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Businesses

How Does a 9/80 Work Schedule Work Out? 1055

Posted by kdawson
from the on-the-ground dept.
cellocgw writes "My company is in the process of implementing a version of '9/80,' a work schedule that squeezes 80 hours' labor time into 9 business days and provides every other Friday off. I was wondering how this has been implemented in other companies, and how it's worked out for other Slashdot readers. Is your system flexible? Do you find time to get personal stuff done during the week? Is Friday good for anything other than catching up on lost sleep? And perhaps most important, do your managers respect the off-Fridays, or do they pull people in on a regular basis to handle 'crises?'"
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How Does a 9/80 Work Schedule Work Out?

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  • by brian0918 (638904) <brian0918@gmailTIGER.com minus cat> on Tuesday January 13, 2009 @08:54PM (#26442053)
    It was really nice, especially if you set it up so that one week you're paid, and the next you get the Friday off. They were also flexible about it and would let you switch occasionally, although that obviously depends on the company.
  • it sucks (Score:5, Informative)

    by Dolphinzilla (199489) on Tuesday January 13, 2009 @08:55PM (#26442073) Journal

    My company does it - and yes frequently we get hosed out of our day off OR have to travel on our day off. It is inconvenient to many of our customers and I spend a lot of time on my off Fridays checking my e-mail for potential issues. It is not much of a day off. We USED to have a 4-9-4 work week, where we worked 4 nine hour days and half days (4 hours) on Fridays this was AWESOME and I loved it - 9/80 is bogus IMHO

  • Also (Score:5, Informative)

    by brian0918 (638904) <brian0918@gmailTIGER.com minus cat> on Tuesday January 13, 2009 @08:56PM (#26442097)
    Also, to answer your question, those off-days were always respected, and I never missed the lost hour each day.
  • My experience (Score:5, Informative)

    by O('_')O_Bush (1162487) on Tuesday January 13, 2009 @08:57PM (#26442107)
    A friend of mine worked under 9/80 and loved it. He felt like he could be more productive staying later on the busy days and he took the extra friday off to take small trips with the family.

    I worked for the same company but different location under a flexible hour system where the only requirement was that I met the 40 hrs per week. It made things much more difficult to free up space on the weekends, but allowed me to be more available during the week.

    It's just preference.
  • I love it. (Score:5, Informative)

    by friedmud (512466) on Tuesday January 13, 2009 @09:01PM (#26442167)

    I've worked for two consecutive companies with 9/80. At the first it was optional (but most people did it) at the second (current one) it is pretty much mandatory.

    Let me tell you.... it's awesome.

    Having a 3-day weekend every other week outweighs any perceived negatives. It gives you the ability to leave on a trip on a Thursday night... spend 3 days somewhere and still make it back for work without taking any vacation.

    To answer your questions:

    - I was wondering how this has been implemented in other companies.

    For both of my companies you work 9 hours a day except the friday you work you only work 8 hours. Then you get every other friday off.

    - Is your system flexible?

    At the first company it was... you could choose which friday you wanted to start your 9/80 schedule on... so half of the people were gone every other friday.

    At my current job it's not... everyone has the same friday off. I see the benefits of both. Personally, I really enjoyed fridays at my previous job... when (at least) half the people were gone I could get a lot of work done.

    Both places I worked for have been flexible in your start time in the morning... meaning I can go in early and still get off early to get stuff done... which leads to:

    - Do you find time to get personal stuff done during the week?

    Yes. If I really need to get something done after work then I'll go in early. If I'm there by 7:00 then I can get off around 4:00 to 4:30... leaving plenty of time.

    - Is Friday good for anything other than catching up on lost sleep?

    Yes. You can use it for weekend trips like I mentioned above. Also, it's a great time to catch up around the house (mending fences, etc.). Finally, it's also a great day to get grocery shopping (and similar) done because most people are working...

    I use the day a lot of different ways... and I do often sleep in a bit... but never sleep the day away!

    - And perhaps most important, do your managers respect the off-Fridays, or do they pull people in on a regular basis to handle 'crises?'"

    Has never happened to me. Like I said.. at my current job the friday off is mandatory. They actually turn out the lights and turn down the air-conditioning, etc. They really expect no one to be there.

