” only four hours of the day in week one, and four in week two, resulting in a perfect 40 hours per week.

Schedule Management

Schedule Management for a 9/80 work schedule

Managing a 9/80 work schedule takes a little extra attention because, as we said, it changes from one week to the next. Let’s discuss what that might look like.

Sample Schedule

If you’re thinking about implementing a 9/80 work schedule for your team, see the example below, keeping in mind that you’ll want to choose start and end times that work best for your business.

Week 1

Monday – Thursday: 8:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. with one hour off (unpaid) for lunch.

Friday: 9:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. with one hour off (unpaid) for lunch. This day marks the end of week one and the beginning of week two.

Week 2

Monday – Thursday: 8:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. with one hour off (unpaid) for lunch.

Friday: Off

Running Payroll

As we mentioned, payroll runs from the halfway point of the eight-hour day. This way you maintain 40 hours per week and no overtime is incurred.

It’s important to keep track of hours scheduled and worked with your payroll system. A good workforce management software, like Inch, can make it easy to manage your team’s schedules and communication.

Sick Days, Holidays, And Vacations

Different forms of leave are treated differently in a 9/80 work schedule. For instance, if an employee is sick during one of the four nine-hour days, it will count as a nine-hour sick day. However, if they are sick on an eight-hour day, it will be an eight-hour sick day.

Basically, the sick day will follow the scheduled hours that day. If an employee is going on vacation, it will work the same way.

As for national holidays, if they fall on an eight-hour day or day off, employees will get a credit of eight hours, usable over the following year. If a holiday falls on a nine-hour day, they’ll get the holiday plus an additional hour of vacation credit to be used in the future.

A Note About California

If you have employees in California, you’ll also need to be aware of California Labor Code Section 510, which provides additional rules to follow if you are considering a 9/80 work schedule.


If you’d like to implement a 9/80 schedule in California, two-thirds of the employees affected must vote for it. All information — including wages, hours, and benefits — must be disclosed to workers. The vote must be conducted during work hours by secret ballot.

Once the election is held, it gets submitted to the California Division of Labor and Research. Then employees choose their preferred day off every two weeks. California law also requires the eight-hour day to be on the same day of the week as the scheduled day off.

Lastly, employees decide whether they want to take the day off the first and third week of the month or the second and fourth.


Some employees can be exempt from the schedule, including single parents, employees with medical conditions, students, and certain customer service specialists and computer operators.

The bottom line is that if your team is in California, you must study the law in detail in order to avoid any financial or legal issues.

Benefits Of A 9/80 Work Schedule

Two woman enjoying working a 9/80 Work Schedule


Employees may be motivated by the increased flexibility that this type of schedule provides. And, by the end of the month, they will have an additional two days off, during which they can recharge.


With a shorter workweek, employees may feel inspired to get more done during work hours.

Increased Focus

A little extra time away from the desk may make your team even more focused on their tasks when they are on the clock.

Less Commuting

Another benefit of the 9/80 work schedule is that your employees will not have to commute as much. Commuting can be exhausting, especially if you live far away from work.

Greater Work/Life Balance

The biggest benefit of a 9/80 work schedule is that you’re offering better work/life balance to your employees. They’ll appreciate the days off when they can get errands done or spend extra time with the family.

Challenges Of A 9/80 Work Schedule

Man suffering from challenges Of A 9/80 Work Schedule

Between the increased complexity and the daily hours required by the 9/80 work schedule, it can also have its challenges for employers and employees alike.

More Hours Per Day

It might be more difficult to get your team motivated through a nine-hour day, particularly one that starts very early in the morning.

Changing Schedule

As the schedule changes from week to week, for employers, it can be a little trickier to keep track of.

Unexpected Illness

When something unexpected happens, like an illness or absence, this type of work schedule can leave a business uncovered for a task or shift.

Stressing A Small Team

If your team is small, you might not have as much leeway for change or issues that come up. If anything goes awry, you might be left shorthanded and stressed.

Potential Overtime

If employees don’t watch the clock, they could bump their hours into overtime. This makes employee time tracking even more essential.

A Job Well Done

Woman celebrating a job well done

Now that you know what a 9/80 work schedule is and how it works, you can decide whether it’s right for your business and team. As we said, there are benefits and challenges to this setup, and if you’re a small team, it might not make sense.

But if you find that it’s right for you, think of Inch as your workplace management assistant to get your scheduling done easily and accurately. With Inch, you can track hours worked, monitor attendance, and more, making it simple for on-site as well as remote and distributed teams.

With Inch by your side, you can offer your team what could be a win-win — more productivity and more balance!

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