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Time recording vs. trust-based working time: pros and cons


Many employees record their working time, others have the trust of their superiors. In such cases, the term "trust-based working time" is used. Here, although the core working time is not specified, a time frame is normally set for the performance of activities. The working time is not recorded in this case, but is still subject to the working hours set by law and collective agreements.


This is how trust-based working time is implemented

In general, the company decides exactly how trust-based working time is implemented. The working hours are not recorded to the minute, but allow for flexible working hours; however, the hours worked are usually recorded by the employee. This also makes it possible to reduce overtime worked or have it paid out. In some industries, such as medical professions or retail, it is not common to introduce trust-based working hours, but in other areas, such as project-based activities or consulting, it is now quite common.


Flexibility increasingly important

The younger generation in particular is increasingly opting for flexible working hours and attaching greater importance to work-life balance. Working from home is becoming more and more accepted, and so trust-based working hours are also becoming more interesting - for both employers and employees. More and more activities can be performed on the move and presence in the office is becoming less and less necessary due to digitalization. However, it is not an easy process for employers, as there are often problems and resistance to implementation; many employees also prefer time tracking, as they feel more comfortable with an overtime account. To manage employees' times, there are so-called time and attendance systems that provide an overview of Time and Attendance.


Reasons for trust-based working time

While trust-based working time provides more flexibility, it does not automatically mean more free time and less work for the employee. For one thing, it gives employees a sense of confidence by letting them plan their own working hours. This makes scheduling more flexible and can have a positive impact on the work-life balance. It provides the employee with more flexible use of working time and additionally motivates him or her through the trust received from the supervisor.

In the case of trust-based working time, the hours worked are not recorded to the minute, but are logged by the employee through specific time frames. However, if the employee works more than 8 hours, the overtime worked can be recorded and reduced. Instead of the hours worked, this means that the quality of the results is measured more instead of the hours worked by the employee. Especially in the consulting business or in project activities, the implementation of trust-based working time is worthwhile, employees are thereby rewarded for their success and do not have to have a bad conscience if they leave early for their free time.


Disadvantages of trust-based working time

Despite all the advantages, there are also negative sides to trust-based working time. For example, employees may start to exploit themselves, especially if they have to meet certain deadlines or if the work takes longer than planned. Overtime is usually not documented and is thus quickly swept under the rug.

It can also lead to a situation where the employee is required to be available at all times and is unable to switch off from his or her work. Since the supervisor or other colleagues also do not know when exactly the employee goes about his work and when he has scheduled his free time. This often becomes a habit and employees can thus feel that they have to be available all the time.


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