    But... I know my jobs are normal (I'm a research scientist at laboratories) so YMMV.

    In conclusion... it can only be a good thing... go for it!

    Friedmud

  • "Summer Hours" (Score:3, Informative)

    by gEvil (beta) (945888) on Tuesday January 13, 2009 @09:03PM (#26442189)
    My employer implemented a schedule like this last summer. They're planning on doing it again for 4 or 5 months starting in March or April. It's really pretty nice. Basically, while they're in effect you need to work an extra hour each day. How you do this is up to you. I ended up splitting the difference--get in 30 minutes early and stay 30 minutes longer. Since it was company-wide all the meeting schedules were adapted pretty quickly. It's worth it to have a 3-day weekend every other weekend. Makes setting up trips/vacations a whole lot easier.
  • by timmarhy (659436) on Tuesday January 13, 2009 @09:07PM (#26442243)
    care to explain why they hate having an extra day off???? i work a similar work week and i fucking love it.
  • by GIL_Dude (850471) on Tuesday January 13, 2009 @09:12PM (#26442293) Homepage
    I've worked 9/80 for the last 13 years or more. I also recently became a supervisor and am still working 9/80 and most of my employees do as well. In our company (68,000 employees total), it is generally implemented as schedule a, b, c, d (where a and b are opposite Friday's and c and d are opposite Monday's. Way back when I did LAN Admin work (Novell back then), Monday's were "password reset day" so I chose one of the Monday off schedules. On my "Monday on" I work from home - so I only drive in 4 days a week.

    I don't think I would ever want to go back to a 5 day a week schedule - 9/80 is just so much better.

    You also asked about whether the company respect those days off. In general they do really well with it. It is normally the employee that makes most decisions about "oh, we have some vendors coming in Monday - I will come in and just take the following Monday instead." There is almost never a "we need you to give up your day off" (I have rarely ever even heard of this happening and it certainly never happened to me).
  • by seebs (15766) on Tuesday January 13, 2009 @09:19PM (#26442361) Homepage

    Most of the time. (Not including extracurricular stuff, I do some consulting.)

    I'll push it a bit for a release date, but apart from that, I don't do much over 40 hours of work. I might spend an evening logged into IRC in case anyone needs anything, but then, I might take an hour off to play with my cat.

    The work gets done, we meet turnaround time commitments, the managers are happy.

  • by shdragon (1797) on Tuesday January 13, 2009 @09:21PM (#26442383) Homepage Journal

    The company I work for just switched to a 9/80 a few months ago. We're a little different since we have a schedule A and a schedule B, so only 1/2 the people are at work any given Friday. It's had some ups & downs.

    Here's what I see as the positives:
    1. Having a 4 day work week every other week rocks!
    2. Getting paid on the Friday where I work 5 days makes it all the more bearable.
    3. Easier to get chores, errands done since everyone else is at work.
    4. I get more work done during the last hour of every 9 hour day than any other hour.

    Here's the negatives:
    1. It's a PITA to schedule meetings.
    2. Sometimes I travel and it seems to always fall on a week where I'm supposed to be off that Friday.
    3. Customers are annoyed because they're not on the same schedule and aren't understanding that it won't be until Monday before I get back to them.
    4. I feel like I have less time to get work done since every other week I only work 4 days.
    5. More free time means I spend more money.
    6. Getting to work while it's dark & leaving when it's dark is depressing.

  • by billstewart (78916) on Tuesday January 13, 2009 @09:23PM (#26442409) Journal

    I'm not on a 9/80 plan, but I've been with my company long enough that when they started requiring us to use or lose our vacation every year rather than carrying it over, I started taking Fridays off most of the summer. I had mixed success with it; just because I'm not planning to work on a given day, that doesn't mean that my customer doesn't want to schedule a meeting or call me on the phone, or that people stopped sending me emails that needed attention, or there might be training from the head office folks or whatever, so Fridays were often only half-off, or I'd sleep late and do email around noon. But still, that meant that I really did get my Saturday off :-)

  • by CrimsonAvenger (580665) on Tuesday January 13, 2009 @09:37PM (#26442553)
    I worked at a place that did this. Very nice, really. Easier to schedule things like dentist appointment and whatnot without taking time off, since I had a three-day weekend 26 times a year.

