Countries Where Workers Put In 60 Hours A Week

Countries Where Workers Put In 60 Hours A Week.

It’s Friday, but for many people around the world, that won’t signal the end of the working week. Many factors influence working hours, whether it’s a downright necessity like in the case of healthcare or law enforcement, an individual’s drive, company expectations or cultural reasons in different countries. The OECD has shed light on the share of employees working mammoth 60-hour weeks in countries around the globe. Thankfully, the share putting in a shift longer than the 40-hour standard is still relatively low in most places, though it does rise alarmingly in a handful of countries.

In 2015, the latest year data were available, nearly a quarter of Turkish employees worked 60 hours or more per week in their main job. Many countries in Asia have earned poor reputations for work-life balance and in South Korea, the share working extremely long hours every week comes to 22.6 percent. In Japanese, a word even exists for “death from overwork” – karoshi. In recent years, the Japanese government has tried to clamp down and change attitudes towards long working hours, with employees tending to stay late or avoid taking a holiday. Suicide cases and instances of people dying due to stress, whether it’s heart problems or strokes, have drawn attention to the scale of the problem. According to the OECD, 9.2 percent of workers in Japan still work over 60 hours every week.

The United States is also sometimes seen as a nation of workaholics, and it’s well known that employees get a very raw deal on vacation days and paternity leave compared to other countries. However, very long working hours are a rare phenomenon in the U.S. with only 3.8 percent of people working 60 hours plus per week.

Credit: Niall McCarthy for Forbes, 2 February 2018.