Contact Workforce Diversity and Inclusion

160 Day Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853
(607) 255-3976
(607) 255-7066 (TTY)
owdi@cornell.edu

Compressed Work Week

What is a compressed work week?

A compressed work schedule allows an employee to work a traditional 35-40 hour workweek in less than five workdays. Many compressed work schedule options may be negotiated. For example, a full-time employee scheduled for 39 hours per week could work four 9.75-hour days instead of five 7.8-hour days. Or, an employee could opt to work 8.6 hours per day, and take one full day off every two weeks (ideal for exempt employees).

What are the benefits of a compressed work week?

Possible benefits include energy savings for the university, extended office coverage/customer service periods, alleviation of traffic concerns for employees, the employee’s ability to better manage his/her personal responsibilities, and an additional day off for employees while preserving their full-time income.

What considerations are there for negotiating this type of work schedule?

Challenges may include limited access to public transportation and dependent care options and figuring out coverage of responsibilities during the off hours of the employee. Extended workdays can also be physically/mentally draining for some employees. For access to dependent care resources, please contact the Office of Workforce Diversity and Inclusion at (607) 255-3976. Information on transportation services is available by clicking on "Transportation Options."

How is a compressed work week arrangement successfully implemented?

To successfully implement a compressed work week arrangement, the employee and department should take into account the following concerns. For non-exempt staff, supervisors must pre-approve all hours to be worked in excess of the regularly scheduled 39 in any workweek. In order to avoid overtime concerns, non-exempt staff opting to work a compressed work week should plan to take the time off earned within the week it was earned. For example, a bargaining unit staff member may be required to work 4-10 hour days and take one day off per week vs. work 4-9 hour days and take one day off once every two weeks. In the second scenario, the employee must be paid overtime during the first week. Read more about the impact of flex on overtime.

How are leave times and holiday pay managed?

A staff member on a flextime schedule who is granted paid leave time, such as vacation or health and personal leave, will deduct the number of hours scheduled to work on the day(s) off. For example, 10 hours of vacation would be deducted if a staff member uses vacation on a day with 10 scheduled work hours. This method of using paid leave time applies to all paid leave time options. Any regular staff member will receive pro-rated pay equal to 1/5 of his or her standard workweek for a university holiday.