What is a Compressed Workweek?

A compressed workweek allows an employee to work a traditional full-time workweek in less than five workdays. For example, a full-time employee could work four 10-hour days instead of five 8-hour days, or nine 9-hour days (adjusted).


Compressed workweeks are appropriate during non-peak periods or when there is adequate staff coverage to ensure customer services levels are not impaired because of the arrangement.


Managers and employees can divide the schedule work hours into any combination of days. Generally, this Flexible Work Arrangement option is more appropriate for nonexempt staff; however, exempt employees are also eligible to participate in a compressed schedule.


The most common form of compressed workweek is the four day/ten hour option, which allows employees to work 10 hours (excluding breaks and lunches) per day for four days. The employee would be off an additional day each week.


Another option is a "9/80" work arrangement, which allows for two weeks of work to be compressed into nine or nine and a half days of work. However, 9-80 compressed workweeks will result in overtime pay for nonexempt employees if the employee works in excess of 40 hours in one of the two workweeks.