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

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 ) <> 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.
    • Also (Score:5, Informative)

      by brian0918 ( 638904 ) <> 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.
      • I'd rather have 4/36 (Score:5, Interesting)

        by ( 1108067 ) on Tuesday January 13, 2009 @09:22PM (#26442399) Homepage Journal

        I'd rather have 4x9hour days, a 10% cut in pay, and 3 days off every week. (Hey, most of the last 10% is taxes anyway, right). If everyone did this, we could avoid tons of layoffs nationwide, lower energy costs (4 days commuting instead of 5), and 3-day weekends every week ...

        • by Enderandrew ( 866215 ) <enderandrew AT gmail DOT com> on Tuesday January 13, 2009 @09:37PM (#26442561) Homepage Journal

          The best schedule I ever worked was 12 hour days. I'd work 3 days one week, and 4 days the next week. I always had either 3 or 4 days off.

          A buddy of mine worked a variant of 9/80 schedule. They worked 9 hour days M-Th, and then worked a half day every Friday. Frankly, I'd rather have a full day off every other week.

          • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 13, 2009 @10:07PM (#26442867)

            My father did the 12 hour 3on/4off/4on/3off for years...He said 12 hour days consisted of...He would show up at 9...Take a 2 hour lunch, well that adds up to 11 and leave at 1...and that adds up to 12!

          • by Der PC ( 1026194 ) on Tuesday January 13, 2009 @10:07PM (#26442877)

            I remember working a schedule like that when I was in my teens..

            3 work, 2 off, 2 work, 3 off... something like that...

            *SIGH* the time flew while flipping burgers.....

          • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 13, 2009 @10:48PM (#26443227)

            I'm a firefighter. I work 24 on, 48 off. As long as there aren't calls during the night, I get paid to sleep. Relevant to your question? No. Friggin' Awesome schedule anyways? Yes.

          • by garett_spencley ( 193892 ) on Tuesday January 13, 2009 @11:10PM (#26443427) Journal

            I'm self employed and have often worked 12 hours / day. While the idea of taking 3 days / week off is appealing (and I've done it), I find that when I work 12 hours / day my productivity goes down the drain incrementally with each hour. I get extremely tired by the end of the shift and my brain turns to mush.

            I get way more work done doing a standard 8 hour work day with weekends off. Of course that's just me, though.

          • 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.


            • by dotmax ( 642602 ) on Wednesday January 14, 2009 @07:35AM (#26446491)
              I want to mee-too the part about errors on long shifts. 12 hr. shifts are great if you're generally sitting around not doing anything real complex, but if it's something that requires a lot of mental concentration for the whole 12 hrs, you're asking for trouble because your brain will turn to oatmeal. The sleep deficit thing is quite real also. I am a ... long time ... shift worker at the big atom smasher's main control room. (not the one that blew up). I know whereof i speak.
          • by lewp ( 95638 ) on Wednesday January 14, 2009 @03:11AM (#26445069) Journal

            I worked this schedule several years ago as a night shift NOC monkey. I think I might go back if given the chance, despite the fact that I'd make about 1/4 the money I do now. Nothing like staffing a data center by yourself (or with one other person) in an empty building with nothing to do except write code, watch movies, play video games, order takeout, and wait for an alarm. Plus we had several OC-12s at a time when I was paying $150/mo for 768k SDSL.

            You didn't get to see other people very often, but everything was just starting to open on your way home from work so running errands was a snap, your commute was the opposite way traffic was going, and shopping was easy because the grocery store was empty. I used to hit the health club downstairs, swim a couple miles, and be headed out to my car to go home just as the 9-5ers were rolling in.

            Just thinking about it makes me dread riding the train into the city in a few hours. I need to go to sleep...

        • by DudeFromMars ( 1097893 ) on Tuesday January 13, 2009 @10:21PM (#26442997)
          >>(Hey, most of the last 10% is taxes anyway, right)
          Not Right.
          The idea that at a certain point, the govt takes most of your earnings in taxes is an urban legend.
          For anybody working by the hour, there is no "tipping point" where the govt keeps most of each additional dollar - it is just untrue.

