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compressed work schedules

Randall B. Dunham and Jon L. Pierce


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A compressed work schedule contains the same number of hours in the work week as a traditional schedule, but the number of hours worked in a given day increases. Perhaps the best known of the compressed schedules is the four‐day, 40‐hour work week, in which four consecutive 10‐hour days are worked, followed by three days off. Variations on this model include: 1 the floating 4/40, in which four 10‐hour days are worked followed by 4 days off, with a repeating cycle based on an 8‐day week; 2 the 4.5/40, composed of four 9‐hour days plus one 4‐hour day, followed by 2.5 days off; and 3 the 5/45–4/36, which consists of 9‐hour days and alternating 5‐day and 4‐day work weeks. A variety of shift work compressed schedules also exist, the most common of which involve 9‐hour and 12‐hour shifts implemented with a variety of rotating schedules. Discussion of more alternatives can be found in Cunningham (1990) and Pierce et al. (1989) . The most significant advantage is perceived additional leisure time and reduced interference with personal activities (see Cunningham, 1990 ; Pierce and Dunham, 1992 ). Other potential advantages include fewer weekly commutes to work, fewer conflicts with personal needs during the work day, less impact of nonwork stress on work time, favorable employee attitudes (see Dunham, Pierce, and Castaneda, 1987 ; DeCarufel and Schaan, 1990 ), and decreased employee ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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