Note by Wali Zahid
Long working hours appear to have no correlation with productivity or efficiency.
Consider Germany for example. Germans work 1,363 hours a year and have a well-deserved reputation for great products like Mercedes-Benz and BMW. On the other hand, Greeks work for over 2,000 hours every year, one-third more than German. Only this week, Greece was on the verge of default and of leaving eurozone.
There may be exceptions here and there: Mexico and Russia, for example. Both are fast-growing economies, slated to be among the top 10 in 2050. In their case, long work hours will pay off their workforce.
So, the question is: do you work long hours? Or, do you work to achieve only those results which add critical value and perhaps spend less time at your desk emailing and replying to emails, cc’ing the whole world.
See also: Can Asia have a six-hour working day?
VIDEO: Should we all be working three-day weeks
2 October 2015 update: Sweden introduces six-hour work day
Today, World Economic Forum released this figure based on the 2013 data. We are sharing it below:
World Economic Forum report by Paul Muggeridge, Formative Content
Germany has a reputation for efficiency and it seems it is well earned, with German workers spending the least amount of time in the workplace of all countries in the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) during 2013.
In terms of members of the European Union, the country at the other end of the scale was Greece, whose people worked an additional 700 hours over the course of the year compared to the average German.
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Of all OECD countries, Mexicans worked the longest hours, closely followed by South Korea.
US workers clocked up a similar number of hours to the OECD average – 1,770. But that’s still an extra 425 hours on average compared to their German colleagues – the equivalent of 53 working days.
Norwegian, Dutch, Danish and French workers join the Germans at the bottom of the table, all working fewer than 1,500 hours across the year.
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Which European countries have the longest working lives? Source: Statista