          >>If everyone did this (4x9hr days), we could avoid tons of layoffs nationwide.
          A company can avoid layoffs by cutting hours and pay.
          If everybody at every company had their hours and pay cut, their bills remain the same, so the workers' spendable income after covering expenses is either gone or greatly reduced - You have just created a recession.
          • by ( 1108067 ) on Tuesday January 13, 2009 @10:33PM (#26443095) Homepage Journal

            (Hey, most of the last 10% is taxes anyway, right)

            Not Right.

            Depends on where you work, what deductions you have, and your tax bracket. Come up to Kanuckistan and you'll see just how much higher your marginal tax rate is on the last few hours income each week.

            Also, which is more economically efficient - to pay people a marginal amount to sit around (unemployment - which comes out of taxes, remember), or for everyone to get some extra time off? I'd love a 9/36 w.a 10% pay cut. Between the lower taxes and the cost savings and sheer convenience and higher quality of life, who wouldn't?

            • 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: []
              - 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: []
              - 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 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 ( 1108067 ) on Tuesday January 13, 2009 @11:07PM (#26443387) Homepage Journal

            A lot of people don't "get" the idea that we don't "need" a lifestyle supported by huge mountains of debt. That's what started this whole problem - people (and countries) piling on more and more debt as they over-leveraged themselves. If you have no debts, and your work hours and pay are both cut 10%, you'll probably be okay. If debt payments represent half your net income, a 10% pay and hours cut is going to mean you don't "make your nut" each month. It's not the lower income, but the high debt level that leaves NO room to maneuver.

            When you take into account that as many as 1 in 2 mortgages (and even the most conservative estimate now puts it at 1 in 4) will be under-water over the next 5 years, now is the time to be shedding debt, not taking on more.

            The debt that is being incurred in everyone's name for all the bailouts isn't free money - every $ the government borrows is one buck less that consumers can borrow (or, if the government just revs up the printing presses, the excess currency forces the value of the consumers' dollars down by an equal amount).

            Depending on who you talk to, the dollar has lost between 93% and 97% of its' value in 40 years - the typical "generation". Why should anyone lend you money for 40 years if history shows that in terms of real purchasing power, it's worth less? The answer is, they won't lend, so watch for the US Dollar to continue to fall in value.

            Propping up the banks pretty much guaranteed a Japan-style "lost decade", unfortunately. Bail-outs don't put money in the consumers' pocket - they suck it out to prop up an inefficient system or create an artificially-high floor price.

            But that's another story []

            • by Average ( 648 ) on Tuesday January 13, 2009 @11:18PM (#26443505)

              Japan's 'lost decade' (and continuing) also has a lot to do with lack of population growth. Sadly, interest-based capitalism goes hand-in-hand with growth. Japan has gone into negative population growth territory. Much of the west will follow in our lifetimes. From a green or even moderately sane perspective, the cessation of growth and consumption is a blessed and long-hoped-for event. But, economics as we know it stagnates. People get money, but they don't lend it. They don't because lending entails some risk, but, whatever you might invest in is unlikely to grow in a steady or shrinking economy.

      • 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 :-)

        • Leave the computer and phone off, if you're going to take the day off, especially if you've notified people in advance. I say if you're taking the day off, take the day off.

    • by DataBroker ( 964208 ) on Tuesday January 13, 2009 @08:59PM (#26442139)
      I've worked 9/80's for a couple of years. They're great! It's nice to have a weekday off because you can easily get through a weekend's errands in a day because of the lower crowds, and in my case, no kids to slow me.

      As for management respecting the day -- that's like any off-day. You have to enforce it yourself. I've been asked to work on my 9/80 day, and never had a problem agreeing to it. I just swapped it for a different day. Management loved my flexibility (in when I took a day off).
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by fishbowl ( 7759 )

        I would always make plans well in advance and make sure that my supervisor knew not only that I had plans, but how much money I had invested in them. The implication was always there -- if your action deprives me of my ability to execute this plan, I am going to charge you the amount noted. I never had to play that card, but that's because I think the strategy worked to secure my days off, either when I had 9/80 or when I was simply planning vacation time.
        I'm seriously considering to write into my next co

    • by GizmoToy ( 450886 ) on Tuesday January 13, 2009 @09:16PM (#26442343) Homepage

      I agree, 9/80 is great. I hired on with a company about a year ago that had just switched to the 9/80 system. There were some issues as everyone adjusted, but it's been great since. I like it so much, I'd view a typical 5/40 as a negative for any future employers.

