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Three experiments with working time schemes in three government agencies

This report documents and evaluates three experiments with working time schemes in three government agencies.

  1. In five prisons, the employees was given opportunity to choose to work up to 15 hours a day for later to take time off in lieu of pay. The intention was to give the employees more flexible working time.
  2. At three airports run by the Air Force, the Fire, Rescue and Maintenance Service was organised in a two-shift scheme with 12-hour guards all week (24/7). The in-tention was to avoid frequent shifts and give the employees better possibility to plan and implement activities, and to ensure periods of rest.
  3. At a Customs Station, an experiment with individually set rotation plans was carried out. The employees had a say in which days they were supposed to work. The intention was to give the employees an opportunity to influence working time.

The evaluation of the three experiments was done by exchanging experiences at regular conferences and by surveys directed toward the participating employees. The following issues have been central to the survey:

  • What are the individual participants’ experiences?
  • What are the participants' attitudes to the experiments? How do they evaluate the experiments?
  • What are the positive and negative aspects of the working time arrangements?
  • Have the experiments fulfilled their goals?
  • How is the efficiency of the working time schemes?
  • How have the working time experiments affected the working environment?

The evaluation concludes that all three experiments with working time schemes have been highly appreciated by the employees. The negative effects are small, and the possibility to influence your own working hours seems to contribute to good a working environment. The working time schemes in the experiments seems to give the employees sufficient time to rest. In the cases where the working time is ex-tended beyond 9 hours a day, the employer should be following employees and working environment closely to avoid a negative development.

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