A compressed workweek is an alternative option offered to the employees in a workplace where their usual working hours are adjusted in less number of days. A typical working week is five days when the employee works for nearly eight hours, but in this type of week, the days are comparatively longer.
There is no change in the total number of working hours per week. Individuals who want to have flexible scheduling prefer this type of substitute to manage their work effectively.
Types of Compressed workweek
Some of the most common types of work schedules are
1. 4/10 schedule
In this work week, there are four working days from Monday to Thursday instead of the usual five Monday to Friday, and the employee has to work ten hours per day. This leaves him with three essential days, Friday to Sunday, free to do as he wishes.
This type of workweek is most common in work from home scenarios as well as with people who work in the retail and hospitality industry where the premises is open for more than eight hours per day
2. 9/80 schedule
In this type of work week, there are nine working days stretched over two weeks instead of the usual five in a week, and the employee has to work a total of eighty hours during that time.
3. 3/12 schedule
In this type of work week, there are three working days instead of the usual five in a week, and the employee has to work in a 12-hour shift and a total of thirty-six hours instead of the standard forty hours during that time.
This workweek is most common in fire-fighting and nursing professions, which require round the clock coverage.
In some cases, organizations give their employees the choice to adjust their days and hours as per their convenience. He has to make sure and clock forty hours in a week.
The advantages of keeping a compressed work schedule are as follows-
- A compressed work schedule is considered advantageous as an employee can adjust his work schedule as per his convenience under this format. This will help him in maintaining a better and improved work-life balance
- If an individual is working long hours, then interruptions are less, especially during non-working hours. This boosts his level of efficiency and productivity, and it has a good impact on the profitability of an organization
- A compressed work schedule is considered advantageous as an employee has now the option of managing the excessive accrued time productively
- An organization can schedule the working hours of its employees based on its peak hours. The increase in the number of workforces and extended hours of workplace operations is a blessing during such times as it becomes easy to handle the additional work effectively.
- A compressed work schedule is considered advantageous as an employee now work fewer days, and so he can save both the time and expenses spent during commuting to and from the office.
- Rescheduling workdays or work hours does not have any impact on an employee’s salary and benefits and proves beneficial for him
The compressed workweek disadvantages are as follows-
- A compressed work schedule is considered disadvantageous in some cases as some professions and positions are not suitable for a more extended work-hour load. When the employee wants to work long hours, he puts himself at considerable risk for errors or injuries
- Sometimes the work schedule is such that several employees are not available at a specific time. This could cause understaffing at essential junctions, and this is why a compressed work schedule is considered disadvantageous in a workplace
- It is sometimes not possible to keep full supervision during off-hours, and at such times the employees can easily work with a minimum level of efficiency. This proves disadvantageous for the organization
- It is seen that employees are often working unauthorized overtime because of a compressed work schedule
- Keeping a compressed work schedule can cause difficulties while scheduling meetings in a workplace
- A compressed work schedule with long hours is not suitable for working mothers who have to take care of their young children. They will not prefer this option as it will prove disadvantageous
- It becomes challenging to maintain employee morale over more extended periods, and this might harm their productivity
A compressed workweek is one of the best solutions to balance periods which demand more human resources.
This non-traditional arrangement is in vogue nowadays as both the employers and the employees consider it a win-win option and thus give it preference over the traditional nine-to-five hours.
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Mary Tallbot says
Being able to choose your own schedule is very valuable to many employees. When I was a student, the only way I was able to work full-time was to have a flexible schedule: 4 hours Monday to Friday, and about 9 hours on the weekends. Now that I am my own boss, I work out my own schedule, and it could also be called flexible, although I work more than 40 hours a week as I see it.