      I found that I didn't miss the extra hour during the week, and the Friday off is great for sleeping in, doctor appointments, or for random things that can't be done on the weekend.

      My employer doesn't typically pull people in on the off Friday, but I imagine it happens every once in awhile. Although, I'm sure this varies greatly by company.

      Overall, I'd say it's nothing to be scared of as long as the entire company embraces it. It's when portions of the employees are working regular weeks and some are on 9/80 that things tend to fall apart.

    • 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.

  • 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

  • Lost sleep? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by gilxa1226 ( 464588 ) on Tuesday January 13, 2009 @08:55PM (#26442075) Homepage

    I interviewed at a large defense contractor, the office I interviewed at did a 9/80, it sounded great at the time and still does. As for lost sleep... seriously... you work 9-9-9-9-8, 9-9-9-9-off. I doubt the extra hour a day will kill you. If it does, just eat through lunch.

  • 4/10 is easier (Score:5, Insightful)

    by poet ( 8021 ) on Tuesday January 13, 2009 @08:56PM (#26442087) Homepage

    You get every friday or monday off depending on the stagger. The idea of 9/80 bothers me. There is a point of no return for employees. If you are going to work like that, you should make sure and take two one hour breaks a day.

    • Re:4/10 is easier (Score:5, Interesting)

      by bughunter ( 10093 ) <> on Tuesday January 13, 2009 @09:15PM (#26442329) Journal

      I did both 4/40 and 9/80, and I tell you, the first extra hour isn't that noticeable, but going from 9 to 10 hours a day sucked. It means either you arrive at 6am so that you can leave at 5. If you can't get there until 9am, have fun working till 8pm...

      I'm back to working 5/40 now, and do indeed miss the 9/80 schedule. One of the best things was the regular 4-day holiday weekends. The accounting calendar was usually arranged so that Fridays off fell before Monday holidays like Memorial Day, etc.

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

      by icebrain ( 944107 )

      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

  • by IorDMUX ( 870522 ) <> on Tuesday January 13, 2009 @08:56PM (#26442099) Homepage
    Wait-wait-wait-wait... Do you mean to say that you've found a job in the (non-government) tech industry that lets you work only 40 hours a week?

    ... Are they hiring?
    • by diehard2 ( 1132885 ) on Tuesday January 13, 2009 @09:48PM (#26442675)
      I work 40 hours, an hour lunch break included, and do .NET development work at a major company. This isn't to say that there aren't deadlines where you might work longer, but they're pretty rare. I find that I get more done with the 7 hour workday than I do with a 10 hour day. I'm more focused and not pissed about all the time I'm wasting at work.
    • That depends... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by SETIGuy ( 33768 ) on Tuesday January 13, 2009 @10:24PM (#26443021) Homepage
      If you're hourly, you can often get away with a "40 hour" work week that lasts less than 45 hours. If you're salaried, whether in government or not, you will be expected to get your job done whether it takes 10 hours a week or 168 hours a week. If you don't get it done, in this economic environment they will find someone who will get it done.

      That said, my wife works a 40 hour week that's supposed to be 4 days per week, 10 hours per day. Usually that translates to 8am to 7pm daily. She say's she'd never go back to 5x8.

      Unfortunately we car pool to work, so I work 8 to 7 as well. And then I usually put in 4 or 5 hours on Friday, and a few hours each on Saturday and Sunday. The difference.... You guessed it. She's in an hourly position that isn't exempt from overtime rules. I'm in a salaried position that is exempt from overtime rules. And to top it off, she makes about 20% more than I do because she is in an industry that competes to get workers. I'm in an industry that has more workers than it can afford.

