9/80 Compressed Timesheets
9/80 compressed work schedules have many benefits. However, automating timesheets for these schedules has proven to be difficult.
"5/4/9s" "Five/Four Nines." "9/80" or "9/80 compressed" are seemingly complicate schedules.
9/80 schedules use two-week time periods or biweekly time period.
In the first week, an employee works 9 hours per day for 4 days and 8 hours on the fifth day.
The first week has 44 work hours.
In the second week, he works 9 hours per day for 4 days, and gets to take off the fifth day.
The mechanics of this are splitting the work day on Friday at a set time. Call it the "9/80 split" (e.g. 12 noon). The split credits all hours after that time to the next week.
By "pushing" four hours to the next week and adding them to the additional hour created per day by working "four nines," the worker has already worked the 80 hours he needs to work before Friday in the second week, so he can take that day off.
9/80 scheduled start and finish times can be set in any way so that the four nines and fifth eight are worked.
Any hours more than 44 in the first week are overtime.
Any hours more than 36 in the second week are overtime.
The benefits of 9/80 schedules
- Employees are able to get an additional day off for only working an additional hour for eight days of the biweekly time period.
- By alternating 9/80 schedules, as some companies do, one group of workers can take the first Friday off and another group the second Friday off. With staggered or alternating 9/80 work schedules companies can ensure that they have workers covering jobs every day of the week including Fridays.
- During periods of high gas prices or commuting costs, workers can save significant dollars per month by eliminating two commuting days.
- Providing employees with a week day off allows them far more flexibility to complete errands, doctors or dentist appointments without having to schedule sick or personal days, leading to more predictable attendance and less unscheduled absences.
- Finally, research has shown that 9/80 work schedules promote a better work-life balance for employees, leading to greater job satisfaction, more fulfilling weekend time with family, and fewer sick days.
Okay But There Are Still Challenges
This said, there remain a few challenges in automating 9/80 work schedules particularly in managing timesheets. The most difficult of these is the mechanism that makes the 9/80 work schedule possible: crediting hours worked past a certain time on Friday to the next week of the biweek time period. In short, by pushing regular hours from one week to the next you can create a short week and a long week. The week that contains the Friday with the split at mid-day is the short week. The week where the worker takes off Friday is the long week.
Many companies currently have employees fill out paper or Excel timesheets. Payroll and/or accounting clerks gather these timesheets and manually enter their data into the payroll or accounting systems. This so-called "double data entry" costs many headcount each month and structures in delays in running payroll and billing customers. In some cases, payroll managers establish pay dates before the timesheets are fully tabulated, sends hours estimates or forecasts to payroll and reconcile the actual timesheet data later as adjustments or corrections. In this way, this approach almost makes certain that a certain unwanted overhead of adjustment entries are built into the payroll or billing process. One solution here would be to speed up or automate the entry and processing of 9/80 timesheets.
Another problem of 9/80 timesheets is that manually processing the timesheet data is difficult and at times confusing. The "9/80 split" on the fifth day of one period often is difficult to explain, capture and tabulate. Sometimes this is done by hand. Other times by consolidating Excel timesheets for individual employees or employee group timesheets through the use of complicated macros.
In our next blog post, we will explore options to automating 9/80 compressed work schedules and 9/80 timesheets.
Pacific Timesheet provides the leading 9/80 compressed timesheet solutions.