For some government employees, every weekend is a long weekend.

With private-sector jobs seemingly becoming more precarious because of ongoing layoffs, alternative work schedules are another perk to government jobs.

Corporate America has been complaining about the increasingly outdated 9-to-5 workweek, but government employees are on TikTok sharing their alternative schedules — and they’re racking up views.

What’s an AWS?

The US Office of Personnel Management uses alternative work schedules (AWS) as a joint term for flexible and compressed work schedules.

AWS programs help employees balance work, family, and educational opportunities, according to OPM.

A compressed work schedule (CWS) means that an employee works less than 10 workdays during a two-week pay period. This lets the employee work more hours each day — and get an extra day off.

A flexible work schedule (FWS) consists of core hours and flexible bands. “Core hours” are the hours that employees have to be present during work. But “flexible bands” are the hours that an employee can start or stop their workday. Under this schedule, workers can take breaks during the day without requesting them in advance.

Under a FWS, an agency may only have core hours from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. with flexible hours from nine to seven. In this case, an employee could work from nine-to-two, take a two-hour break, and then work until seven. Alternatively, the employee could start later and work until seven.

While no job is specifically excluded from working with this model, each government agency decides whether alternate work schedules are a good fit. Individual agencies also decide what parameters are in place, such as core hours.

There are a bunch of AWS possibilities; these are a few of the most common.

An extra day off every other week: 5/4-9 or 9/80

In this schedule, employees work 80 hours over nine days instead of 10.

Usually, it means working eight 9-hour days, one 8-hour day, and one day off every other week. So instead of working from 9-to-5, the employee may work until 6 p.m. for eight out of the nine days. They would then work a normal 8-hour day on the ninth day and get the 10th day off.

A three-day weekend every week: 4-10

In this type of CWS, employees work four 10-hour days and get a three-day weekend at the end of every week. This might look like working from 8-to-6 from Monday to Thursday every week. For some workers, this gives them the freedom to travel every weekend.

The best of both worlds: maxiflex

In a maxiflex, employees combine flexible and compressed work schedules. This works if an agency has one or more days during the week without core hours. Employees here can take breaks during the day in addition to days off during the week.

OPM’s website has a full glossary and breakdown of AWS terms, policies, and guidelines.