Beijing mulls adjustable work hours

Updated: 2008-01-21 10:45

The Beijing municipal government is planning to adjust the work hours of its employees in different departments in an attempt to ease the city's overloaded traffic flow during rush hours. The Beijing News reported that a pilot program first will be implemented in the city's commercial enterprises and then extended to governmental units where strict work shifts are not used.

Liu Guoxiang, a municipal People's Congress deputy, introduced the proposal to the Beijing Municipal Committee of Communications during a congress plenary session last year.

He advised that three different deadlines be set for staff at different units to come to work, a measure likely to reduce traffic flow by more than one third during specific time periods.

But Liu said the multi-timetable system would not be implemented throughout the city or cover all sectors because of concerns about the possible complications it might cause.

Liu also designed a flexible work system for employees at research institutions and IT firms, who usually swarm into busy traffic areas in the morning and occupy roads simultaneously on their way home in the evening.

The institutions have proposed allowing their employees to postpone their work by one hour every day or work at home to avoid traffic jams.

An official at the communications department said the plan's implementation would be efficient at the beginning, but that it could fall by the wayside in the face of the soaring number of new vehicles purchased and registered in the city daily.

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