About 150 people attended the event, mainly from two different continents (Europe and the Americas). Major cities’ and regions’ associations, as well as universities, also took part in the exchange of time policies.
To start the event, after the welcoming from councilor Laura Pèrez from Barcelona City Councilor and Marta Junqué, secretary of the Network, a theoretical framework offered by the International Labor Organization and Eurofound, introducing the topic of conference, emphasizing the need and benefits of improving life balance for all, especially women.
At the event, it was discussed how important it is for regional and local governments to implement policies that improve the citizens’ time balance in every aspect of their lives. Bogota’s “Care System“ represented a first glance at that, explaining how a city is reorganising itself so that caregivers can pursue personal development. Catalonia’s “Time for Care” is also an example of such a policy, as it promotes, coordinates, and funds the enlargement and creation of nearby public care services for zero- to fourteen-years-old children, out of school time.
As work is a place in which citizens spend a lot of time, it is important to seek public-private cooperation. The Barcelona’s “Business Network for new working time arrangements” operates as a network and learning community aimed at improving working time arrangements that benefit workers, employers and the city. Milan’s project for bringing workplaces closer to its City Hall employees also showed this initiative, arranging workplaces and workstations in suitable locations (public- or private-owned) around the city, in order to provide more options for commuters from the wider metropolitan area.
Public administrations play an especially important role in advocating for life balance. Strasbourg’s public procurement now includes clauses in municipal contracts to encourage awarded suppliers to adopt work-life balance measures. In these complex times we live in, new, different ways of working are of high importance to be implemented. Bolzano’s “smart working project“ aimed at allowing teleworking for its employees, based on employee-manager agreements on working hours and daily time slots to be contacted, with a maximum of two days a week of smart working. For the rest of the day they can work when it is most convenient for them.