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Thematic Subnet Time Management and Exchange Systems


In time management, coresponsibility can offer different possibilities leading to a well-being improvement:

  • in terms of division of time, in order to value time for the pleasure and the conviviality it can provide, as time banks in Europe or “Djuntamao” in Cape-Verde do
  • in terms of sense of time, a new sense of time to take the time to live, for instance as Cittaslow Movement encourages it.
  • in terms of time saving, for example with initiatives which think about ways of bringing living and working spaces closer together.
  • in terms of time flexibility, with a better time organization in companies, to improve health and happiness at work for instance.
Nile (Pixabay)
Nile (Pixabay)

To know more about SPIRAL methods, please click here. To know more about French networks of towns working on collective time management, as the TEMPO Territorial Network, please click here.

Subnet History

The Time Management Subnet appeared at the beginning of 2014, almost 6 months after TOGETHER Network creation. This subnet is based on the results of Responding Together Project. Thanks to it, a first meeting was realized at the European Council, on March 6th 2014, in order to share the most innovative and complementary experiences on the subject. The following reference frameworks were decided at this moment. Please click on this link to see the participants list and the meeting agenda: sur la page suivante

However, the Responding Together project had been abandoned for a lack of sufficient financial resources to ensure its adequate continuation. CO-ACTE project implementation sounds thus to be the best way to reinvigorate all the subnets.

Activities and outlooks

The next subnet meeting will be held in Gloucester (UK), on March 26 & 27th 2016. Different actors will meet and share their experiences on the subject, in order to build and complete previously developed political proposals within CO-ACTE project framework. The person in charge of this subnet for the CO-ACTE project is Jez Spencer. To get more information about the project, click here, and about the subnets meetings, here.


Shared reference framework

Exchanging and sharing time

A time bank is a platform making people able to exchange services calculated in real time, not matter the kind of service it is. In this system, everyone get the same wage. In France, “Accorderies” have been built on the same model. This concept is similar to time bank organisation, but with an official financing support. A time bank underlines the pleasure and the well-being aspects of time, because this system offers the possibility to set aside some personal time, in particular with others.

To realize these initiatives, the offered specific knowledges should be equal: 1 hour = 1 hour, no matter the nature of the services supplied. In this may, everyone’s skills become equally valuable.

Furthermore, these exchanges get a multilateral aspect: the person who received one hour of service for instance, will not give it back to the same person, but to a third one, and so on. This process strengthens solidarity and breaks the unilateral bond obliging the receiver to pay back the person who gave him one hour of his/her time. These initiatives have a real positive impact on social mutual aid, but in many countries, governments do not encourage people to develop them, especially because they avoid tax system. Knowing that, every structure based on time exchanges is welcomed to meet the following conditions:

  • Insurance :
  • Subscribing an insurance that covers the most possible kinds of exchanges.
  • Dealing with the business world :

Ensuring that mutual aid actions stay occasional and on brief periods, in order not to be considered as professional practices that should be taxed. In the same way, professionals cannot exchange their own professional skills: for instance a plumber can give drawing courses but cannot perform plumbing services.

However, there are some countries where these initiatives are very welcomed, such as the UK: there, insurances cover all possible damages, time banks are allowed to be used in jails, schools and other institutions and there is also a specific legislation making them benefit from a tax exemption.

To know more about these initiatives impacts on well-being, click here.

A new sense of time

Mordern societies are very often depicted as victims of time acceleration that produces bad impacts on the well-being of all. The fast pace of life today makes it often difficult for us to balance the demands of family and work, creating very stressful conditions. Therefore, there is a need to rethink what time is: we should not see it as a resource to get something else anymore, like money, but as a truly source of well-being. Considering time differently is a good way to get over this widespread belief that it should lead to money and productivity. That is the message Cittaslow Movement and Slow City want to promote: innovating to better use its own time, for itself and for others, taking the time to live peacefully. In the same way, the Slowfood Movement is built in opposition to the fastfood industry, encouraging people to take the time to eat and being more respectful of their health.

To know more about this initiative impacts on well-being, click here.

Time saving

Promoting concerted actions at a local level is a good way to gain more time for itself. If living and working spaces are brought closer together, people can stop “loosing” time in transports for instance. They can save time for themselves and interact more with other people. Furthermore, shorter travel times would have a positive impact on environment by reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

For instance, TEMPO Territorial association promotes exchanging, sharing, learning and pooling initiatives between all possible actors of a territory, about time issues. This association offers to back any action linked to pace of life mutations, and also try to put time issues into public policies (concerning land-use planning, environment, economic development, transportation, social welfare, …)

Time flexibility

Time management innovations in companies, public institutions, or administrations can lead to more flexibility in everyone’s schedule. In fact, different field studies have shown that the more flexibility in time organization there is, the more efficient and the less stressful employees are.

- Home working - Flexible working hours


By setting up all these actions, a new sense of time could be reached. Sharing, pooling and cooperating with different actors on time issues would lead to a significant time saving. In the same time, time management in companies, public institutions and administrations would result in more efficient and less stressful work conditions. Concerning the private sphere, sharing and exchanging time would create more social like and solidarity. However, in a long-term perspective, the positive effects of these initiatives will not be optimum without changing citizens’ attitudes: people should stop thinking that improving productivity is the key to happiness and well-being. On the contrary, we should rethink our relationship with time, understand how to make a better use of it, for ourselves and for others. If you would like to go deeper into this topic, you can read Harmut Rosa’s works.

Page last modified on Wednesday 09 of March, 2016 12:21:11 UTC