Organizing working time in a healthy and ergonomic way is one of the key issues of occupational safety and health. Time and length of working time as well as rest periods are crucial factors. Increasingly, it matters to many employees if they can predict or influence their working time and rest periods. In this respect, many new types of work with increasingly flexible working times and work locations are currently evolving. The keyword here is "digitalisation". This process is opening up a variety of opportunities, but it is also associated with risks. Flexible working times, for example, can provide employees with more time-related personal autonomy, which can contribute to a better work/life balance. On the other hand, however, working times and rest periods frequently blur into each other without any limits, with all of the negative consequences for well-being, safety and health.
For this reason, it is occupational safety and health's mission to provide working times which suit everyone, in terms of both the competitiveness of businesses and the concerns of employees. The current Working Time Act determines the framework for flexible working times. On the one hand, it limits working times so that employees have sufficient time for their family, their leisure and cultural pursuits, for themselves and to rest and recuperate. On the other hand, the Working Time Act also supports the economic efficiency of businesses by contributing to maintaining a high level of functional performance while at the same time enabling flexible working hours. In this way it responds to a changing world of work which would not be able to operate with inflexible rules.
Many businesses are already using the possibilities presented by flexible working times, although to different extents. In this respect, flexitime, part-time and overtime arrangements, as well as working time accounts, are easy-to-use models which are widespread. Other approaches, such as trust-based working time, are used less often. One of the reasons is the fact that certain working time models are less well known in small- and medium-sized businesses. This is an area in which the "BAuA: Guidance" brochure on hand provides support. It first offers general information on the topic of working time. Hereafter, sixteen flexible working time models are described in detail.
Please download the complete brochure "Flexible working time models - overview and implementation" (in German only).
Flexible Arbeitszeitmodelle - Überblick und Umsetzung.
2. edition. Dortmund: 2019.
ISBN: 978-3-88261-230-1, pages 64, paper, PDF file, DOI: 10.21934/baua:praxis20170719
© Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health