Compensatory (Comp) Time Off: A Guide For Managers
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There are so many different work schedule types these days that it can be hard to make sense of them all. But who knows? Maybe one of the more novel schedules would be perfect for your team.
In this article, we discuss some of the most common work schedule types so you can find the right option for your business and your employees.
One of the most common work schedule types is the full-time schedule. Full-time basically means that an employee will work around 40 hours per week in any combination of days and hours.
The exact number is largely determined by the employer itself. As long as they don’t ask their employees to work more than 40 hours per week without paying overtime, they can choose from a range of total hours (the IRS cites at least 30 hours per week as a full-time employee).
For example, you may adopt a full-time schedule that encompasses five 8-hour days, four 10-hour days, or even six 6.5-hour days. As long as the total hours add up to 40, the number of days worked doesn’t matter.
This type of work schedule is typically the most stable and predictable because both employers and employees know when their team will work from day to day and week to week.
Another common work schedule type is the part-time schedule.
Part-time basically means that an employee will work fewer than 40 hours per week in any combination of days and hours (though the Department of Labor does not set a number for part-time work).
For example, you may adopt a part-time schedule that has an employee working four 6-hour days, five 5-hour days, or even three 3-hour days.
It all depends on what your business needs and what your employee will agree to.
A 24-hour staff rota can be one of the most complicated work schedule types to manage because of the coverage it demands.
Most 24-hour schedules will contain three 8-hour shifts in order to make sure that all the hours are covered.
Within the 24-hour schedule itself, there are a number of options to choose from, including:
These numbers refer to the pattern of days that each employee works.
So, for example, in the 2-2 3-2 2-3 schedule, each employee works:
Keep in mind that you aren’t restricted to the three options in the first bulleted list. You can create your own 24-hour schedule to better fit the way your business runs.
As work schedule types go, the standard option is, by far, the most familiar. In this schedule, employees work set days (usually Monday through Friday) and set hours (usually four in the morning and four in the afternoon).
This schedule is so common it has earned the name “9-to-5,” though many businesses don’t strictly adhere to these hours.
For example, your business may run a standard schedule of 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. with an unpaid lunch break in the middle.
A fixed work schedule is similar to the standard work schedule in that employees work set days and set hours. But it differs from the standard in that the former can apply to work times other than 8 or 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
For example, some businesses set their fixed schedule as Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
If your business runs a 24-hour operation, it’s going to have an overnight component to deal with.
Those hours can be difficult to fill because employees aren’t as likely to volunteer to work when they’re usually sleeping. You may have to offer higher pay, extra training, or some other benefit for the overnight hours to encourage employees to sign up.
An alternate (or alternative) work schedule is a broad term used to refer to any organizational schema that is different from the main one that applies to the majority of team members in your business.
Your business may choose to implement an alternate schedule for an employee who has extenuating circumstances to deal with outside of work (e.g., pregnancy, medical requirements, family issues) and to provide for better work-life balance.
This may mean that they come in five days per week but only work until 3 p.m. Or, perhaps, you have them work four 10-hour days instead of the regular five 8-hour days.
As with the other schedule types on this list, it all depends on what your employees and your business need to be successful.
A compressed work schedule is one in which team members work the same amount of hours in fewer days when compared to the standard “9-to-5” model. An example might be 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday (four 10-hour days).
Compressed work schedules often come with a series of trade-offs that you and your team will have to navigate.
For example, many compressed schedules require teams to work longer hours on any given day but then receive an extra day off at the end or beginning of the week.
Talk to your employees about whether or not a compressed schedule is right for them.
A 9/80 arrangement is a type of compressed work schedule that provides for an extra full day off every two weeks without sacrificing total hours worked — and without straying into overtime territory.
In a typical 9/80 work schedule, your employees would work four nine-hour days (36 hours) followed by one eight-hour day. On their timesheets, you apply the first half of the eight-hour workday (4 hours) to the first week and the second half (4 hours) to the following week.
At the end of the next Thursday, your team has worked 40 hours for the week (36 hours + 4 hours from the previous Friday), so you can give them Friday off without losing work hours.
9/80 schedules can be tough to visualize, so here’s an example to help you get a better idea:
Monday: 7-12 and 1-5 with an unpaid lunch break in-between (9 hours total)
Thursday: Same (for a total of 36 hours)
Friday: 8-12 (week one ends) + 1-5 (week two starts)
Monday: 7-12 and 1-5 with an unpaid lunch break in between (9 hours total)
Thursday: Same (for a total of 40 hours including the four hours worked the previous Friday)
Keep in mind that you could customize the template above for your business and have your team work 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. to accumulate the requisite nine-hour days and then come in at 9 a.m. or leave at 5 p.m. on Friday to make the eight-hour day possible.
An overtime schedule is one in which an employee works more than 40 hours in a single week. For any amount of time over that federally mandated threshold, you must pay your employee at 1.5 times their regular rate.
For example, if Tamyra’s regular rate is $10 per hour and she works 45 hours in a single week, she is paid $10 per hour for the first 40 hours and $15 per hour (10 x 1.5) for the other five hours.
As a result, Tamyra would receive $400 for the first 40 hours and $75 for the 5 hours of overtime that week.
Regardless of the numerous work schedule types you have to choose from, one of the best ways to manage everything and stay organized is with help from specialized software, like Inch.
Once you’ve got everything set, you can harness the power of Inch’s other useful features — built-in time clock with geofencing, labor cost tracking, overtime control, notifications, and advanced communications — to simplify and streamline all your team’s activities.
For more free resources to help you manage your business better, organize and schedule your team, and track and calculate labor costs, visit TryInch.com today.
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