A compressed work schedule allows for an extra day off to recharge after a busy work week. With multiple ways to schedule a compressed week, this article takes a look at the 9/80 work schedule V 4/10 to see how they compare. Discover which, if either, of these could be a suitable for you and more by reading on!
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9/80 Work Schedule V 4/10
The 9/80 work schedule operates on a 2-week cycle whereby staff work 5 days a week with 9 hours usually on Monday to Thursday and 8 hours on Friday. On the second week, staff usually work Monday to Thursday as normal but have Friday off. This grants workers a 4-day work week every 2nd week. The 4/10 work schedule involves working 10 hours for 4 days a week with the 5th day off. Both schedules equate to the same hours but the key difference being the number of hours and days worked each week.
The below table highlights the key differences between a 9/80 work schedule V 4/10.
|9/80 Work Schedule
|4/10 Work Schedule
|Number of hours
|1st week: 44 hours over 5 days 2nd week: 36 hours over 4 days
|40 hours over 4 days
|Costs to employee
|1 less day of commuting spends, childcare and lunch/coffee spend every fortnight
|1 less day of commuting spends, childcare and lunch/coffee spend every week
|Costs to employer
|1 day of lower overhead bills, security bills, cleaning costs every fortnight
|1 day of lower overhead bills, security bills, cleaning costs every week
|1 less day every fortnight with less/no staff – easier to find cover
|1 less day every week with less/no staff – more difficult to find cover
|Normally same as before
|Normally same as before
|Fewer morning/startup and close out meetings every 2nd week Longer 9-hour days can result in fatigue and lower productivity
|Fewer morning/startup and close out meetings every week Longer 10-hour days can result in greater fatigue and lower productivity than 9/80 week
|Generally lower stress levels, more rest time every 2nd weekend
|Generally lower stress levels, more rest time every weekend
|8 or 9 hours lost time per day sick
|10 hours lost time per day sick
The 4/10 work schedule is one of the most popular compressed work weeks implemented in companies. Source
The above table gives you just a snippet of the differences between a 4 day and 5 day work week. Below, I share with you some phenomenal statistics, costs and benefits associated with working a 4 day week. Additionally, let’s answer some burning questions, such as if holidays change when working 4 days. More importantly, discover whether you’ll be in for a pay cut too!
9/80 Work Schedule V 4/10
Number of hours on a compressed work week
With both schedules, you end up working 40 hours over a 2-week period, so no hours are lost.
With the 9/80 schedule, the 1st week involves working 44 hours over 5 days. On the 1st week cycle, workers will put in 8 hours usually on Fridays. The 2nd week is a shorter week with 36 hours over 4 daysand the 5th day off (usually Friday). Generally, this means working 9 hours for 4 days each week.
The 4/10 schedule is more straight-forward with a 10 hour day for 4 days a week and 1 day off. This is often a Friday but can be any day of the week.
Costs to employee on a compressed work week
Commuting to work consumes time and money for workers. So, if a person only needs to come to work 4 days a week, they can save on the cost of transport and time spent travelling to and from work.
The 4 day work week is usually more cost-effective than the 9/80 schedule as it grants a day off every week as opposed to every 2nd week.
But both the 9/80 and 4/10 schedule help to reduce costs compared to a 5 day working week.
Having your child looked after for just 1 day less could save you a smooth $44.20 – $138.8 per week!
That said, consideration should be taken for costs associated working a longer day. For instance, if you need a childminder to work longer hours while you work a longer day.
Children aside, you could be forking out anywhere up to $5.95 for just 1 coffee! Cut out that spend every week and it becomes a saving of $285.6 per year. On a 9/80 schedule, it’s $142.80 saved if you stopped buying a coffee just 1 day every 2nd week!
By being in work or the office 1 less day a week means that you are less likely to be splashing out on such luxuries, which as you well know, add up!
Costs to employer on a compressed work week
If an employer can afford to close an office or manufacturing building for an extra day every week or 2nd week, it can add up to as much as 20% cost-reductions.
On the 4/10 schedule, cost savings will be higher as the overheads and bills can be cut out one day every week.