      All in all 4-5x9 probably works OK, and if you're in an urban area, it's 10% less time that you'll sit in traffic. Maybe more because you either be commuting early or late. If the extra hour in the work day is cutting into your sleep, your commute is way too long. If it's cutting into your TV watching, then get TiVo and watch on your new day off.
  • Crises (Score:5, Insightful)

    by egcagrac0 ( 1410377 ) on Tuesday January 13, 2009 @08:57PM (#26442105)

    If your manager pulls you in to cover a crisis, you need to demand flex time (a different day off next week) or overtime.

    Or, send them an invoice from your consulting firm for about six times whatever your daily rate is.

  • 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.
  • MIB (Score:5, Funny)

    by Thelasko ( 1196535 ) on Tuesday January 13, 2009 @08:57PM (#26442109) Journal

    The twins keep us on Centaurian time, standard 37-hour day. Give it a few months, you'll get used to it. Or you'll have a psychotic episode.

  • Get out now (Score:4, Insightful)

    by BadAnalogyGuy ( 945258 ) <> on Tuesday January 13, 2009 @08:58PM (#26442121)

    While it is not a bad idea in and of itself, changing work schedules to some bizarre non-standard system is usually a sign that the company management is trying to squeeze more work out of you. First they change the schedule to give you more work per day, then they will ask you to work more days.

    In this economy, they know you don't have anywhere to go, so unless you fight back against this or leave for a new job altogether, you're going to get screwed. Ask them if they've been considering offshoring the IT department. I'd be willing to bet that within the next year they are looking to thin the local IT staff to a skeleton crew and then migrate the servers over to India where they can do your job for a third of the cost.

  • 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!


  • by afabbro ( 33948 ) on Tuesday January 13, 2009 @09:02PM (#26442185) Homepage

    ...this is what Ask Slashdot has been reduced to? Asking how a rather small change to a weekly schedule might work out?

    Future Ask Slashdots We Can Look Forward To:

    • "I'm thinking of switching from a soft toothbrush to a medium-soft. How has that worked out for you?"
    • "I'm considering moving my sock drawer from the top right to the top left drawer. Can anyone tell me the pros and cons of each arrangement?
    • "We're moving to a new home and are having a family meeting this Thursday to evaluate hanging toilet paper so that the next sheet is over versus under on the roll. I was wondering how other readers have approached this decision?"
    • "I'd like to set my USB to automount to a fixed drive letter when I plug it into my Windows XP laptop. I'm considering J:, P:, and possibly Q:. What do you all think? Should I look at M: as well?"
    • by BadAnalogyGuy ( 945258 ) <> on Tuesday January 13, 2009 @09:07PM (#26442241)

      * "I'm thinking of switching from a soft toothbrush to a medium-soft. How has that worked out for you?"
      A: You should really try one of those electric toothbrushes.

      * "I'm considering moving my sock drawer from the top right to the top left drawer. Can anyone tell me the pros and cons of each arrangement?
      A: Have you considered moving the sock drawer to a closet in the bathroom? This would allow you to put on your socks while you are still warm instead of having to freeze your toes off on the way back to the dresser.

      * "We're moving to a new home and are having a family meeting this Thursday to evaluate hanging toilet paper so that the next sheet is over versus under on the roll. I was wondering how other readers have approached this decision?"
      A: Under. What kind of barbarians do you live with?

      * "I'd like to set my USB to automount to a fixed drive letter when I plug it into my Windows XP laptop. I'm considering J:, P:, and possibly Q:. What do you all think? Should I look at M: as well?"
      A: Hello, McFly! Use the U: drive.


      • Re:Seriously... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Aladrin ( 926209 ) on Tuesday January 13, 2009 @10:19PM (#26442963)

        Under!? Over! It's closer and easier to get to! When it's under, it's right against the wall and harder to grab at. Plus, it's easier to roll down than up, so if you can't see the end, you can get it easier.

        Seriously, what's this world coming to?

