Can A 9/80 Work Schedule Work in The Hybrid Work Model Era: Employee Expectations for 2022

Author: Gina Cunsolo

It can be said that, throughout history, pandemics typically function as a  “Great Equalizer” across different levels of society. However, while the Covid-19 pandemic didn’t necessarily level the playing field across social classes, as different groups of people were affected at differing levels, it still touched everyone in some way.


Arguably, those in the healthcare world were affected most severely. Not only are Healthcare workers 7 times as likely to have severe COVID-19 as other workers, they were subjected to much longer hours and much more emotionally taxing experiences of witnessing death and having to share the news with families, or having to ration out PPE when it mattered most. 


Yet, healthcare wasn’t the only sector affected. In education, teachers and administrators were forced, with very little notice, to quickly figure out how to teach their students over Zoom - both K-12 and Higher education - and how to select microphones for online teaching and remote learning. Hotels, restaurants and catering halls shut down, forcing people to reschedule their weddings and special events. Speaking of events, how about entertainment? In entertainment, especially live entertainment, performers simply stopped working. Broadway shut down, movie theaters closed, and even TV sets stopped shooting. Those who were able to pivot to Zoom performances crossed their fingers as they completed virtual auditions. Even the government was - and still is - affected. Virtual court hearings continue to occur daily across the country, as government agencies use communication tools to conduct business virtually


What is the Hybrid Work Model?


However, in the corporate world, it led to the majority of teams being forced to work from home embracing remote work and creating their own schedules. Many discovered that working from home leads to increased productivity - which, in turn, means that employees can get the same amount of work done in fewer workdays.


Managers continuously sought out tips for managing their remote teams and looked for remote team building activities to encourage bonding. Employees experimented with different solutions, continuously learning about creating the best work from home set up, finding the best Bluetooth Speaker for working from home, and figuring out how to keep their desks organized.


Over time, the workforce adjusted to this new remote working lifestyle. We made it work for us! And one thing became abundantly clear: working from home leads to increased productivity. 


Naturally, the conclusion followed: If we can get more done in less time when working from home, why do we need to continue to work a typical five-day work week? Aren’t there any other options?


Enter: the 9/80 Work Schedule.


What is the 9/80 Work Schedule?


The 9/80 work schedule, also called the compressed workweek, is best understood when considering two weeks in a row. The first week, employees will work 9 hours every day from Monday to Thursday. On Friday, they work 8 hours - but the first four count towards the first week, and the second 4 count towards the second week. The second week, employees will again work 9 hours every day Monday through Thursday, and have that Friday off.


In the Hybrid work model era, where flexibility is key, the 9/80 work schedule does allow employees two Fridays off a month. However, it does not make things easier for the HR department. 


Firstly, if holidays fall on one of the 9-hour work days, the holiday hours are 8, not 9. One of those hours will need to be taken from a vacation pool. This can quickly get complicated and create confusion. Secondly, if employees work less than 8 hours on the first Friday, the payroll for the second week gets misconstrue, leading to additional backpedaling and an increase in work.


Another department to consider is customer service or client services. Employees in these types of roles typically work the same hours as their customers or their clients. If their clients are not taking off every other Friday, the employee might need to work on that day anyways. In this case, they may be working more than 40 hours a week. 


Can a 9/80 Work Schedule Work in the Hybrid Work Model Era?


So, can a 9/80 work schedule work in the hybrid work model era?


The answer isn’t a simple yes or no. It all depends on what’s important to your team!


Because the effects of a 9/80 work schedule vary by employee, it’s crucial to involve your team throughout every step of the planning process. Do your employees want a condensed work schedule, or do they not? 


If they absolutely do want the change, there may be crucial components of their workflow that would need to be adjusted. A thorough evaluation of the team’s current workflow will be required in order to assess what must be adjusted.


However you decide to proceed with the possibility of a 9/80 Work Schedule, one thing is clear: Yamaha UC is here for all your audio solutions needs in a hybrid work model. Contact the experts at Yamaha UC today!