Modified Work Week to Improve Work-Life Balance, Productivity, and Social Distancing [3 Tips]

C&M -- Flexible Schedule-1

As part of our strategic planning process to better align the business with our core values, C&M Precision Tech has been carefully developing a modified work schedule to optimize work/life balance for our employees while maintaining the expert level of service we provide to our customers. With the plan in place for months, our "go-live" date of April 6th, 2020, just so happened to align with the guidance from the CDC to increase social distancing.

In short: at C&M, the traditional 5-day, 40-hour work week is a thing of the past.


Our production team’s work week now consists of four 10-hour days. We call this our "8/80" schedule, or 8 days worked over a 2 week time period for a total of 80 hours.   If overtime is needed, it can be worked on Friday's, and the team will still have their full weekend to enjoy. Having every Friday scheduled as a day off will allow for employees to be able to improve their work/life balance.

In the same vein, team members responsible for office, engineering, maintenance, warehouse, wash, quality control, and tool room functions will be moving to what is referred to as our "9/80 schedule." These employees will work 9-hour days Monday-Thursday each week, and 8 hours every other Friday, providing an "off day" the alternating Friday. 


The preparation for this change has been in the works for more than a year, and is based on extensive research our management team conducted using both external publications as well as focus groups we conducted with employees internally. We also had conversations with some of our customers who have adopted this type of schedule themselves. The response on all fronts was overwhelmingly positive and confirmed our theories.


Using our machine monitoring tools, we verified an inefficiency in our daily process which we coined "time to first piece." While evaluating production data, we noticed there is lost productivity each morning due to daily startup. With over 100 CNC machines on our shop floor, it takes a certain amount of time and cadence to get started in the morning, thus "time to first piece."  On average, we lose ~15 minutes per machine, per day. By operating an additional 2 hours per day, machines will only need to be started up 4 times per week instead of 5. Projected annual increase in productivity is 1,300 hours!

We also looked at the Fridays where the production team is scheduled to be off, but supporting functions are working, as a day to catch up: preventive maintenance without interrupting production, engineering days without disruption, cycle counts of inventory, quoting productivity, accounting reconciliation, and more!


The main advantages of instituting our 8/80 and 9/80 schedules include:

  • Giving production team members the flexibility to enjoy 3-day weekends
  • Allowing production team members to pick up optional overtime hours on Fridays instead of Saturdays, so they can work overtime and still enjoy 2 day weekends with their families
  • Allowing office staff to catch up on work when production teams are not working
  • Allowing our maintenance team to catch up on preventive maintenance without interrupting production 
  • Allowing for social distancing as shifts and hours worked are extended and fewer people are working at the same time in the same location
  • Increasing productivity to gain production hours and reduce reduce downtime

Through extensive research with both customers and employees, we determined that we would not be disrupting our customers’ operations in any way.

Over the next few months, we’ll update you on how we’ve benefited from 8/80 and 9/80 schedules, and where there’s room for improvement.

As recent events have shown more clearly than ever, the only constant in life is change. We’ve taken that expression to heart and will continue to adjust as circumstances dictate.

What are your company’s work hours? Has there been discussion of modifying them to help your team members enjoy more days of rest and rejuvenation?