Finding and keeping top talent an essential problem for entrepreneurs in all industries. Although things like competitive pay and top-quality benefits and ample vacation time are crucial, for high-demand employees, these are often regarded to be the minimum requirements.

If you’re looking to recruit the most talented workforce possible however you aren’t able to raise salaries or improve benefits providing flexibility is the best option. Certain employers offer their employees with an alternative to the traditional Monday to Friday, 9-5 work schedule. The flexibility of a compressed schedule makes it much easier for small- and mid-sized businesses to compete against larger companies for the best talent.

Compressed Work Schedule

A compressed schedule of work is one in which employees work full-time hours (which can be as high as 80 hours in two weeks) but with a lesser quantity of work days that five (or otherwise, a non-traditional arrangement).

The employees continue to work 40 hours a week, however instead of working 8 hours from Monday to Friday, they could are working 10 hours a day for an average of four working days and an additional day “off” on a weekday.

The most important thing to remember is that a compressed schedule means that employees are able to work for a full week, usually 40 hours, but in less than five days.

Why do people like the working hours that are compressed?

Work schedules that are compressed give employees an additional time “off.” This extra day can give a better balance between work and life for some staff members.

This kind of arrangement could also be beneficial to employees with an extended commute. Being able to avoid driving or having to utilize public transportation on a particular day during the week could appeal to some employees.

The main takeaway is that an additional day off, better balance between work and life and not needing to spend as long commuting to work are just a few of the many reasons why employees choose working in a more compact schedule.

Do some employees not like their work schedules that are a bit rushed?

Yes. Certain employees have commitments to their families which makes it difficult for them to be able to work longer hours. Furthermore, some people prefer to work in short bursts instead of for lengthy periods.

A compressed schedule is an option and is not required.

Important takeaway: A shorter work week might not be suitable for everyone. You might want to consider making shorter work hours an option rather than the mandatory change.

What is a compressed 4/10 work schedule?

The most well-known kind of compressed work arrangement is known as the 4/10 schedule. It is a schedule in the employee is working for four days of 10 hours (Monday to Thursday) with Friday the weekend and the Sunday day off.

The most important takeaway is that the 4/10 schedule of work is compressed to reduce each week’s workweek to just four days.

What is a compressed 9/80 schedule?

If working four days on and 3 days of off don’t work for your business, you might want to consider alternative versions of the work week compressed, the most popular of which is the 9/80 timetable.

In a work schedule that is 9/80 it is a two-week period where employees work for nine hours per day (usually Monday to Thursday) and 8 hours a day on the final day of the week (Friday). In this second week they have to work nine hours per day also (Monday until the Thursday) and get an additional day off completely (Friday). The schedule translates to 80 hours of pay over two weeks. However, employees are allowed to work two three-day weekends each month.

The most important thing to remember is that the 9/80 schedule allows workers an additional day of rest every week.

What are the advantages and pros of schedules?

A shorter working week can have significant impact on the balance of work and life and how office operations are operated. Here are some advantages and pros to be aware of:

The advantages of compressed schedules for work

A lot of free time: Whether it’s an 8/30 or 9/80 timetable A shorter work week lets employees take more time to relax and recharge.

A lower number of absences because there is more free time people are much less inclined to miss time from work to do for errands or deal with personal concerns.

Better service hours If your business has an in-house customer service department, providing extended hours of support through an uncompressed work schedule could help your customers who wish to reach your company at any time after five p.m..

Reduced commuting time: Depending the distance that your employees are from their workplace, some employees can trim the hours (and save money) by working less frequently.

Cons of work schedules that are compressed

The level of fatigue in workers is contingent on the type of industry and the job, a tight working schedule could exhaust employees.

  • Incompatible schedules: Other business partners, clients or contractors who work a traditional 9-to-5, Monday-through-Friday schedule may not be in sync with your schedule.
  • Unauthorized overtime: If not controlled It’s possible your employees could be qualified for an alternate pay schedule, even if they’re working the exact amount of hours. Review the overtime regulations for your particular state in order to make sure that you aren’t in violation of any law.
  • It’s not going to work for all people: Although the idea of a shorter work schedule might be your preferred option (or the preferred choice that your workers) however, it might not be practical for all. For instance, some child care providers employ a 9-to-5 routine and this could result in it being difficult, or costlier, for your employees to locate a childcare provider for your children.

The main takeaway is that a compressed work schedule could bring benefits for the employees and your company, however it may not be practical for all employees. Be sure to weigh the benefits and pros carefully before making a decision whether or not to provide this benefit.

What are the difficulties of a tight timetable for service-oriented firms or businesses that have a small personnel?

If your company is subject to strict working hours or lacking employees, offering an alternative schedule could make the process of hiring and scheduling more difficult.

One solution to combat this problem is to offer specific day-to-day time-strapped work schedules. For example, you could offer some employees a Monday-through-Thursday schedule and others a Tuesday-through-Friday schedule.

Whatever you choose to do, make sure you have an idea of how you will do it prior to presenting the decision to your team.

The key takeaway is that service-oriented companies or companies with a limited employees that have the concept of a compressed schedule for work will need to think about and play around with schedules to ensure that they have adequate coverage and constant productivity.

What can you do to make your work week more efficient?

First, you must establish the best schedule for your company and employees. You could use the 9/80 or 4/10 schedule, or develop a schedule that draws elements from both versions. It is possible to choose something different, for instance, an all-day, three-day work schedule, which is the norm for firefighters and those in the health professions that require 24 hour staffing.

Employees may be able to pick the schedule that is most effectively for their needs and the families they share with. But, not every department within your organization might be able follow the same work schedule. This schedule can differ between divisions or between locations.

The employees and management should work closely when transitioning on to the schedule of the future. Managers must ensure that there is adequate coverage during the days when employees are on leave. Additionally, managers must make sure that their new work schedules permit for an efficient work flow and the deadlines for submission are adhered to. This could mean that managers have to establish and approve the compressed work timetables for the employees and work the other department.

Before you implement an agenda, you must draft an outline of the people who are entitled for an accelerated work week and how it will be used, who’s responsible for setting the schedules and the procedure for requesting it. Every department is able to use a compressed week in different ways, and your policy should be flexible in your approach. For instance departments for customer service may gain from longer working hours on less days and the accounting department might not be as pressured a requirement to be in an office from Monday to Friday during certain months.

The most important thing to remember is that implementing an uncompressed workweek can be a challenge for businesses based on the requirements of the business and the employees. Implementing a workweek that is compressed involves communicating and coordination.

Tips for how to implement a shorter work week

Take a look at the laws. Your state or city may have laws limiting the number of hours employees is allowed to work for a specific period of time. Always contact your state’s labor office to make sure you’re in compliance prior to switching to a new work schedule.

  1. Set the core hours of office. There are some businesses that face challenges with staffing when they implement a shorter work week. It is important to plan your employees’ schedules in a way that ensures there is enough staffing at the office.
  2. Ask employees to tell you what they like best. The new arrangement could affect your employees. What is effective for one employee might not be the best fit for an employee with a different. Find out what employees think works best for them.
  3. Modify as necessary. The compressed work schedule policy isn’t a set of rules to be followed. When the employees and managers get settled into routines it is likely that you will discover inconsistencies that must be fixed. Make sure you regularly get feedback from your employees and make the suggested modifications.

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