Version date 1998-08-30. Your comments and suggestions are welcome.

Freetime Calendar

Contents

Short Characteristic
Motivation
Advantages
Rules
Introduction Scenario
Drawbacks

Short Characteristic

The Freetime calendar shall enable the working person to optimally synchronize personal schedule with work schedule. It is an example of a fractal calendar, but not in the sense of total mathematical regularity. When a break comes is determined by necessity and consensus between employee and employer. So it could pave the way for more "time consciousness" and enable the observance of personal calendars.

Motivation

As productivity and joblessness rise, many will have to shed the belief of lifetime full-time employment. Since everybody does unpaid work in her free time, and more important, only people with money can buy products or pay taxes, some form of "basic income" exists in many industrialized nations, especially in European nations. Presently, it is called by other names like "social help", "welfare" and the like. Although people that claim this basic income are not regarded as highly as people who earn the same amount by paid work, it is hoped that this attitude will change in the foreseeable future, so that non-job work will be esteemed more highly.

Small steps in the direction of this reducement of paid work have been done for decades, opening the way to a society of "unpaid" work; work that is recompensed by "basic income". It is hoped that this basic income will increase over time (perhaps financed from machine, pollution, or energy taxes) and enable an even greater amount of free time than today.

Example for the time account of a typical office worker in Europe (Germany, 1998): weekends (52*2 days), religious and national holidays (6 days or more), vacation (30 days = "six weeks"), not to mention sick days.

Of the 365 or 366 days of a year, 52*2 + 6 + 30 = 140 days or 38 % are free time. For simplicity, 53-week years are not accounted for here; the argument remains unchanged in any case. Since the employers are unwilling to pay more total income, they partly do give time benefits. In the future this might amount to as much as an extra day per week. Assuming a six week vacation (24 work-days) we have 52*3 + 6 + 24 = 186 days or 51 % free time.

Advantages

The Freetime calendar is primarily intended as a calendar to be used by people in a working context. It shall not replace the current calendar system used in the economy (anyhow, a drastic calendar reform in the 21st century is unlikely).
The following qualities of the Freetime calendar are desirable:

Rules

There aren't any rigid rules. Everything is a consensus between employees and employer. It might be useful to have only one or two free days one week and four or five another. In my view, there should not be less than two or more than 4 free days in a normal week, unless it is a kind of "vacation". But views differ.

There should be acknowledged procedures (mathematical, ombudsmen or otherwise) to minimize the overall amount of time-stress for the company. Time-stress happens, when employer or employee cannot realize desired freetime schedules. This will almost always happen, so a moderation of some sort is necessary. Different measures of time-stress will be developed for this purpose and tested for its usefulness in the company in question.

One of the simplest measures for time-stress is counting the number undesired days. E.g., if an employee has to work on a day she did not intend to, this counts one stress point. And vice versa, if she has to take free time where she doesn't want, this also counts one stress point. This system is debatable, of course. It might be replaced by a system that counts unwanted freetime different than unwanted worktime or more elaborate schemes that use weighting for days interrupting work or freetime stretches, percentages, or moving averages ... there are many possibilities, even benefit freetime days for too much time-stress!

The goal of all time-stress measurements is to minimize the overall time-stress to the company, so that it functions optimally. A new avenue for trade union work opens up.

Introduction Scenario

Human worktime is reduced because of better efficiency of machines, automated factories, robots, software agents and other labor-saving technology. People work less or are laid off. Most will have to go for conditional or (lower paid) unconditional "basic income". But a large group will still work in wage-labor relations to get a higher income.

These privileged workers will be highly specialized intelligent people that value individual expression. Some progressive service companies introduce the Freetime calendar first. Other firms, impressed by the increased productivity, follow suit.

The Saturday/Sunday "weekend" is eroded partly by law, only the Sunday remains relatively quiet (see drawbacks)

Drawbacks


Advice for those who already are in a position to make their own Freetime Calendar

Other Calendrics at this site.

Essays on mathematical themes.


© Copyright 1998, Mario Hilgemeier, email: contact
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