ABSTRACT

The future of working time is inextricably linked to the future of work. In terms of the quantitative aspects of working time, a gradual reduction has been evident, variously contributed to at different times by changes in weekly hours, holiday entitlement and the average age of retirement. Changes in the subjective, qualitative aspects of worktime, however, are more difficult to gauge. Work, or at least that part comprising paid employment, confronts two fundamental problems: first, how to create enough jobs, and second, if sufficient jobs are created, how to ensure that their quality is sufficient to have made the effort of creating them worthwhile. In both these problem areas - job creation and job quality - the nature of working time is of considerable importance. Furthermore, technological change may have more direct impact on working time patterns, both by creating different organizational demands on worktime in order to optimize the technological potential, and also by providing the increases in productivity.