Work can often take center stage, defining our schedules, rhythms and aspirations. Within this global dynamic, some countries stand out for their extraordinary devotion to work, revealing contrasting realities in terms of working hours and work-life balance.
According to the latest data provided in 2022 by the OECD, Mexico and Costa Rica emerge as world leaders in terms of working hours, according to findings by Statista. These nations respectively post an annual average of around 2,226 and 2,149 working hours per worker. Employees in these countries enjoy only 12 to 15 days’ paid vacation, while the weekly working limit reaches 48 hours in Mexico and Costa Rica.
On the last step of the podium, another Spanish-speaking country, Chile, works close to 2,000 hours a year. The leading European country in terms of the number of hours worked is Greece (1,886), while in Asia, South Korea comes fourth.
At the bottom of the table, we find 3 European countries: Norway, Denmark and Germany under 1,500 hours a year. Two Scandinavian states where people work the least? Perhaps that’s one of the reasons why they’re among the best countries in which to expatriate.
It should be pointed out, however, that the number of hours spent at work is not necessarily indicative of productivity! If you’re interested, the OECD has thought of you! 😊.
Ranking of countries in which we work the most
- Mexico / 2226 hours
- Costa Rica / 2149 hours
- Chile / 1963 hours
- South Korea / 1901 hours
- Israel / 1892 hours
- Greece / 1886 hours
- Poland / 1815 hours
- United States / 1811 hours
- Estonia / 1770 hours
- Czech Republic / 1754 hours
Note that for the vast majority of countries, the number of hours spent working per worker has decreased since 2010.
Work more, but not too much!
Pursuing our professional and personal ambitions is a noble pursuit, but it’s just as important to look after our mental and physical health. Overwork can creep insidiously into our lives, compromising our long-term well-being.
How can you prevent burnout at work?
Here are a few tips to help you avoid the pitfall of overwork:
Resuming a sporting activity
- Don’t neglect physical activity, with at least 30 minutes a day. You don’t necessarily have to choose an intense activity.
- Get back in touch with nature (walks in the forest, contact with plants…).
Talk to your superiors
- At work, you can talk to your superiors or human resources managers to lighten your schedule.
- You can get help from a general practitioner or psychologist to reorganize your life.
- If the situation becomes too burdensome, you should consult a general practitioner or psychiatrist to arrange a period of rest to avoid burnout.
Take control of your lifestyle
At home, resume a healthy lifestyle.
- You can adopt a more balanced diet by minimizing the consumption of processed foods and dishes rich in fat and sugar.
- Instead, focus on vegetables, fresh fruit and foods rich in iron and magnesium.
- It’s best to limit consumption of stimulants such as coffee and certain soft drinks.
- For a better night’s sleep, avoid staying up late in front of computer and TV screens.
- On the other hand, you can get back to reading, an activity that allows your mind to escape.