While the Brits are known for their need to drink tea and the Americans are known for their tipping culture, very few countries are known for their working hours. The average amount of hours worked in a week changes from country to country, but do you know how the UK fairs in average working hours when compared to the rest of the world?
So let’s start with the UK. Research by TUC in May 2019 shows that the average full time employees in the UK work an average of 42 hours a week. Meanwhile the working week in France comes in at just 35 hours a week. This was made as standard for all employees in France further to a government introduction.
In Spain working hours really differ from the UK as workers have a break around the middle of the day as this is the hottest part of the day. This is known as a siesta and the working day, works around the siesta. Workers in Spain will work from 9am-1pm and then 4pm-8pm. The American working week comes in at around 40 hours per week for the average full time employee.
Many Asian countries have a reputation for working long hours that are often unrealistic for a good work-life balance. Countries such as Singapore, Hong Kong and South Korea come out well above the average working week for workers in the UK. South Korea made a bid to cuts its maximum working week. The maximum hours an employee could work were cut from 68 hours to 52 hours a week. Interestingly this was done to boost productivity and was successful at doing so.
Japan also has an issue with long hours. The phrase ‘karoshi’ has been introduced in Japan and it roughly translates to ‘death by overwork’. However Japan does not yet have a maximum number of hours that an employee can work or be asked to work.
Want to know which country has it best? Germany! Full time employees in Germany work on average 1,363 hours per year. This equals a working week of just 34 hours.
If you’d like to discuss your firms working hours, adjust your policies or introduce flexible hours or remote working options contact the team at Aspire Cambridge today on 01223 855440.