The Pros of an Alternative Workweek

While the traditional “9 to 5” workweek hasn’t necessarily failed, can it truly be called successful?

Anyone who’s been in the workforce for at least a couple of years has heard about flexible schedules and alternative workweeks. Along with employees, employers are also taking notice and slowly warming to the numerous benefits that come with implementing systems like these.

CSL Staffing recently introduced the option of an alternative workweek to its staff members – and the company has already seen a positive impact.

The “9/80” Approach

While there are many variations of the alternative workweek (i.e. “4/10” or “3/12”), we’re focusing on CSL Staffing’s choice and an increasingly popular one with other companies as well: the “9/80” model.

A 9/80 schedule refers to a two-week period that involves employees working eight 9-hour days and one 8-hour day with one day off every other week (usually Friday).

In this arrangement, four 9-hour days are followed by an 8-hour workday, which is split into two 4-hour slots. The first 4-hour period ends the first of the two working weeks and the second 4-hour session marks the start of a second working week. Employees then work four more 9-hour days followed by a day off – again, usually Friday. A total of 80 hours are worked during the two weeks, similar to a standard 9 to 5, 40-hour workweek.

Productivity and Results

While giving all employees the exact same schedule of hours may seem fair, it’s ultimately illogical, according to a recent Forbes article that adds, “Real life doesn’t adhere to such fixed standards, and trying to compartmentalize the natural flow of work can lead to serious problems in individual and company-wide productivity.”

Ultimately, the 9/80 schedule is designed to help employees find better work/life balance, as staff members get an extra day off every other week. With an extra day off, employees are free to spend more time with family, enjoy their favorite hobbies, or go away for a long weekend.

Pauline Gourdie, CEO of CSL Staffing, is confident the new schedule will benefit her company and the employees who have elected to try it. “I have always been a huge advocate of work-life balance, having been myself the trial of a new flexible working schedule implemented by the UK government back in the early 2000s and adopted by IBM where I worked at the time. Here in California, the law is a little more restrictive in what you can and cannot implement as far as providing more flexibility to the work hours for employees – mainly to prevent misuse and to protect the employee. I was determined to find a solution and it eventually became clear that the 9/80 work schedule could be a really great fit for our company. Since implementing, the feedback from all employees across the organization has been positive” she says.

Vianey De La Cruz, a recruiter with CSL Staffing agrees with Gourdie, saying “The 9/80 schedule affords me more time to spend with family and friends and keeps me more energized during the work week. It’s the best working schedule I’ve had.”

The Future

A growing number of business leaders like Gourdie are aware that innovation in the workplace can sometimes become stagnant through systematic 9 to 5 scheduling. To combat this, they are implementing alternative workweeks and flexible schedules that help motivate their employees, which, in turn, empowers them to perform at high levels.

While the traditional 9 to 5 workday and 5-day/40-hour workweek has long been a staple of office and work culture in general, many companies are adapting to find better alternatives that keep their employees happy while improving job performance. Companies that aren’t willing to adapt may soon find themselves outpaced as the conventional 40-hour approach becomes obsolete.


About CSL Staffing

CSL Staffing is a human resources firm that specializes in providing hiring, recruiting, and staffing solutions for both temporary and direct hire. Our consultants bring a wide range of expertise and experience to our team and we’ve worked extensively with many of the leading companies in the Southern California area and other major metropolitan centers throughout the U.S. We’re dedicated to connecting the right candidates with the right employers. View our job listings today!

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