    And I could make a nine-day vacation on 36 hours vacation time, as long as I picked an off Friday week for the vacation.

    I can only remember once I had to work on an off Friday in a couple years there. And I got the following Monday off that time.

  • 4-10s are the shit (Score:3, Informative)

    by icebrain (944107) on Tuesday January 13, 2009 @09:47PM (#26442653)

    The company I work for runs 4x10 as the "regular" workweek for most of engineering and production. Friday (the usual day off) counts as an overtime day. Non-exempt people get time and a half, and even the salaried people get straight time for that day.

    I usually come in for a half day every Friday and pick up a few extra hours (business needs permitting, of course), though sometimes I'll sleep in an hour or two first--I usually show up around 615 the rest of the week. It still gives me an afternoon off to get stuff done around the house, run errands, or go to the range before my wife gets home. If we need to travel for the weekend, I can either use the day to pack and get ready, or we can leave early if she takes a day off.

    If you find a company that offers this, take it.

  • Re:4/10 is easier (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 13, 2009 @10:19PM (#26442961)

    I have also done both 4/40 and 9/80. I came to the opposite conclusion. Living a fair distance from work, my day is pretty well shot working 9 hours. On top of that, my company wants everyone to start at either 7:00AM or 8:00AM. Consequently, we get to leave at either 4:45PM or 5:45PM. If I come in at 7:00AM it takes ~40 minutes to get to work and ~70 minutes to get back at 4:45PM (rush hour). Going in at 8:00AM and leaving at 5:45PM just swaps the drive time. When I was on a 10 hour schedule, I could avoid traffic both ways. So I worked an extra hour but only lost 30 minutes of my day. On the 8 hour schedule, I could also avoid traffic both ways. So I worked an hour less, but got back an hour and a half of my day.

    If you live close to work, or your company gives enough flexibility to avoid traffic, then 9/80 is probably pretty nice. However, if your situation is like mine, then it's worthless. Most people in my workplace have kids and consequently really hate 9/80.

    On a side note, I've only be forced to come in on an off friday when another company schedules a meeting that I'm involved in on friday (which was never before 9/80). Interestingly, shortly after the switch to 9/80, most such meetings somehow make their way to our off fridays. If possible, make sure you're involved in the scheduling process or they can take advantage of it.

  • by Average (648) on Tuesday January 13, 2009 @10:36PM (#26443125)

    There is no doubt that, cutting back to necessities (as the country may finally be lurching toward), we have a surplus of working capacity. If people *really, really* cut back to needs (rice, beans, 100 warm square feet), we'd have 75%+ unemployment. Tech, mech, and automation meant that we had enough surplus to have more hairdressers and marketers than farmers. The flip side is that we don't need more farmers, even if millions wanted to go back to it.

    As for me, I'm lucky as hell. I'd found the ability to work 30 hours or so a week, with some vacation flexibility, in my nice cheap midwest small town, for slightly under $30k a year. Lucky as all hell to have it, for now. With my degrees and training, I 'should' make $80k or maybe $100k+ on the coasts. Instead, I get time to garden, volunteer, cook, and jam with friends. Awesome and a half. But, of course, it's far less efficient for most companies. Hiring 6 people and pushing them 50 or 60 hours a week is, sadly, much more efficient than having 10 people work 30 to 35. Perhaps shifting certain fixed costs (health care) off the employer might help this become an option for more people?

  • by EvanED (569694) <evaned&gmail,com> on Tuesday January 13, 2009 @10:51PM (#26443247)

    If it can knock you down into a lower tax bracket you can come out ahead.

    You will never decrease your tax liability by making less enough to compensate for making less, all other things being equal, even under a system as complex as the US tax code. If you think it can, tax brackets don't work the way I suspect you think they do.

    For instance, suppose in a hypothetical universe the brackets were set up so that $0-$50000 was taxed 0% and $50000+ was taxed 50%. If you made $60,000, people would say they fall into the upper bracket, but that doesn't mean they are paying $30,000 in taxes (which would imply that getting a $10,001 pay cut would increase take home pay by 20 grand). Rather, they pay 50% of the amount of money they make in excess of $50,000, meaning they will pay $5,000.

