‘Work smarter, not harder’- this statement might sound like a cliché, yet the workplace in today’s globalized corporate sector is completely productivity-centric. Even Google, one of the most successful corporate giants, chooses flexibility to boost productivity in the workplace as we can see their offices featuring nap pods, video games, and ping pong! Days are gone when suited-booted corporate maestros gather to thrive together; instead, it’s a futuristic approach where people can work from home, work under the open sky, and even in the crowded cafeteria, achieving the same objectives (even more!) as their hackneyed counterpart.
As flexibility and productivity boost are buzzwords in organizations, workload management is shifting its momentum towards a more flexible approach. The paradigm shifted towards a process where employees’ benefits are looked after more seriously than ever before. A 9/80 work schedule approach is a new work plan that provides the organizations with more breathing space, and organizations around the world are now after it, leaving their old ‘standard 8-hour work schedule’ behind.
A standard 8-hour work schedule is the orthodox approach of a work plan that ensures that the employees serve the organization 8 hours a day and five days a week. That means a single employee offers a total of 40 hours of service to their organization. While comparing with the 9/80 work hour schedule (as it is a bi-weekly working approach), the ten days of work are ensured, and the total work time for an employee is 80 hours. So, the employees are not left with any additional day-off other than the two days (generally Saturday and Sunday) they usually get in a week.
The 9/80 work schedule, a bi-weekly approach to work plan, differs from the standard 8-hour work schedule. It provides your employees with an additional holiday every second week, which means they are likely to get two extra holidays in a month. That means they will get around 26 additional day-off which is a surreal bonus for any employee at any level of the workplace. Even though your organization would remain idle for two days a month and almost a month a year, the total work hour would stay the same as the old 8-hour work plan, as your employees will be working an extra four hours a week to plug the hole. Here is the breakdown:
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday (9 hours each) Friday (First 4 hours; Week-1 completed) + (Second 4 hour; Week-2 begins)
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday (9 hours each)
Friday: OFF (Holiday)
So, in total 80 hours of work time is ensured. (9 Hours x 8 Days + 8 Hours x 1 Day)
That means employees work an extra hour for eight days and an 8-hour day for just a single day, in a bi-weekly time frame. That makes up the 80-hour work time, enabling them to enjoy an extra day at home with their families.
Research says that a 9/80 work schedule can improve employees’ quality of work in the USA by 60%, and productivity could rise to 70%, which is a drastic surge.
A report by CNBC shows that the average car-owner in the United States spends around 40 hours in traffic every year, which costs them extra spending of $960. So, 26 days off in a year can save a tremendous amount of money if the 9/80 work schedule can be adequately implemented industrywide.
Besides productivity, work-life balance is a concern in most organizations, and companies are sincere about their workforce. They like to shrink the imbalance. Most of the companies who implemented the 9/80 work schedule got positive results regarding this issue. There are some setbacks caught under the microscope. Some companies went for the transformation without a cost-benefit analysis, which brought them an extremely unpleasant result.
Several benefits are being observed while practicing the 9/80 work schedule in different genres of companies. Here are some of the mention-worthy benefits you should know about.
Completing the tasks and managing them within the deadline is a daily issue that the concerned people deal with. A day-off means a proper rest, and an additional one hour per day can help the employees to work with much ease and flexibility, which will help them segment the tasks properly and finish that within the deadline.
A task for today, thus, won’t be a task for tomorrow given an additional hour helps you deal with the job more skillfully and plan everything with more breathing space. This will make the work of managers easier, and employees will for more at home too.
The more flexible the working environment, the more productive the workers ought to be. Southwest Airlines, Adobe, or Twitter- if you look into the workplace culture of these companies, then you must notice how relaxed and friendly the overall ambiance is. A 9/80 work schedule would be a real bonus for this Company.
These companies' friendliness and pleasant atmosphere already put them at the beginning of the most productive companies' list. Whenever you are looking for a more flexible one, this work schedule of 1 extra holiday might be the first choice to get placed in your preference criteria list. This would ultimately make you more productive and efficient both as a worker and a human being.
