OECD: Greeks are Hardest Working People in Europe

PHASMA/M.KARAGIANNIS / ÃÅÍÉÊÇ ÃÑÁÌÌÁÔÅÉÁ ÐËÇÑÏÖÏÑÉÊÙÍ ÓÕÓÔÇÌÁÔÙÍGreeks are the hardest working people in Europe, since they work 2,037 hours per year, a OECD study shows.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development conducted a study to determine in which of the 38 OECD member-countries people work the most. Greece ranked third in the world, after Korea and Mexico, and first among European countries.

In Europe, the Dutch work the least hours per year (1380), followed closely by the Germans who work 1388 hours. Norway comes third with its people working 1408 hours every year, followed by the Danish who work 1411.

Greeks are the hardest working Europeans (2,037 hours) followed by the Polish (1918 hours), the Hungarians (1883 hours) and the Estonians (1868).

Globally, people in Mexico work 2,237 hours per year, Koreans 2,163, Chileans 2,015 and Russians 1,980 hours. The U.S.A. rank in 12th place with Americans working 1,788 hours per year.

The mission of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is to promote policies that will improve the economic and social well-being of people around the world.



  1. Greece has 2 sectors, the Public which transportation is one of them and the private. Transportation is a public sector and they work less hours then the private sector. Don’t confuse yourself.

  2. Greece is not all under the private sector. Private sector employees do work longer hours then the Public sector which has its own rules and regulations. As for the Private sector, its governed by corrupt means which has no rules and regulations to follow. So people should not be surprized when they hear employees from the private sector work longer hours then 60 or 70 per one week.

  3. We were talking about “hard working”
    I have been many times in Greece, in the turists areas, and i see a lot of ppl. sitting and waiting for some clients in their little shops, thats no productivity or “hard working” thats waiting for a potential client.
    As you live in Greece you certainly know what i mean, does this behouviour means “hard working” to you ?
    Greece contents 2% if the industry in the EU zone, what does Greece produce with all this ” hard working” ?
    A few years ago i saw Slovakian girls working in the resorts, since the Greek didn’t want to.
    And just one remark, pls. dont adress my as “darling” since i am not.

  4. Do not generalize please. We all are not the same, there are Greek people who work hard then what you think and do not get paid according to the Greek law. Wrong again in your assumption. People working in the tourist areas do wake up very early to prepare the place the food and clean up and go to the market to buy fresh food for you to eat when visitors comes to the country. I live here and see people how they work behind the seen.

  5. Thats because of our corrupt politicians who are the real cause of the collapse of its economy and not because of the people.

  6. A deal is to blame on corrupt politicians thats true.
    But not all, since Greec is in the EU zone economics went better and better but the productivity not.
    The difference between those two is the debt Greece has.
    The governemts in the last 10 years made a lot og social laws they couldn’t afford at all, so the ordinary ppl. benefited of it too.
    All over in the eu zone ppl. lost their jobs, Tsiparas is going to rehire 13000 civil servants since you dont have enough of them it seems.
    Allmost no one in the EU understands that kind of behouviour, and thats just an example of it.
    As for myself i dont understand why that lending and lending is going on because no penny wil return from Greece, al the money is lost in the dark dark pit over there.

  7. I stopped thinking anymore about anything, only myself to consider since governments are not interested in us and the country. Politicians are more interested in their political future and their long life career in politics. Greece’s system will never change because it suits our politicians.

  8. I stopped thinking anymore about anything, only myself to consider since governments are not interested in us and the country. Politicians are more interested in their political future and their long life career in politics. Greece’s system will never change because it suits our politicians.

  9. Hard working is vague term. It can’t really mean hours at work. I am Norwegian and we work few hours relatively. I wont claim Norwegians are wearing themselves out. But one thing I have noticed when traveling around the world and comparing to how we work in Norway is that we tend to work more like the turtle in the story of the turtle and the hare. I suspect Germans and Dutch are similar. We work at at a decent pace while at work, and mostly focus on work. While e.g. I’ve noticed that American’s can be very energetic and fast at work at times, it does go a lot up and down and they spend a lot of time socializing and chatting at work. In Asia they are often really concerned about whether you are showing your face at work or not and not really about what you do. Like they’ll make you show up and stay at work for hours even when there is nothing to do. Stores are often overstaffed. It is like 10 clerks rush to help the customer when he/she walks in. Not very efficient. A relative worked long days in Thailand but said those days were a lot more relaxed than his much shorter days in Norway. He had plenty of time at work in Thailand to do other personal chores.

    In some countries workers do nothing when the boss isn’t around or has not told the workers exactly what to do. If greece has such long work hours I suspect part of it is a culture that emphasis being at work more than what you do at work.

