Ever since the beginning of industrialization the fight for the reduction of working hours was considered the way out of the “kingdom of necessity”. It was only in the 1980s, in the course of a decentralized organization in worldwide networks, that the paradigm changed to more flexible forms of working time management. This is no longer an issue of the collective actors alone but also
of the individuals who have to cope with the increasing time flexibility in a socio-structurally differentiated way. From trust-based working hours to on-call duty, from the core workforce with a 35-hour week to temporary work: the
contemporary organization of working time took since long already various forms. In addition, the ongoing economic crisis leads in many European countries to forced over-employment and under-employment at the same time.
At the same time the topics are changing under which the problems of the “flexible character” in balancing different aspects of life are discussed in (human resource) management, psychology and sociology. Role conflicts, the balance of work, free time and family or burnout as a possible consequence are keywords which show that work and work time cannot be separated from life time.
We would like to discuss our topic in an adequately broad and interdisciplinary way. We are particularly interested in questions such as:
- Disparities of working time and desired working hours in the course of time
- Quantitative and qualitative working-time regimes
- Time-related stress and wealth in time
- Balancing life domain work conflict
- Models of labour time re-distribution
- Externalities of problematic working time arrangements, e.g. influences on family life, happiness, fertility etc.