New data on working hours from the Organization for Economic Development and Cooperation (OECD) has blown away the stereotype of ‘lazy’ Greeks basking in the sun, sipping frappe.
An OECD study covering 36 countries reveals that Greeks work 2,035 hours per year, the most in Europe. At the same time, the study lays bare another stereotype, that of the hard-working Germans, as citizens of the Federal Republic work the least hours in Europe (1,363 per year).
Mexicans are shown to be the hardest workers in the world, as the average Mexican spends 2,255 hours working per year, the equivalent of around 43 hours per week.
The study also takes into account the differences between countries in work culture. For instance, Mexicans work the most hours because they have a fear of unemployment, while lax labor laws allow employers to break a 48-hour-week limit.
On the contrary, South Koreans, who want to see their economy grow, want to contribute to by working longer hours. As a result, the average employee works 2,069 hours per year, ranking third, after Mexico and Costa Rica (2,212).
The Japanese, who are also stereotyped as working very long hours, in fact put in only 1,713 hours per year, which is below the OECD average.
An important factor regarding hours of work is the level of productivity. According to the study, Germans work the least hours but manage to be more productive than workers in other countries who work more hours.
The average German employee is found to be 27 percent more productive than their British counterparts who work 1,676 hours per year.