This new working routine is said to boost productivity and flexibility, but at what cost?
The workday schedule as we know it has changed a lot in recent months and years. The remote working movement – spurred on largely by the COVID-19 pandemic – has come hand in hand with a trend of flexible working and allowing employees to choose their own hours.
The latest alternative to the standard 9 to 5 workday is the 9/80 routine. This kind of schedule involves longer hours spread across two working weeks, with more days off in the process.
We’re going to take a closer look at this new work schedule, giving you the chance to ask whether or not it might be right for your business.
The 9/80 routine: how does it work?
As most business owners will surely know, a 9 to 5 working schedule consists of eight-hour working days, Monday to Friday, every week – barring any booked or national holidays. A 9/80 routine differs in that the hours are longer, but the days off are more regular.
A 9/80 work schedule comprises of eight nine-hour days, one eight-hour day, and one day off, spread over two working weeks. So, you end up working 80 hours over nine days, rather than over 10 days, hence the name 9/80.
This allows employers to give their team members a day off every other week. These eight hours are instead spread across the previous nine days. By working longer days through the week, employees can enjoy a three-day weekend every other week.
The advantages of a 9/80 routine
While still new, the 9/80 routine is already being hailed as a work schedule that could create a number of benefits, including increased in productivity. By giving employees a fairer work/life balance thanks to the inclusion of more frequents days off, businesses could see a rise in workplace morale and encourage staff members to be more productive when actually at work. Plus, when employees are happy, customers are more likely to be happy too.
The schedule also offers greater flexibility for employers and staff members alike. Organisations can utilise the 9/80 routine to segregate teams and split them to optimise resources. Some may take a Friday off while others may take a Monday off. Either way, all bases are still covered. Plus, if your team members are slowly but surely making their way back to the workplace, a four-day working week every fortnight means less commute.
What do you need to consider?
Despite its potential benefits, there are still factors you’d need to consider before utilising the 9/80 schedule for your business. First of all, any change in schedule comes with a domino effect. You may find that your leave policy needs to be restructured as sick leave will now need to cover nine hours rather than the usual eight. Factors like overtime pay may also cause complications.
Businesses may also find the 9/80 schedule challenging if they are operating with a small number of employees, as it can be difficult to give everyone their day off whilst still ensuring things are running smoothly in their absence. You will also have to ensure that everyone is happy with the other aspect of the 9/80 schedule: the longer working days. Issues such as childcare and public transport can cause issues when it comes to getting in early or staying later.
In the end, it’s all about what works for you and your organisation. Ask your staff what kind of routine they’d prefer, and make finding the right working schedule for your business a collaborative effort.