The Time Factor In Modern Organisation Of Labour


The modern economy does more than simply replicating the global world. It largely determines the social, political and psychological climate in the regions and states, sets the rhythm of political processes. At the beginning of the 21st century, people were given the opportunity to live and work in a new system of space and time coordinates. This system is fundamentally different from similar systems of the previous eras. Under the influence of post-industrial economic processes time has become a significant production resource. This led to the formation of the time economy. Its first manifestations were observed in the last century during the recovery from the 1929–1933 world economic crisis. The economy of time has been constantly developing. It was greatly influenced by the scientific and technical revolution and the time management practice formation. Now the feature of the time economy is its close connection with the psychology of professional activity. This connection allows a smooth transition from a resource-oriented economy to a human-oriented one. In the changing conditions of labor organization, it is impossible to ensure the efficiency of the production process without a thorough analysis of the workers labor potential and the types of their perception of time. The author has developed and, in this article, presents a testing method allowing identifying one of the three main types of temporal perception. Their knowledge allows using productively. The understanding of each person’s temporal perception leads to the productive usage of their possibilities in the modern organization of work.

Keywords: Time economylabour organisationtime managementefficiency


It is impossible not to realize that time is the most important resource not only for an individual, but also for the society (Heartfield, 2003; Thomhson, 2016). The way people feel about time is explained not only by their civilizational and cultural differences, but also by the difference in the types of economic activity in which certain cultures, including labour culture, were formed. Rapid changes in the surrounding world caused by the information revolution are most noticeable where people work and rest. These changes affected the foundations of professional activity and added the economy of time to the classical concepts of labour organization. To understand its features, it is necessary to understand the system of temporal concepts, including a variety of time modes of activity. It is difficult to find a profession which experienced no changes in the organization of labour caused by differences in chronological regimes (Aguiar, Hurst, & Karabarbounis, 2012; Gollier, 2001).

Table 1 -
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Problem Statement

Gareev (1987) proved that the subjective perception of time is influenced by the activity type, that is, the more complex the activity is, the greater the underestimation of time periods is. At the turn of the 21st century researchers began to pay more attention to the fact that such breaking of the circle of internal mental processes most directly reflects not only the historical, economic or socio-political context, but also the speed of change in the external objective world. (Panteleev, 2009; Saiko, 1999). Corporate anthropology specialists Braun and Kramer (2018) compare the parameters of economic behavior of people living according to the models of linear and circular (cyclical) time (table 1 ). The attitude towards time is an integral part of the corporate culture and the level of trust between the employees of the organization, alongside with the communication system, common values, beliefs or dispositions and work ethics of the employees (Harris & Moran, 1996). The problem is to use the time management tool to improve not only the competitiveness of the organization, but also the personal productivity of its employees, who differ strongly in their attitude towards this resource.

Research Questions

The perception of time is understood as a reflection of the objective duration, speed and sequence of the phenomena of reality. “Time at the level of everyday consciousness is not thought of abstractly as an abstract philosophical category or as the fourth coordinate in the space-time continuum (the terms of modern physics). A human thinks in terms of subjective time, based on the awareness of time” (Lukoyanova, 2004, p. 152). In contrast to the philosophy, where the category of time is considered as universal external and internal connecting elements of all things and phenomena, in the economy in the evaluation of the organization of time prevail comparative or perceptual indicators. They can be conventionally grouped into three types of time perception: linear, parallel and cyclic (Abduova, 2010; Braun & Kramer, 2018).

Answering the question about the impact of the time perception differences on the efficiency of the labour process, Braun and Kramer (2018), divide it into components and argue that to unite the team or resolve the conflict it is necessary to analyse the situation in terms of rhythm, which reflects a certain typology of time perception. To do so, it is necessary to consider whether the managers and other employees share the same rhythm, whether it is possible to convert a long-term strategy into shorter rhythmic cycles of people carrying out the work, and whether there is enough time to make informed decisions (Braun & Kramer, 2018). These authors are convinced that the work rhythm of the team can be understood by observing how people move, talk, use and appreciate the time (Braun & Kramer, 2018).

This observation requires a long and involved participation of the researcher in the life of the team studied. The production problem in turn cannot be solved without knowledge of such features of the team, which cannot be learned without immersion in its work activity. It is necessary to identify them in the shortest time possible, and upon learning the peculiarities of the time perception of individual employees, to consider them in the program for the consolidation of the collective and its targeting to a specific project. Such effective form of clarification of the time perception specifics and the subsequent adjustment to collective action as training carried out together with testing can be useful in solving this problem.

