Study Reveals UK Not That Hardworking
According to a study undertaken by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the UK is actually among the countries that work the least total hours in Europe.
Despite a general perception that the UK works longer hours and is busier working outside of the office than many countries, the research reveals that the UK actually ranks a middling 14th on a list of countries that are the hardest working and most productive.
Top of the list, with the most total working hours in our neighbourhood is Greece, which slogs away but doesnΓÇÖt count as one of the most productive nations, at 8th lowest producer on the scale. Despite this low output, the average Greek worker puts in a remarkable 2,017 hours every year.
The award for the most productive country actually goes to Luxembourg, which doesnΓÇÖt even rank in the top 10 for most hours worked in Europe, but is by far the country with the most output per worker.
On the flip side of the scale, the Netherlands works the least hours in Europe, putting in just 1,377 hours a year per worker. While that might seem like a lot, it doesnΓÇÖt approach the near-double number of working hours toiled in Greece.
Despite the few hours spent at work, the Netherlands ranks fifth most productive country in Europe.
On this scale, the UK ranks 14th for both productivity and time spent working. On the downside, we might not be the dedicated hard workers we think we are compared to our struggling neighbours.
But on the upside, our output equals the work we put in, which is more than can be said for employees in Greece, Hungary and Poland where working hours are long and there appears to be little economic benefit.
In 2006, the now-Prime Minister David Cameron insisted that BritainΓÇÖs lagging place on the scale of toiling nations meant we were actually working far too hard:
ΓÇ£ItΓÇÖs time we admitted that thereΓÇÖs more to life than money, and itΓÇÖs time we focused not just on GDP, but on GWB – general well-being,ΓÇ¥ Mr Cameron once told the Press. ΓÇ£Improving our societyΓÇÖs sense of well-being is, I believe, the central political challenge of our times.ΓÇ¥
Despite BritainΓÇÖs drop in working hours and rise in holidays, however, most UK workers report over dissatisfaction with their lives ΓÇô you can find more about this in our blog entitled UK Workers Unhappy Despite More Time Off.
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