The Koreans Work Longest Hours

The latest 2008 ranking of country working hours by Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) indicates that workers from South Korean worked the longest hours compared to any other OECD nations.

An average working hours of 2,357 were clocked by the Koreans during the study.

The culture of working long hours in the country is still prevalent even though the government of South Korea introduced a five-day work in 2004 for companies employing more than 1,000 employees.

Alongside its neighbor Japan, South Korea is also known for the authoritarian corporate culture, where it’s always considered bad for an employee to leave the office before his or her boss does.

Greece, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Turkey, all from Europe, followed in second, third, fourth and fifth respectively. High number of self employed citizens is one of the factors that rank Greece, Italy and Mexico in the top ten.

The World’s Hardest Working Countries table (Top 10):

Rank Country Hours Public holidays
1 South Korea 2,357 11
2 Greece 2,052 12
3 Czech Republic 1,997 12
4 Hungary 1,989 10
5 Poland 1,985 12
6 Turkey 1,918 7
7 Mexico 1,883 14
8 Italy 1,800 12
9 United States 1,797 8
10 Iceland 1,794 12

The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) was established in France more than 40 years ago and today is one of the largest sources of statistics, economic and social data.

32 countries are members of OECD, and on top of the 10 countries above, it was also joined by Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Japan, Luxemburg, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden and United Kingdom.

Netherlands clocked the shortest working hours, 1,391, ahead of Germany, Norway and France. France is also known for its short official working hours, which is 35 hours per week, or average of 7 hours per day, as opposed to the common 8 or 9 hours.

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