Time Office in the city of Rennes

Time is an important constraint in our daily life, new routines requires innovative ideas on how to better adapt society. Moreover, time can be used as an indicator to measure inequalities and also constitute a powerful tool to fight against these imbalances. As service providers, local authorities have an important role to contributing to develop public services according to these new concerns. Based on these facts, the City of Rennes created a “Time Office” in 2002 with the mission to facilitate work-life balance for citizen, strengthen quality of public services and improve life for citizens from an equality perspective.


The main objective for the Time Office is to analyze the urban planning and support local initiatives that match the time constraints of citizens. By adapting opening hours and developing innovative services that better correspond to the needs of users (such as one-stop service centers, provision of service centers in working zones or childcare facilities at non-typical hours etc.), the Time Office contribute to raise quality of public services. 


The “Time Office” has set the following three main objectives for public action at local level:


  • Act for social equality

Time-related issues are highly associated with existing inequalities, both for those who provide services and for those who are subject to time restrictions, for people who live in the city center or in the suburbs. Time also reveal large inequalities between women and men’s unequal access to services.


  • Improve mobility

Our travelling has large impacts on the environment but also on the distribution of time we spend. To reduce traffic and public transport congestions, the “time approach” proposes to shift schedules for schools, universities and working hours or change delivery hours in certain areas.


  • Find solutions to constraints due to limited resources

The “time approach” can provide some answers such assembling of equipment (buildings, car parks, etc.), taking into account the potential reversibility of facilities and construct in a way to better adapt to changing lifestyles.


To raise awareness on time-related issues, the Time Office regularly organizes conferences that are open for everyone at the library “Champs Libres”*.


Some figures:

  • 26 % of employees work on Sundays
  • Men do on average 1½ hours of domestic tasks against 3h for women
  • People spend in average ½ of their free time in front of a screen, television or computer
  • We spend 10 % of our time working, whereas in 1900 we spent 40 % of our time working
  • The time that we “save” today from working less is to a larger extent spent on transportation than leisure.


Contact Time Office (Bureau de temps) City of Rennes: temps@agglo-rennesmetropole.fr


For further information:


 * Websites in French only