For example, a full-time employee may work four 10-hour days in a week. Another type of compressed workweek is sometimes instituted during the summer months: an employee may work longer hours Monday through Thursday and shorter hours on Friday.
Potential Benefits of a Compressed Workweek
- Allows the employee to maintain full pay and benefits unless number of hours worked each week decreases, and enables the department to receive full-time productivity.
- May reduce the employee’s child care or elder care costs.
- Provides employee with larger blocks of time off.
- May reduce commuting time and costs.
- Provides a low-cost benefit to the employee.
- May enhance productivity due to fewer interruptions during non-traditional office hours.
- May promote the sharing of facilities or equipment, such as an office, computer, or phone.
- May increase total staff hours on especially busy days.
Potential Challenges of a Compressed Workweek
- Employee may not be as productive on a longer-day schedule.
- Employee may not receive supervision at all hours.
- Arrangement may cause understaffing at times.
- Key people may be unavailable at certain times, requiring cross-training to ensure coverage.
- It may complicate scheduling meetings and coordinating projects.
- For exempt staff, it may be difficult to define a full workload.
- For non-exempt staff, attention should be paid to number of hours worked to avoid incurring overtime.
An employee's proposal for a compressed workweek should address:
- How department coverage will be maintained.
- How schedules will be coordinated.
- How effective channels of communication will be established.
- Job expectations during times when the manager/supervisor is absent.
- Equity for exempt staff, such as justifying a part-week schedule as full-time, particularly if 9-hour or 10-hour workdays are common among 5-day-a-week staff.