    My first job in Norway my boss told me: “I don’t care how long you are in the office. If you are here 1 hour or 10 hours. What I care about is the work you do.” He never checked how much I worked or when I came and left but I worked about 10 hours a day to accomplish what I felt was expected.

  10. I am sorry but you come of as being in denial. Sure Marisya doesn’t live in Greece and can’t know everything, but have you lived in another country and seen how they work there?

    I have a relative who worked in Thailand. It sounds a lot like Greece from what Marisya says. Lots of tourist industry and people are very many hours at work. Life is though but not much gets done a lot of the time, because as Marisya points out shops often are small or have too little traffic relative to number of employees etc. When my brother worked there he had much longer hours than in our home country Norway, but it was much more relaxed and he had plenty of time to take care of personal tasks: making phone calls, making orders online, filling in his budget or whatever else he did.

    In Norway in contrast work days are short but people are often busy constantly. If you go into a store in Norway you often have to wait in line because they are generally understaffed compared to what you see in many other countries. That means there is little waiting time doing nothing for employees. Most time at work involves handling customers.

    Salaries in Norway are high so one has to utilize work hours as much as possible. Cash in stores is counted and changed by machines. Prices are updated centrally with electronic displays. Many stores let customer do the checkout themselves. It is all about using as few man hours as possible.

    In contrast in less developed countries they seem often quite reckless about wasting people’s hours.

    I was in greece many years ago. From what I remember then it was fully of really tiny stores. It is hard to run those efficiently. You don’t get the scale to utilize the labour force efficiently. There is bound to be a lot of time without useful work being done.

    Many countries stuck in this situation are there because people fight any kind of marked deregulation. Laws and regulations are in place which keeps businesses tiny. From what I’ve read in the news, Greece is no exception. People have generally resisted the governments attempts to make the economy more efficient by opening up to more competition.

    Much of southern Europe seems to be stuck in a sort of clientelism, where regulations are put in place which guarantees various jobs, rather than say building a strong welfare system and offer people are freer market economy were business can expand.

  11. I agree with you, socialism is ok till a certain point.
    You cannot spent all your revenues to pay pensions and wages for civil servants, this toegether with a laughable taxing system what is very inefficient and corrupt policy got Greece were it is now.

  12. “they divided the total number of hours by the number of working people.”

    Which is rational. You can’t measure unemployed as workers. Using such logic when Germans had a major depression and high unemployment after Versaille they could have been negative stereotyped as all loafers. (btw – the OECD stats I’ve read were from 2013)

    That said, although I would argue Greeks physically work harder, than most in Europe mentally we sure aren’t doing a good job. Mental work is work too but its a stat that’s hard to calculate. Our lack of productivity is a pretty good measure though.

  13. Yep German Olive oil rocks…So do their olives and the hairy legs on their women. Also the wonderful blue water of the rhine is glorious on hot summer days.

  14. I’ve looked at OECD website. I don’t see a problem with the stats in this regard as long as they are applying the same methodology on other nations,. I think you are confusing populist rhetoric with reality.

    Populists constantly claim Greeks retire at 50 when the average retirement age in Greece is higher than most EU countries. Populists claim Greeks have made no changes when Greece is a distant first place in global rankings when it comes to government downsizing over the last five years. Populists claim Greeks are welfare queens, when most European states have more social services than Greeks today.

    Populists say lots of things.

  15. All these people you claim demand bribes are all greek people. I don’t for one second believe that all of Greece is full of hard working honest people and then there is a tiny elite of greeks who are nothing but greedy and dishonest. The rulers and the ruled belong to the same country and culture. The rulers and the elite have gotten their values from somewhere.

    I tell you what I think is the problem. People are conformist by default. They respond to what those around them do. If you think everybody around you are cheaters, tax evaders, greedy etc then you don’t feel bad about being that yourself. You are just getting your piece of the action. On the other hand if you perceive everybody around you to have very high moral standards you don’t want to be worse.

    I don’t think greek people are worse than anybody else, but they live in a culture were tax evasion and corruption is common and thus don’t feel bad about engaging in that themselves. It is self perpetuating.

    I’ve experienced this very clearly myself interacting with southern Europeans. They view e.g. Scandinavians as incredibly naive and stupid, because we trust other people. They themselves think they are clever and see the world for what it is. Too me it is just unbridled cynicism and distrust.

    And I could see this spill over into how many people acted. Many had lower barriers to break laws, because they had this attitude that everybody is doing it.

    Where am I going with this? My point is that everybody in Greece has to be willing to change. One can not just blame the elite, outsiders and Germans. I think when outsiders see Greece changing they will be very willing to lend a helping hand.

  16. Well Europeans call Greeks lazy, so yes it actually IS about working in this case!

  17. Of course its actualy working in both cases,never the less its not an answer to my question.
    I dont know if Greeks are lazy, i supose some are and some are not, its not relevant.


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