“We spend a third of our lives at work.” This phrase is often used in articles and at conferences. However, the number of working hours varies from country to country, and 40-hour workweeks are not the norm for everyone.
The International Labor Organization analyzed the working day in 100 countries, and here’s what happened.
Obviously, the best balance of work and personal life is in the Netherlands (we remind you that in October 2019 the country decided to abandon the name Holland). The working week there lasts only 32 hours – on average, of course. Accordingly, the Dutch work about 6.5 hours a day. Many companies in the country do claim to value quality over quantity of labor time.
Australia, New Zealand, Rwanda are among the ten countries in terms of the least number of working hours. The first two countries on this list do not surprise us, as Australians and New Zealanders are known for their relaxed nature and attitude towards life. But it is not very clear how Rwanda ended up here. In this country, 90% of the population works in agriculture, and this is not an easy daily work.
Most of them work in Qatar – 49 hours a week, as much as 17 more than in the Netherlands. And in the UK, by the way, it is generally prohibited by law to work as much as in Qatar (unless such an item is separately spelled out in the employment contract). Many people move to Qatar (including Russians) precisely because of a well-paid job. But in order to earn money, you will have to work hard there.
They also work a lot in Myanmar, Mongolia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, China, Mexico.
It’s possible that the countries with the longest working days and weeks actually work even longer than the study suggests. For example, there is a survey that shows that 43% of employees are periodically engaged in work (for example, checking their e-mail) even at home.
In Bulgaria, Ghana, Chile, Iceland, Albania, Vietnam and Russia, according to the Labor Law, the working week cannot exceed 40 hours (the same length of working weeks is in Bulgaria, Ghana, Chile, Iceland, Albania, Vietnam).
Among European countries, Greece is the leader in “processing” – 40 hours. Germany has a 35-hour work week, while France has a 37-hour work week.
However, the Greek authorities are reportedly planning a labor law reform that would introduce flexible working hours, which could include setting longer working hours while simultaneously increasing the number of days off to three per week. At the same time, in Greece, where the highest unemployment rate among European countries was recorded, citizens are afraid that employers will resort to new measures to exploit employees.
As part of the reform, a whole range of measures is outlined, but the protesters are most worried about the possible introduction of a working day, which will have a duration of more than 8 hours. The head of the Ministry of Labor of Greece, Kostis Hatzidakis, defended the innovations, saying that the implementation of the government’s initiative will give workers a more flexible schedule, while the total working hours per week will not exceed 40 hours.