Time and work: duration of work

This report looks at working hours and work schedules and their implications for living and working conditions. Most European countries have experienced a gradual reduction in working hours over the past two decades, accompanied by different working time arrangements and a variation in individual working hours and rhythms. While this has in general led to an improvement in working conditions, it can also be problematic for some people because of the disruption in work and the stress it generates. In addition, work itself has intensified and the flexibility of working time has resulted in variations in the pattern and duration of working times, the organisation of work in more or less regular cycles and irregular organisational procedures, all of which can lead to a disruption of the normal patterns of living. In short, it is not certain that recent developments in the area of working time and work rhythms have significantly improved the living and working conditions of employees.
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