Compressed work schedules (such as a four-day, 40 hour work week) can eliminate commuting altogether one day a week for many employees. Companies with such programs report less absenteeism, fewer late employees, and less use of sick leave.
In a compressed work schedule program, employees work a full-time schedule in fewer days, by working more hours a day. The day off can be the same for all employees, vary or rotate regularly – but most employers choose to assign days off to ensure adequate coverage. The most common compressed schedules are:
- “4/40” – A 40-hour week consisting of four 10-hour days and one day off a week
- “9/80” – 80 hours worked over two weeks, consisting of eight 9-hour days, one 8-hour day and one day off. HINT: How to satisfy Federal 40-hour work week regulations – If employees take Fridays off, their work weeks begin and end Friday at noon; if they are taking Mondays off, then the work weeks would begin and end on Monday noon.
Where can compressed work schedules best be used?
Compressed work schedules work best where employees require minimal face-to-face contact with other employees, where set-up/tear-down time or shift changeovers are necessary (e.g., hospitals or manufacturing), or where work functions are not disrupted by staff reduction.