Compressed Work Week

UC Davis recognizes that arrangements like compressed work weeks offer creative approaches to balance work and life for employees while meeting the university's operational needs.

The following guidelines are presented to assist in developing compressed workweek arrangements that are equitable, clearly understood, and to the mutual benefit of the unit or department and employee. Employees are expected to follow these principles in proposing compressed workweek arrangements. Supervisors and department heads are expected to follow these principles in approving compressed workweek arrangements.

Definition and Purpose

The most common types of compressed workweek are:

  • 4/10 schedule (four 10-hour days per week)
  • 9/80 schedule (80 hours in a two-week period worked over nine days instead of ten)

A compressed workweek is intended to create flexible conditions that help employees integrate their work and personal lives more effectively and better manage commuting, caregiving, continuing education, or community service. It is also a flexible work option for positions that do not easily support remote work. Successful compressed workweek arrangements serve the needs both of the individual and the unit or department. The focus of the arrangement is on job performance and meeting operational needs. A written agreement clarifying both parties’ expectations is required.

Request and Approval

The employee initiates a request for a compressed workweek by submitting a proposal to their supervisor/department head. 

Supervisors and department heads have the authority to approve compressed workweek arrangements.

Compressed workweek arrangements shall be initiated on a trial basis, and may be discontinued at any time at the request of either the employee or supervisor/department head. Units and department reserve the right to immediately suspend the arrangement in case of unanticipated circumstances regarding employee performance or operational needs.

If the employee and supervisor/department head agree to a compressed workweek arrangement, they shall complete a Flexible Work Schedule Form. Agreements shall be time-specific with a date for review and reconsideration. Modifications and/or renewals also shall be documented appropriately. The original shall be maintained in the employee’s personnel file with copies to the employee and supervisor/department head.


Nature of Work
  • A compressed workweek for the employee should not negatively affect the workload or productivity of coworkers either by shifting burdens or creating delays and additional steps in the work flow. The supervisor/department head should ensure that other employees in the same unit/department understand how and why Workplace Flexibility functions.
Eligibility of Employee
  • Compressed workweek is not appropriate for all positions, in all settings, or for all employees.
  • To handle holidays, one modification is to revert back to the standard 5/40 schedule during any week in which there is a holiday. How the holiday time will be handled shall be agreed upon in advance and documented in the agreement.


The employee and supervisor/department head shall complete the Flexible Work Schedule Form. Changes in work schedule shall not be altered without prior discussion and a revision to the agreement. In the case of represented employees, the supervisor/department head shall obtain review and approval of the proposed agreement from an Employee/Labor Relations Specialist to assure compliance with UC/Union Collective Bargaining Agreements and/or Fair Labor Standards Act.

The employee shall work the hours agreed upon and obtain approval from the supervisor/department head in advance of working any overtime. 

The supervisor/department head shall maintain open communication, ensure that the employee’s hours of work do not fall below the normal workweek hours and discuss with the employee any concerns as they arise.