    Continuing the analogy, if there was another bracket starting at $100,000 with 75% tax, someone making $200,000 would pay:
    * 0% of the first $50,000
    * 50% of the next $50,000 (or $25,000)
    * 75% of the next $100,000 (or $75,000)
    giving a total tax liability of $100,000, rather than the $150,000 they would have to pay if they were paying 75% on everything.

    Now, there are changes to your employment state that can have big consequences. I am a grad student, and am taking up a teaching position this semester. Before I was a research assistant. RAs are exempt from FICA taxes (this is at least true in my state, and I think is common) but as an instructor I won't be, so even though I will be getting a nice raise, I'll also essentially be taking an instant 7.5% pay cut too. There may be something similar going from part time to full time or something like that which would apply. But in any case, if taking a pay cut actually increases your take home pay, it is definitely not because it puts you into a different tax bracket.

  • by the_B0fh (208483) on Tuesday January 13, 2009 @11:03PM (#26443353) Homepage

    Are people really that stupid? A simple google search turns up:

    For single filers (this is slashdot after all):
    (Tax Rate Schedule X)

            * 10% on income between $0 and $8,025
            * 15% on the income between $8,025 and $32,550; plus $802.50
            * 25% on the income between $32,550 and $78,850; plus $4,481.25
            * 28% on the income between $78,850 and $164,550; plus $16,056.25
            * 33% on the income between $164,550 and $357,700; plus $40,052.25
            * 35% on the income over $357,700; plus $103,791.75

    Do you understand what the fuck that means? If you make less than $8025, you get taxed 10%. If you make between $8025 and $32550, that means you pay 10% on the first $8025, and 15% on the rest. That means the effective tax rate at $32550 is 13.77%.

    At which fucking point can you come out ahead while making less money?!

  • Source? (Score:4, Informative)

    by Feynman (170746) on Tuesday January 13, 2009 @11:26PM (#26443569)

    the countries that have higher productivity per worker than the US.

    According to a U.N. report [usatoday.com] released in 2007, only Norway had higher productivity per hour worked than the U.S.

  • by QRDeNameland (873957) on Wednesday January 14, 2009 @12:08AM (#26443823)

    I just wrote a post below about tax brackets and rates, and it just so happens that I'm a dual US-Canadian citizen, living and working in Canada now but most of life was in the US. Out of curiosity I wanted to compare US vs. Canadian income tax rates, I was surprised to find that Canadian income tax rates are slightly lower across the board than the US.

    Canada 2009: [cra-arc.gc.ca]
    - 15% on the first $38,832 of taxable income, +
    - 22% on the next $38,832 of taxable income (on the portion of taxable income between $38,832 and $77,664), +
    - 26% on the next $48,600 of taxable income (on the portion of taxable income between $77,664 and $126,264), +
    - 29% of taxable income over $126,264.

    US 2008: [moneychimp.com]
    - 10% of $0 to $8,025
    - 15% of $8,025 to $32,550
    - 25% of $32,550 to $78,850
    - 28% of $78,850 to $164,550
    - 33% of $164,550 to $357,700
    - 35% of $357,700 and up

    The US figures do not count FICA which is 6.2% up to $102,000. My additional taxes on my Canadian payroll check do not come close to matching FICA plus other non-Federal taxes that I paid in the US.

    The place where I feel overtaxed in Canada in comparison to the US is not on my income, but with the GST/PST, and the slew of fuel, booze, etc., etc., taxes which contribute overall to higher cost of living here.

  • by YrWrstNtmr (564987) on Wednesday January 14, 2009 @12:15AM (#26443873)
    You two are completely missing the schedule. Not 8-9 days straight, but rather:
    Mon-Thurs 9 hrs a day, Friday 8 hrs. Sat, Sun off. Next week Mon-Thurs 9 hrs a day. Fri, Sat, Sun off. 80 hours within 2 weeks, rather than 40 hours in 1 week.
    A 3 day weekend twice a month. Sometimes a 4 day weekend when it coincides with a federal holiday.

    It works well.
  • by EightBits (61345) on Wednesday January 14, 2009 @12:19AM (#26443897)

    I understand this was about taxes, but from a non-tax point of view, you can actually come out ahead by other benefits qualifications.

