Good Practice

Decalogue for Better Time Organisation

Ten-point plan for a healthier, more egalitarian and more efficient organisation of time at Barcelona City Council.

Barcelona City Council
Local policy


Promote a new culture of time in the public administration that is:

  • Healthy and concerned with individual well-being
  • Egalitarian, mindful of people’s life cycle and which works towards reducing inequalities
  • Efficient, flexible and based on trust

Specifically, the plan aims to:

  • Improve the way time organisation is managed at all levels of the city council
  • Establish a common framework of do’s and dont’s for time management within the city council
  • Recommend specific actions that city council employees can apply to their day-to-day work organisation



  • Time organisation has nothing to do with constraints such as climate or lifestyle; schedules are dependent on a specific culture and can be changed.
  • Every year in Spain, we work 300 hours more than people in Germany, though we are ranked among the least productive at European level.
  • Long and rigid work schedules, paired with the obligation to be on-site at the workplace, imply physical and psychosocial risks, low competitivity levels and more social and gender inequalities.
  • Men participate in care and domestic work less than women, although their rate of participation is increasing.


The decalogue emerged as part of the Time Agreement of Barcelona, and aims to move towards a healthier, more egalitarian and more efficient organisation of time. The decalogue offers ten measures that cover various aspects of employees’ reality at the city council:

  1. Striving for more rational meeting schedules
  2. Promoting virtual meetings to reduce the environmental impact
  3. Cutting the number of meetings and making them more productive
  4. Guaranteeing the right to digital disconnection
  5. Avoiding working on weekly rest days
  6. Bringing lunch times forward
  7. Reducing working lunches to a minimum
  8. Promoting a physical and psychosocial health plan for the well-being of people in the organisation and taking into account the use of time
  9. Building a safe and efficient teleworking system through consensus
  10. Disseminating information and promoting greater familiarity with and application of this tenpoint plan in our daily routine.

Communications: infographic, banners, statement and article.


  • Involves work across key units in the organisation (HR, internal communication, etc.) and with social stakeholders (trade unions)
  • Envisions the possibility of a participatory process with employees
  • Takes into account existing inequalities from a gender perspective (e.g. women shoulder more care responsibilities) and different lifecycle moments
  • Tailors measures to the specific work schedules of each employee’s group
  • Publication of the decalogue was followed by a dissemination plan for all employees that included:
    • Physical version of the document and associated merchandising (stickers and bookmarks)
    • Digital version of the document and associated communication materials


The measures involving time organisation (work flexibility, schedule rationalisation, consideration for life-cycle constraints, reconciliation measures adapted to individual realities, among others) benefit employees because they:

  • Increase employee satisfaction
  • Improve working environments
  • Facilitate reconciliation and promote equal opportunities from a gender perspective
  • Attract and retain talent within the organisation
  • Reduce work absenteeism and employees’ rotation

The Decalogue has reached the entire workforce through:

  • 14,000 copies of the decalogue
  • 14,000 stickers


Berbel Sánchez

CEO at the Barcelona City Hall

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