The country with the shortest work week where staff work less than 30 hours

·2-min read
The data covers work trends in 2020. Photo: Getty
The data covers work trends in 2020. Photo: Getty

The coronavirus pandemic has transformed the world of work, changing attitudes to flexibility, work-life balance and mental health.

Alongside the rise in remote working there has been a surge in companies introducing or mulling a four-day work week.

However, a shorter workweek has been the norm in many other countries for a long time due to different working cultures, employment rights or higher wages.

New analysis from the Organisation for Economic Corporation and Development (OECD) reveals that if you want a better work-life balance, the best place to work out of 38 countries from Iceland to Italy is Northern Europe.

The Netherlands has the shortest average workweek, with the Dutch working an average of 29.5 hours per week.

Denmark came in second on the list, with workers averaging 32.5 hours a week, and Norway rounded up the top three, with 33.6 hours.

Meanwhile, Britain clocked in at 36.3 hours a week and employees in the United States work 38.7 hours a week on average, slightly below the 40-hour standard.

Read more: How your university degree and grade determines your pay

On the opposite end of the spectrum workers in Columbia were found to work 47.6 hours on average every week, making it the country with the longest workweek. This was followed by Turkey at 45.6 hours and Mexico at 44.7 average weekly hours.

The latest data, which covers working hour trends in 2020, suggests the average number of hours in all the OECD countries was 37 hours. However numbers for some OECD nations, including Canada, South Korea, Germany, and Australia, were inconclusive.

These are the eleven countries with the shortest working weeks, according to the OECD:

1. The Netherlands, 29.5 hours

2. Denmark, 32.5 hours

3. Norway, 33.6 hours

4. Switzerland, 34.6 hours

5. Austria, 35.5 hours

=Belgium, 35.5 hours

=Italy, 35.5 hours

8. Ireland, 35.6 hours

9. Sweden, 36 hours

10. UK, 36.3 hours

=Finland, 36.3 hours

Watch: Where do the Queen and royal family get their money from?

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