One extra off day means you needn't put the car out of the garage unless you planned for a picnic or holiday shopping. This would give you enough space to save the fuel cost for your vehicle. Though a single day off doesn't make much difference, imagine how much you can save a month? A handsome sum of money, right? An additional day off in a bi-weekly approach gives you that opportunity as you get as much as 26 days off a year!
Now, imagine yourself in the managing director’s chair or the chief executive officer of a company. You implement the 9/80 work schedule for your workers. How do you feel about it? Your mind surely portraits the happy smiling face of employees who would get to see their family almost an extra month per year! That’s what you want as the leader of the pack- satisfied employees! This can bring drastic positive changes in the mindfulness of your employees.
Now that we know, the 9/80 work schedule is still in its nascent stage of flourishment, so companies can use the feature to lure more talented employees towards their workspace. Every potential job candidate looks for satisfaction as they enter their profession, and this 9/80 work plan can attract them. That’s how you can create a point of difference with your rivals in the heat of the competition.
Family comes first, no matter whether you are the general manager or an operation-level employee. A proper work-life balance is like a golden deer for any employee. Corporate workers are tired of running after it, and chasing it down can be considered lifetime glory. Not a lot of people in the world are blessed with a high balance between their occupation and family life.
A 9/80 work schedule can act as a tonic to solve this issue and provide more happiness. No CEO wants to see a grumpy face in the bunches of employees, so better use the new schedule, which can alleviate the pain like a panacea!
For a few years, corporate social responsibility(CSR) has been a topic for discussion. It is incentivizing and even binding the corporations and companies with regulations that can significantly impact the environment. This is an approach to hold corporations accountable for their actions that can potentially deteriorate the environment. Switching to the electric car can be possible in countries like Canada or the Netherlands, but how could that be possible for countries placed in the lower level of the income range?
Better, implement a 9/80 work schedule! A less day in office means a month per year where there will be less air pollution due to commuter smoke. So, thinking from an environmental perspective, it would be a wise decision to implement the 9/80 work schedule.
If your family deserves most of your attention and time, then a tiny part should be left for the people who constituted your surroundings. Going to social parties, giving some time to the community gathering, and managing some time to visit your religion and faith centers are acts that can bring spiritual energy and emancipation to you. An extra day off means you now have more time to invest in those people who are the parts and parcel of your life. This makes this new working plan worth it.
Potential pitfalls are there if you think you are implementing a 9/80 work schedule in your workplace. This pitfall could be both-sided like the benefits, i.e., it can hamper both your (owners)’ and employees’ business. The pitfalls are shown below:
In a standard 8-hour-workday, if an employee falls sick, he/she would enjoy a leave of 8 hours. But for the 9/80 work schedule, the Company has to bear the cost of that extra hour for that employee. Though it's a humanitarian issue, an extra hour costing might be expensive for a company when the financials are written down in papers.
If we think of an 8-hour-workday, we might see that the day is already 9 hours long as the lunch break is unpaid for the employees to spend on the office. So, contemplating that perspective, we can say that a 9/80 workday would be 10 hours long.
If you spend 8 hours sleeping per day, you will be left with just 6 hours to do all other businesses! So, the 24-hour-day can break down up to a staggering 75% if you are a family man or a person who loves to enjoy his/her own time! That's simply saddening.
An employee who is habituated to working a standard 8-hour-day would be highly out of touch for the first few days in his new office, where a 9/80 work schedule is running. Even your employees will face difficulties adapting to the new routine when you decide to replace the 8-hour-workday with the 9-hour-workday. So, early adjustment is an issue that needs to be addressed first while implementing the new schedule.
Small businesses and startups will be at the brink of high risks when this 9/80 workday is started in their workplace. As small businesses have lesser employees so the work shift might saw a lack of employees in a given project to kick in. Also, startups and small businesses themselves have to walk an extra mile to shine their names. So, this 9/80 work schedule might not be an excellent idea given there might not be sufficient employees to split the day off and increase the overall coverage.
