If you haven’t heard of a 9/80 work schedule, you’re in for a surprise – companies like Roth Staffing and Lockheed Martin are doing it, and Chevron and Twitter have given employees the option if they want to enroll. As large firms begin to adopt this new way of work, you’ll want to know if it’s the right fit for your team and how tools like Hive can prepare you for the transition.

What is a 9/80 schedule?

A 9/80 work schedule sounds a lot more complicated than it actually is. Over the course of two weeks (ten business days), you’ll be working nine days that contain 80 hours in total. This means that you can work nine-hour days for four days a week, then in the first week you’ll have one eight-hour day, and in the second, you’ll have one day off. From Monday to Thursday, you’ll be working from eight in the morning to six in the evening. The first Friday of your 9/80, you’ll work from eight to five. Then, the second Friday, you’ll have the day off completely.

As the schedule is dependent on your hours worked and not necessarily how many days you’re in the office, you can also choose to work four ten-hour days or split up your one eight-hour day and have one four-hour day per week. So rather than working eight hours one Friday then having the following Friday off, you’ll be working four hours on Fridays and nine hours the rest of the week.

If you’re getting lost in all the numbers, just remember that your schedule can vary as long as you work 80 hours in nine business days. You’re essentially working a little over 40 hours one week and a little under 40 hours the next week – the first week, you’re working for the weekend, and the second week, you earn a day off.

Is a 9/80 schedule the right fit?

There’s no doubt about it – how we work is changing. Both employees and employers agree that the current work schedule isn’t conducive to a productive environment. Adecco reports that 69 percent of employees believe that results should be more important than hours worked, and 74 percent of managers believe that the length and structure of the workweek should be revisited. But would a 9/80 schedule be the right way to solve your work woes? And how can Hive make the transition easier?

Built-in breaks

A 9/80 work schedule isn’t the best option for everyone, but if you’re considering it, there’s always a way to make it work for your team as long as you take everyone’s needs into account. And there’s one thing that every employee needs, whether it’s temporary or permanent: more time off.

Some offices don’t implement a 9/80 work schedule all year, but they plan around times that they know employees will want to have extra hours to themselves. Some companies offer Fridays off in the summertime, so employees won’t have to take vacation time to go on a quick beach trip. Some prefer to give time off during the holiday season, which includes increased travel or errands for many.

If your concern is that you’ll be missing out on important milestones while you’re out of the office, don’t fret; Hive allows your coworkers to send meeting notes directly to you and tag you in any pressing action items so that you can stay in the loop about urgent matters, even if you’re on the beach or at a doctor’s appointment.

Right place, right time

You might be put off of testing a 9/80 work week because the logistics seem too complicated. Will work slow down as everyone takes every other Friday off? Will it impact our workflow or clients to add an extra hour to the day? And who’s going into the office at what time?

Logistics don’t have to be a nightmare with a 9/80 work schedule, and you might find that once your team gets the hang of things, it’ll be supremely easy to implement. One option is to split the office up into two groups – those who get Monday off and those who get Friday off. Some employees in charge of core functions can also keep their regular five-day schedule and allow others to work flexibly. And if it’s the best fit for your team, coworkers could pick their slowest or thinnest days to work flexibly, which might give them a mid-week break instead of a long weekend.

Figuring out payroll on Freshbooks or in-person office days with iCal gets easier with Hive, as their integration tools can keep every cog to the machine of your transition all in one place.

Using your new hour

Another feature of a 9/80 work schedule is that if you’re not used to working nine-hour days, you might require a slight adjustment period. While some might thrive on long workdays that allow for deeper focus, others might be a bit drained by an extra hour of work each day, especially if they have other responsibilities like childcare or pets. A DeskTime survey of over 65,000 employees found that with every hour you work over the standard 8-hour workday, your productivity drops significantly – as much as 19% per hour.

However, if you’re prepared for the challenge, you could thrive in a 9/80 schedule. One of the best things about it is that you have breaks built-in, so workaholics can get their fill of intense grinding sessions, complete with a mandatory day off to recharge. Working a 9/80, you could have up to 26 three-day weekends every single year – for some, that’s more time off than they take on their own. Additionally, for those who tend to work more than 40 hours per week during a regular schedule, having stricter guidelines for when to work hard and when to play hard can benefit their work/life balance.

To make sure that you’re not overworking yourself, use Hive’s task management and time-tracking tools to organize and track your schedules and work hours. You can see if your productivity has dropped off at the end of the day and make a concerted effort to use your nine-hour workdays in the most efficient way possible.

The final verdict

A 9/80 work schedule may very well work for your team, but you’ve got to make sure that it fits in with your culture. The best way to implement this schedule is to determine if your team values hours or output and go from there. If your team is more productivity-focused, and hours worked don’t mean so much to you or your managers, maybe a compressed workweek would work better for your group. But if you get paid by the hour, there can be enormous benefits to restructuring your workweek to allow for more time off.

Hive is the world’s first democratically built productivity platform. Learn how we can help you, here.