Conversely, the 9/80 model might only be able to achieve a reduction of up to 10%, which isn’t as cost-efficient.
If equipment doesn’t need to be started up and shut down each day and staff don’t need to come into an office, this then equates to savings.
These include reduced electricity bills, heating and overheads which would be consumed by having people and equipment working an extra day.
Additionally, the costs of maintaining offices and buildings can be slashed. For example, the costs associated with paying for cleaners and catering companies could be cut by 10 – 20% if they work one less day a week or every 2nd week.
When Microsoft in Japan introduced a shorter work week, they were rewarded with a greater than 20% reduction in electricity costs.
Tip: Companies could consider alternating days off for some staff if a 4-day work week wasn’t feasible.
Holiday entitlements on a compressed work week
The question regarding holiday entitlements on a compressed work week is often a thought at the forefront of many people. Many 4 day work weeks involve reducing the hours worked by 20%. However, with the 4/10 and 9/80 schedule, staff are still working full time, just on a shorter number of days.
Consequently, staff should still be entitled to the same amount of annual leave as they would have been if working 5 days a week.
But here’s the best part…
If you consider your extra day off per week on a 4/10 work model, you realistically have approximately 48 extra days off per year!
On a 9/80 schedule, that’s an extra 24 days off per year excluding vacation.
Based on that rationale, the 4/10 schedule offers more days off per year than the 9/80 schedule.
Productivity on a compressed work week
Evidence on how productive the 9/80 or 4/10 work models are is still limited. More studies show a productivity rise than a productivity dip as a result of compressed work weeks.
This is attributable to having more time to rest and recharge on the day off. Additionally, with fewer daily start-up meetings, people have more time to focus on getting work completed.
However, some workers may find that the longer days can lead to fatigue and a dip in productivity throughout the evening, especially on the 10-hour days.
As people get tired and clock up more hours, they tend to start taking breaks, become less focused and squander their time with less productive tasks.
That said, many of us often work an extra hour or so without noticing. It’s often a matter of getting used to the longer day initially.
Studies have shown that as the number of working hours rises, the level of productivity drops.
This can be tackled by planning the deep work that is difficult and requires focus in the morning. In the afternoon, tasks that involve light work can be scheduled when you are feeling less focused.
If the 10-hour day feels too much, then the 9-hour day may be more suited.
Tip: Frequent breaks are key to working longer days, this includes smaller breaks outside breakfast and lunch times.
Stress levels on a compressed work week
Regardless of which model you opt for, with an extra day available to recoup and rest, people are shown to be more energized for the working week.
A 4 day working week grants workers a greater amount of time to recover with 3-day weekend. The 9/80 model only offers 1 day off every 2nd week, but the work hours are not as compressed.
It also provides mental health advantages as people have more time free available. A trial by a company in New Zealand of a 4 day week led to staff stress levels dropping from 45% to 38%.
People are also less likely to take stress leave or sick leave as they have more time to recover.
Fatigue may be something that people experience if they are not used to working the extra hours in a day. However, an extra day to recover can allow the person to be revitalized.
It’s not rocket science that having a building open and running for 4 days is generally more cost efficient than having it open for 5 days. That’s where the 4/10 tends pays dividends over the 9/80 work week.
It’s clear to see how a 4 day work week is growing in demand. With a greater number of days off, higher productivity and lower stress levels, it’s no wonder that companies who implement it have greater employee retention and satisfaction.
With more days off, fewer meetings and distractions, people are more energized, focused and motivated to get their work done.
In a world surrounded by an epidemic of staff burnout, a shorter work week could also be an effective means of preventing it.
If you would like to further enhance your knowledge on work setup and organization, I have written some articles that are without a doubt worth a look.
Here are some other useful articles I wrote that you should go check out:
- Casual Work v Part Time – 6 Remarkable Differences!
- 13 Surprising Casual Work Pros And Cons For Employer!
- Part Time Work Pros And Cons – The Ultimate Cheat Sheet!
- 4 Day Work Week V 5 Day – Full Of Surprising Facts & Results
- Best 4 Day Work Week Alternatives – 7 Proven Strategies!