It’s no-brainer that the last hour of the day is the least productive one. Employees who work for 8 hours a day will try to find a door to escape in the previous hour when the 9/80 work schedule will be implemented. They might switch on Netflix, go to social media, or take a sound nap when no one is around to supervise. So, it’s a questionable decision to go for a 9/80 work schedule as far as the last hour productivity is concerned.
An extra day-off in two weeks is astonishing; an additional month off in a year is incredible! But before sinking into the amusement, we must think of the momentary exhaustion we undergo while working an extra hour on a given day. So, working on a tiring project all day long, that 'bi-weekly day off' would seem highly distant, and that will sap out the energy and all motivations to work. This is a burning issue too.
After finishing your day’s work, when you get back home, the first thing that is likely to pop up in your mind is not that you are going to have an extra day off in the following weekend, but you already have lost one hour that particular day!
Winning a dollar rejoices your mind but losing one makes you forget what you have won, and you start mourning for that. This is a simple human psychological phenomenon. One hour loss means that one less hour with your children, spouse, and the whole community. One-hour loss means that you’re less likely to show up at a party, even that is a party next door. That’s not cool at all!
If a highly profitable business chooses to stay closed or off for 26 days a year, it mightn't face a loss but would lose an opportunity to make more money. Unless a company chooses to go for the shifting work, an astonishing amount of dollars, it mightn't be able to grasp.
Are you planning to implement a 9/80 work schedule in your Company and see the differences? Before doing that, go through the following point and analyze to evaluate whether you are a suitable candidate to kick into the alternative working approach.
Are you a software company or any other generic company that has little to no face-to-face customer interaction? In that case, you are an excellent fit for the 9/80 work schedule.
Are you a pharmaceutical company or a behemoth fast-food restaurant chain? Then you are probably the wrong candidate for the 9/80 work schedule. You can make huge profits every day, and a day off means a lean patch week for you.
Did you start a new venture? On the one hand, you see a little customer to your doorstep, so you can allow a bit of respite to the employees (Unless you are a Hard taskmaster!). On the other hand, you want to tighten everything quickly at the beginning to catch the ship fast. This dilemma puts the startups on the unsuitable list of 9/80 work schedules.
Are you running the production line of a large corporation? Then thinking for a 9/80 work schedule might be imprudent. A product line requires employees 24/7, and it’s an interdependent job, so a day-off means you won’t be able to catch up with the growing demand. So, it would be sensible to stick up to the earlier approach to work.
If you think that your employees are specialists to a large extent, then allowing some respite, i.e., implementing a 9/80 work schedule, can be fruitful.
So, take your time and do a cost-benefit analysis. Try to find a solid rationale to kick in or step out. Flexibility is essential but not a key priority.
Myriads of companies, big or small, around the world have adopted the 9/80 work policy and saw both sides of the coin. Yet, most of their experiences are positive and recommendable.
One of those companies that practically implemented a 9/80 work schedule is The Raytheon Company, a major US defense contractor manufacturing weapons, military, and commercial electronics. They are doing great in keeping harmony in the workplace and ensuring the work-life balance of the employees.
Microsoft Japan is one of the pioneers of 9/80 work schedules and one of its biggest advocates too. Their feedback on the 9/80 work schedule gives us unprecedented insight. They claimed that their productivity rose by almost 40% when they applied the new schedules where people work for nine days instead of 10 days on a bi-weekly basis but touch the 80 hours threshold of working. They also reported that their electricity consumption fell by 23% and printing paper fell by a whopping 60%!
Perpetual Guardian, a trust management company based in New Zealand, recently said that, after implying the 9/80 work schedule, their productivity skyrocketed to 20%, and employee’s work-life balance improved by 45%.
So far, no corporate culture or organizational ambiance work policy has been regarded as a 'flawless' or 'perfect' one. Yet, a 9/80 work schedule is a simplistic approach that gained popularity and encomium worldwide. Drawbacks are there, but the flexibility it provides to the people in an organization is unbelievably good. If you think your Company is the perfect fit for this work practice, it's highly recommended to try once.
If you think the benefits outweigh the costs, this is probably one of the best approaches you can ever have. So, to remain prolific in your workplace and make the organization more human-centric, we strongly recommend implementing a 9/80 work schedule in your Company.