    A single mother where I used to work was making a certain wage. Because of how low her income was, she was able to get child care subsidy from the state. She was told she was going to get a raise of $0.25/hour. It was going to put her total annual income over the limit and disqualify her for the subsidy which was worth about $2.00/hour. She asked to only be given an $0.11/hour raise so she would not go over the income limit. $0.25/hour was the maximum annual pay raise for her position and she was going to nursing school part time. She was going to be out of there in a couple of years making more money as a nurse so she came out ahead by making less money.

    While reducing income will not help with lowered taxes, it can help with other things and this should not be forgotten.

  • by youknowjack (1452161) on Wednesday January 14, 2009 @12:32AM (#26443987)

    Research suggests that while 12 hour shifts can make people happy and psychologically healthy, they can introduce long term health effects due to fatigue (accrued sleep debt).

    Also, people make more errors towards the end of long shifts (particularly dangerous in industrial work environments). An 8 or 9 hour shift as suggested can mitigate this risk.

    http://pt.wkhealth.com/pt/re/oeme/abstract.00022707-199804000-00001.htm [wkhealth.com]

  • 100 hours?! Luxury!! (Score:5, Informative)

    by Arthur Grumbine (1086397) * on Wednesday January 14, 2009 @12:38AM (#26444015) Journal
    Why, back in our day we would wake at quarter-to-ten, half-an-hour before we went to sleep, then we'd pay $10 to go work in the mines for 28 hours a day, 373 days a year, double-time on holidays. And we considered ourselves lucky!!
  • by QRDeNameland (873957) on Wednesday January 14, 2009 @01:08AM (#26444235)
    Replying to myself... Sorry! Scratch that...I didn't see the additional provincial taxes below. I thought there was missing taxes somewhere. Still, when it comes down to it my overall payroll taxes on, I'll just sat between $50-$100K, seems to be pretty much the same as the US.
  • by ultranova (717540) on Wednesday January 14, 2009 @05:27AM (#26445697)

    A large number of people seem to be confused on this issue. For some reason people think a bracketed tax screws over the people making more money, when in actuality it is designed based on the idea of decreasing returns on income utility.

    I suspect that at least some of them are purposefully spreading misinformation. Progressive taxation is, after all, contrary to the ideology and perceived or real interests of both plutocrats and John Galt wannabes of this world.

    Remember, equality is seen as bad by those who think they'd be the 500-pound gorillas in a jungle.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 14, 2009 @09:48AM (#26447553)
    In Oct and Nov of 2001, a fiend of mine dressed in whatever it is NYFD wear off duty that says, "hey I'm a fire fighter" and hit the bars. Never before and not since had he gotten so much tail.
  • by icebrain (944107) on Wednesday January 14, 2009 @03:47PM (#26454031)

    Most graduated tax systems don't work that way. In your example, the money you make from working X hours would be taxed at 20%. Working X+1 hours doesn't mean that your whole income gets taxed at 40%; rather, the 40% rate is only applied to the additional money earned through the +1 hour.

    In other words, your returns diminish from working extra, but they never go negative. A plot of take-home vs. earned income would start out at a 1:1 slope, then gradually decrease to a lower (but still positive) slope, but it would never go negative.

  • by cyn1c77 (928549) on Wednesday January 14, 2009 @05:50PM (#26456165)

    If someone needs to work 80 hours a week on average then I would say that their life doesn't have much quality to begin with. Unless by "maintain our quality of living" you mean "paying off the luxury goods and services you've purchased". But then again, as your work load stops you from benefiting from them, I seriously doubt that they do much good.

    Materialism and all that keeping up with the joneses is a bitch, isn't it?

    It's not 80 hours a week! It is an average of 40 hours a week. It is called a 9/80 because you work 80 hours over 9 work days and get the 10th day off.

  • Re:feh (Score:4, Informative)

    by Creepy (93888) on Wednesday January 14, 2009 @06:45PM (#26457067) Journal

    Offtopic (see below for on topic),
    Originally the Dogcow was used for the Cairo font, and later it was printing alignment (amongst other places).

    Claris likely got its name from Clarus.

    On topic,
    My wife had a 9/80 workweek during the summers for several years and loved it. My workweek is more like 10/130 (10/120 if you subtract slashdot :D - and that's regular hours, not crunch, which has hit the upper 120s in a week without any slashdot breaks)

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