Purpose of the Study

Testing provides more accurate diagnostics of self-organization skills, group work, the team common values formation and the missing time management skills. The objectives of the test are the following:

  • increasing the level of team cohesion and mutual trust among the organisation employees;

  • setting the value of time as an integral component of the culture of trust in the organization and the common value for all members of the group;

  • diagnostics and formation of team work skills;

  • diagnosis and formation of time management skills: to assess competently their resources and capabilities of their colleagues to achieve a common goal;

The activities are aimed at the formation of a common culture of perception of time as the main universal value, which connects people engaged in achieving common goals. The participants of the testing get acquainted with the amount of temporal (time) capital, which they possess, and derive the basic skills and attitudes necessary for its productive use:

1. To be responsible for their own life;

2. To be able to organise themselves;

3. To set goals and make plans;

4. To achieve results;

5.To collaborate productively;

6. To never stop learning;

7. To control their health and leisure.

The test contains three types of questions: marker questions, questions on culture and types of time-management decisions, questions on the individual type of temporal perception (attitude towards time and the way it is felt). The test is composed according to the specifics of linear, parallel and cyclic types of time perception. It should be considered that openness and sincerity, among others in decision-making, are important for maintaining harmony and an atmosphere of trust in the team. During the training, a part of which is testing, participants must openly demonstrate their level of organization, allowing colleagues to adapt and use the strengths of the bearer of each type of time perception.

Research Methods

The difficulty of testing in order to identify the three main types of time perception — linear, parallel, and cyclic — is that there are no rigid barriers between them. The boundaries separating these types of temporal perception are blurred. Since people belonging to these types manifest themselves in different ways in different conditions, the key features of each type can help both a person to understand to what type of time perception he or she is closer, and other people to understand the characteristics of his or her behaviour and their possible reaction to his or her actions.

None of these types of temporal perception has an unconditional advantage, and each of them has its positive and negative qualities. This does not mean that a person belonging to a particular type of time perception will demonstrate only advantages or only disadvantages inherent in this type. Knowledge of the prevailing type of temporal perception in a person's character reveals new opportunities for increasing personal productivity and helps in choosing the most productive self-organization tools in particular. When building and setting up one’s own system of personal effectiveness, one should first pay attention to the specific parameters of the types of time perception. Understanding the characteristics of the types of temporal perception of the employee allows to develop recommendations not only on improving his or her personal efficiency, but also on organizing the labour process more productively.


The main characteristics of the linear type is that it is logical, rational and left-hemispheric. A person with this type of time perception tends to demonstrate organization. Time for such person is an absolute value, it is more valuable than the money, for which it cannot be bought. He or she strives to organize any period of time in the most efficient way. Usually persons of this type experience discomfort when communicating with unorganized people, both in business and in private communication.

A person of this type is characterized by a chronocentric picture of the world, based on the philosophical assumption that time exists outside space, everything is located as if inside time and there is nothing outside time. In this scheme, it is impossible to be in several different places at the same time, to do several things, to perform a number of different tasks. A person of this type tends to organize things and tasks in time so that they cannot overlap with each other. There should be a chronological gap between different cases, allowing to move from one case to another, so that they do not overlap. This feature of the organization of time should be taken into account when instructing an employee who has this type of temporal perception. The manager must present to such person any problems to solve in a clearly defined sequence. People of this type are committed to a strict fixation, recording of what is happening. Their diary is an effective tool for time management, self-motivation and personal productivity.

For people of a linear type of time perception any kind of activity, including recreation, begins with planning. After a critical review and adjustment of the plan, they would clearly follow all its paragraphs and subparagraphs. Such people may have serious problems with the implementation of the planned due to the fact that not all the surrounding colleagues, business partners and relatives tend to adhere to their plans. It is necessary to understand the desire of people with a linear type of time perception to do all the work alone. This helps them avoid dependence on the non-punctuality or non-necessity of others. The person of linear type of temporal perception is sensitive towards people reliable and disciplined, is able to appreciate them and perfectly interacts with them. Such person possesses high quality of the performing discipline providing equally high quality of work. Along with it, there may be difficulties due to violations of the linear time flow. The passage of the process through the bifurcation point leads to violation of plans and collapse of the built model. The sequence of actions is lost, and the new logic of the changed process may not fit into the developed scheme. In such case, multiple advantages of this type of time perception turn against its bearer. A rapid adjustment to work in new circumstances can be guaranteed with activity plans for different scenarios prepared in advance and recorded in the main and backup planning systems. The development of the delegating skills and self-organization techniques can help the consideration of the likely controversial input data. These circumstances are emphasized in foreign methods of time management, focused on a clear alignment of consistent actions that help to achieve optimal results (Yager, 1999).

