Innovative working time models!

In this article Building Radar reveals how to increase employee satisfaction! Also, it’s possible to reduce Personnel costs up to 20% by introducing innovative working time models!

1. Working time model: Part-time
2. Working time model: Job sharing
3. Working time model: Action period
4. Working time model: Annual working time
5. Working time model: Sabbatical

Personnel costs are representing on average 30-40% of the operating expenses of a company. According to a survey by AOK about the topic of “absenteeism in companies,” employees call much more likely sick if the work atmosphere is hostile or dysfunctional. Also, the number of absenteeism days is higher than in companies with an excellent working atmosphere. In Germany, the continued payment of salary for sick days is up to 6 weeks. Because of that, sick employees become an enormous cost factor – in addition to the coordination effort!

In 2016, employees called on average 9.5 days sick.
The total costs of absenteeism were in 2016 around 130 billion euros.

Pressure or boredom cause a high number of days of absenteeism. Boredom leads to intrigues and disputes. On the other hand, too much stress and pressure result in a cold social climate due to intense competition among colleagues. Mental illness and general dissatisfaction are the consequences.

Flexible working time models can increase the satisfaction of the employees. The advantage for companies: Employees extend their working hours if the workload demands it. The employees are more balanced and rarely call in sick.

1. Working time model: Part-time

In 2016, 15 million people worked part-time.

According to a survey prepared by Arbeitswelten Consulting together with Familie & Beruf Management GmbH and FH Wien, employers rate the efficiency of part-time employees positively.

169 executives were interviewed about the differences between part-time and full-time employees. 62.1% of executives see no difference in the question of whether “part-timers are more focused than full-time workers.” The remaining 37.9% interviewed executives experienced part-time workers as more efficient. Above all part-time employees focus more on the essentials.

On the other hand, there is a higher effort to coordinate appointments and distribute work for part-time employees.


Part-time employment, despite its advantages for employees and employers, has not yet gained full acceptance and recognition. This working model has a reputation just to be an extra income, especially for homemakers and mothers.

2. Working time model: Job sharing

20.4% of companies in Germany offer the possibility of job sharing!

Two or more employees share a job. The company determines the required working time. For example, two employees can share a weekly working time of 60 hours. The job-sharers split tasks and working hours by themselves. The challenge for the employer is to find job-sharers that work well together and provide similar or complementary skills.


The model offers a perspective for people in different life situations. Job-sharers are flexible enough to react to challenging circumstances, e.g., if children are sick or colleagues are on vacation. It’s possible to handle different life situations.

job-sharers split tasks and working hours by themselves

3. Working time model: Action period

In practice, the working time model of action periods is often combined with the flexitime model

In this working time model, employees do not have mandatory attendance times. The working hours are organized by themselves. Attendance times are replaced by so-called functional periods: Certain workspaces have to run during this core time. The team itself handles the division. The work result is decisive. In practice, the team has to harmonize and communicate with each other.


Especially in companies with a lot of project work, this system gives employees time to recover after exhausting project phases. Employees increase their motivation to complete projects quickly and gain satisfaction as well.

employees that do not have mandatory attendance times are communicating with each other

4. Working time model: Annual working time

In 2016, 28% of employees took advantage of the possibility of annual working time accounts.

The agreed annual working time has to be completed during the year. The company can increase or reduce the daily or weekly working hours depending on the status of occupancy. The salary is paid in the same amount even if the work performance fluctuates.


This working time model is especially attractive to companies with project work and labor-intensive phases. The available workforce is used in when the need is greatest.

5. Working time model: Sabbatical

43% of 18 to 24-year-olds have taken a sabbatical or want to do so in the future.

A sabbatical year is a temporary break, which usually lasts between 3 and 12 months. A possibility of implementation is a five-year model: The employee works four years full-time with reduced pay. In the fifth year, the same salary is paid without having to work for it. In some international companies, there is even a kind of “compulsory sabbatical” to be found: Senior managers are sent home every few years for a few months. This is supposed to prevent work-related overload and is also a benefit.


This working time model strengthens the loyalty between employees and employer. In times of low unemployment, the possibility of the sabbatical year is also a not to be underestimated benefit, with the companies promoting themselves as employers.

Building Radar Conclusion

Flexible working time models allow companies to react to fluctuating order situations. The employees are more efficient and more balanced. That increases productivity and often halves the absenteeism days. According to Angela Fauth-Herkner, owner of the consulting office Fauth-Herkner & Partner, innovative working time models can reduce Personnel costs by 15% to 20%.


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Author simonwintter

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