- The average US workweek may be 38.6 hours long, but quite a few countries have employees who spend even more time at the office.
- Turkey, Colombia, and Mexico all have workweeks that are over 40 hours long, according to the OECD Better Life Index.
- The longest workweek in the world is in Colombia, where workers are expected to clock in 47.7 hours.
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Some countries have a work ethic that makes the US workweek look like a walk in the park.
The average US workweek is 38.6 hours long. That may feel like forever to some people, but it’s nothing compared to some countries’ workweeks. According to a 40-country annual survey by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the international average workweek was 36.8 hours in 2018. We looked at the OECD’s Better Life Index to find out why workweeks were so long in some places, but not in others.
Next time you’re feeling envious of the Dutch workweek (at 29 hours long on average, it’s the shortest on the OECD’s ranking), remember that some workers spend a lot more time at the office than you do.
Here are the countries with the world’s longest workweeks.
19. The United States has a 38.6-hour workweek.
Getty Images/Mario Tama
In the US, 11% of workers work over 50 hours a week, in line with the OECD’s average of 11%. US workers also have 14.4 hours to themselves outside of work, slightly less than the 15-hour OECD average.
Average annual hours worked per worker: 1,766
18. Lithuania has a 38.7-hour workweek.
Lithuania follows the same five-day, eight-hour workweek as the US, and workers usually come in between 8 and 8:30 am. Occasionally, workers clock in for an extra workday on Saturdays. Workers also get an average of four weeks of paid vacation, which is also standard among other European Union member states.
Average annual hours worked per worker: 1,616
17. Iceland has a 38.8-hour workweek.
Iceland’s workweek hovers below the 40-hour mark, but sources like Iceland Review say it’s much longer — 45 hours a week.
Average annual hours worked per worker: 1,469
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