The basic features of the parallel type of temporal perception are associated with impulsivity, emotionality, and rapid switching of attention. Such people can be snowed under with work, but the more work they have, the more they have time. They are able not only to accelerate time, but also to easily entrust others with part of their work. Their philosophical perception of time does not exist without a person. Time acts as an immanent characteristic of the personality. It is not independent and is not an inherent value, but directly serves the purposes of people, contributes to the ordering of their life. This opens the possibility of parallel flow of different times in the life of one and the same person, in which he or she experiences different situations and solves different problems. It would be wrong to think that such people put all their simultaneous activities on the same level of importance. The bearers of this type of time perception are able to prioritize. In order to build the most effective approach to each of the implemented cases, people with inherent parallel type of temporal perception strive to accurately assess the urgency and importance of each of the tasks, commensurating it with others, as well as critically comprehending the availability or lack of resources to solve a particular problem. All this serves as a guarantee of finishing all planned tasks in required terms and with high quality. Unexpected plan failures can occur, similarly to the case of people with linear type of time perception, from others who do not have clear positions in relation to the tasks to be solved, and are able to fail in providing the required resources, as well as from the changed circumstances. Therefore, it is easier for a person with a parallel type of temporal perception to make decisions for other people, without waiting for them to get ready to certain steps. It can be seen as a sign of ambition, but often it is just a reflection of a different vision of the world, in which there are more colours, shades, sounds, tastes, and more options for human behaviour.

In such abundance of sensations, the tools for fixing time are not important, because there are the person’s biological clock and subtly felt biorhythms. Therefore, such people rarely keep diaries, although subsequent diaries and memoirs confirm their ability to return to a bygone time and bring it to life for themselves and others. These records confirm the clear life orientation of people with a parallel type of temporal perception towards the result. Sometimes, though, in pursuit of it, they can waive quality. It happens when priorities are chosen incorrectly, and the time passes by the path on which the primary task is solved. To overcome the difficulties in the work of people with parallel type of time perception, it is required to concentrate on the development of prioritization and goal setting skills and the ability to clearly set strategic goals. Among the time management methods the Eisenhower Matrix, the system of recording thoughts/ideas, and contextual planning can be helpful.

The life of people with cyclic type of time perception resembles the change of seasons or times of day. Their periods of activity go into phases of recession and back. Therefore, the readiness to do the tasks directly depends on such period. A person with this type of attitude towards time feels his or her ups and downs, which allows to take them into account when necessary to act or not to act. The worldview of these people is based on a combination of external and internal spheres of life in an integral harmony, which is the time itself. Hence they understand that by controlling their own state they control time, and vice versa. This enables such people to carry out in the shortest time possible what others would take a long time doing. However, at the same time they can freeze, cease to act if the time flow does not correspond to their state.

People with this type of temporal perception have more obstacles to productivity than people with linear or parallel types. Their attitude towards work is not easy to create, but easy to destroy. Thus, they are willing to work alone, just not to meet with those who are able to spoil their mood. It is necessary to support it using self-adjustment, effective rest, such organization of space and activity that not only contributes to high productivity, but also meets the needs of the emotional intelligence of the person.

The cyclic type of perception is characterized by both high emotionality and sensitive intuition, which must be considered in the statement of the problem to be solved. From the point of view of time management methods, such people should pay attention to the practice of self-control, use the auto-training and meditation techniques, and insofar as their life balance is in constant motion, it is necessary to be able to protect themselves from chronophages — the consumers of time.


On the development of the author's method of determining the type of perception of time and its impact on the organization of labour on the basis of analysis and synthesis of labour time, the author studied the features of temporary structures of professional experience (Strelkov, 2004; Strelkov, 2009). The economic effect of the training in the field of typology of time perception is evaluated based on the results of testing related to the awareness of time, attitude to it, and its use. The developed method of testing allows to see the shortcomings in the field of human self-organization and to understand what is to be done to improve personal efficiency.

Each time period dictates its own requirements for the organization of labour. But in order to meet these requirements, it is necessary to understand not only the needs of the person of this epoch, but also the laws of time passing, which are reflected, among others, in management practices.


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28 December 2019

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Voznesenskii*, I. (2019). The Time Factor In Modern Organisation Of Labour. In D. Karim-Sultanovich Bataev, S. Aidievich Gapurov, A. Dogievich Osmaev, V. Khumaidovich Akaev, L. Musaevna Idigova, M. Rukmanovich Ovhadov, A. Ruslanovich Salgiriev, & M. Muslamovna Betilmerzaeva (Eds.), Social and Cultural Transformations in the Context of Modern Globalism, vol 76. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 3347-3353). Future Academy.