      • Toilet Paper Survey (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 14, 2009 @12:02AM (#26443799)

        From a non-scientific poll we conducted as undergraduates, we found some interesting results:

        All of the science and engineering students we asked said the next sheet should go over. All of them. (About 14 people.)

        The art students' inclination (8 of 12 people) was to put it under, with the other four simply saying "whichever way it ends up - I don't even look."

  • "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 Sandman1971 ( 516283 ) on Tuesday January 13, 2009 @09:11PM (#26442289) Homepage Journal
    I once worked a job that was 3x12.5, and it was great! It was overnight, and the boss didn't mind if we slept during the downtimes. The staggered schedule also made it that we had a full 7 days straight off every third week (followed by 6x12.5 in 7 days, that was a bit of a killer). Though being overnight in made family life hell for 3 days, the time off more than made up for 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 EMB Numbers ( 934125 ) on Tuesday January 13, 2009 @09:12PM (#26442295)

    My employer offers optional 9/80 schedules. I estimate that 90% of the employees voluntarily choose 9/80. It is great to have at lest 26 three day weekends every year. When holidays fall on Monday, you may get a 4 day weekend.

    The off-Friday is well respected by management. The managers generally don't come in either.

    An off-Friday is a great time for banking, appointments, the start of vacation, volunteering in your kids' school, etc.

    Most people who choose the 5/40 schedule do so because they need to be home early to meet kids at the school bus or because the spouse works a regular schedule and they want to match schedules.

    Flexibility is always good. We have core hours from 10:00 to 3:00. Some people come in very early and leave at 3:00 to minimize the time kids are home alone. It can save a lot of child care costs. Others like me regularly come in at 10:00 and leave at 7:00.

  • 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.

  • I work 9/80 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tknd ( 979052 ) on Tuesday January 13, 2009 @09:21PM (#26442387)


    • On the short weeks you can get away with only charging 36 hours of vacation if you want to take the week off.
    • The off friday is convenient for getting errands done (dry cleaning) or appointments (dentist) that normally can't be done outside of business hours.
    • You save some money and time commuting 9 days instead of 10
    • For certain holidays you end up with really short weeks or really long weekends
    • If you find that you're consistently working more than 8 hours, you will actually work less since M-Th is usually 9 hours so you're not always getting screwed by being at the office late as much as you would with only 8 hour days.
    • Every other thursday feels like friday.
    • The off friday is a good excuse to not show up because you can always say "well no one is going to be at the office so I can't get work done."


    • The off friday is a good excuse to have you come in and do things that normally can't be done when everyone else is in the office (might be a pro in some cases since you wouldn't have to come in on the weekend.)
    • Though you have friday off, most other people are at work so you can't just "hang out" during the day.
    • The extra hour for M-Th takes some getting used to; you may find you have zero time left over to do anything on 9 hour days.
    • If you have regular schedules synced with schools (pick up kids and such), the off friday can be awkward.
    • The long weeks feel really long.
    • If you need a random day off, you'll end up charging 9 hours instead of 8.

    9/80 is best when paired with a flex time schedule so that you can move around hours when you need to. The off friday gives you an option to tell your boss "i'll work more these days or just come in friday" if you want to take a different day off instead of the off friday. Coming in on the off friday usually means the office is dead. That can be good and bad. Some people like not having anyone around because they normally get interrupted too much when people are at the office. Other people hate it because there's nobody else to kick the bucket with.

    If you find you are normally working more than 8 hours everyday, 9/80 is actually a good option because you will have a decent excuse for not coming in on the off fridays and you will have to work 9 hours most days anyway. If you find you are working even on the weekends, 9/80 will have no impact on your hours.

    As a single guy, I prefer 9/80. But I do know some family types that prefer the 5/40 since they really need the consistent 8 hour days to keep their family schedules synced. At first you will loath the 9 hour days because that extra hour is bigger than it looks. After a while though 9 hours will seem like nothing and the working fridays will seem really short.

  • by QuantumG ( 50515 ) * <> on Tuesday January 13, 2009 @10:11PM (#26442911) Homepage Journal

    The company measures my performance by what I get done.

Were there fewer fools, knaves would starve. - Anonymous