15 hours a day at leisure – many people can only dream of this average value for full-time employees in the OECD. In the negative front runners of this ranking, there is about three hours less free time every day and every third employed person works at least 50 hours a week.
In its “Better Life Index”, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development examines, among other things, how different the work-life balance is around the world. For this purpose, the daily working hours of working people in the 37 member states and the three central partner countries Brazil, Russia and South Africa were compared. The hours that a full-time employee remains for sleeping, eating, hobbies, family and friends are counted as free time.
These countries have the worst work-life balance
@imago images / Panthermedia
# 10 Australia
Australians are considered a relaxed people. According to the OECD, the positive image does not apply to the work-life balance. According to the organization, 13 percent of employees work at least 50 hours a week. This puts Australia in 31st place in a comparison of 40 countries. An Australian full-time employee has an average of 14.4 hours or 60 percent of the day at leisure. Here, too, the country was below the OECD average. By the way, neighbor New Zealand only came in eleventh place.
@imago images / sepp spiegl
# 9 South Africa
In South Africa, 18 percent of employees work a lot, according to the OECD. This meant 36th place among 40 nations. With 14.9 hours of free time per day, the country came close to the OECD average.
@imago images / Cavan Images
# 8 Iceland
Icelanders have less free time (14.1 instead of 15.0 hours per day) and are more likely to work a lot (15 instead of 11 percent) than the average OECD worker. That meant eighth place on the list of countries with the worst work-life balance.
# 7 Chile
Extreme overtime is less of a problem in Chile. According to the OECD analysis, around one in ten employees has at least a 50-hour week. This puts the South American country in the middle. On the other hand, daily leisure time is poor. Here Chile comes in third from last place out of 40 countries with 13.3 hours.
@imago images / robertharding
# 6 Israel
15.4 percent of those in employment with a very long working week and only 13.7 hours of free time per day put Israel in sixth place in the OECD ranking.
@imago images / ZUMA Wire
# 5 Japan
Japan’s poor work-life balance is notorious. Many employees already shy away from taking all the vacation days. More and more companies are talking about the fact that extreme working hours are not synonymous with high productivity. Nevertheless, according to the OECD, 17.9 percent of the working Japanese still work at least 50 hours a week. The average free time per day is around one hour below the OECD average of 15 hours.
# 4 Korea
Working people in the Republic of Korea were even worse off. As much as 25.2 percent work 50 hours a week or more, as reported by the OECD. Men are more affected than women here. With a value of 1.90 for “equal rights”, Korea ranks sixth out of 40 countries (a value of 1.0 means that there is no difference in overtime between the sexes). With 14.7 hours of free time every day, the country performs on average.
# 3 Turkey
In none of the 40 countries examined, according to the OECD, have so many people work extremely hard as in Turkey. Almost every third employed person (32.6 percent) has at least 50 hours per week. Women toil almost as much as men (quotient 1.5), which brings Turkey at least first place in terms of “equality”. The daily free time of 14.8 hours, however, was in the middle.
@ jezael / unsplash
# 2 Mexico
Only in Turkey do more people have to work at least 50 hours a week than in Mexico. According to the analysis, very long working days affect 28.7 percent of employed people. In terms of daily free time, Mexico ranks second to last among 40 nations with 12.4 hours. But one country can still undercut that.
# 1 Colombia
Colombia brings up the rear in the OECD when it comes to work-life balance (the country became the 37th member of the organization in April 2020). Almost 27 percent of employees work at least 50 hours a week. That is more than twice the OECD average. According to the information, almost every third man (32 percent) and almost every fifth woman (19 percent) are affected. Colombians also have an average of three hours less free time. The US came in twelfth in the negative group behind New Zealand, ahead of the United Kingdom, Brazil and Poland. Germany came ninth among the countries with the best work-life balance.