A recent research by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) is showing how the average working week looks in 35 countries around the world. Would you guess who work the most in the developed/developing actions?

Research shows that Mexican are those with the longer week – 43h/week – while Germans have an average week of just over 26 hours.

So, how does The Netherlands score?

Dutch workers are 4th in the rank of the nations with the shortest work week : here, we seem to work 600h a year less than in Mexico, a booming 1460 hours, or 28,07 hours in average per week. The study also reflects on holidays. In the US, one of the richest economies in the world, employees can only have two weeks off per year. Something that, from the point of view of the Netherlands, looks insane as here, workers have at least 20 free days plus 8 to 10 national days off per year.

It seems like nowadays, we cannot fully turn off. Especially with our mobile phones, we can only be on standby after work, looking endlessly for notifications as if something really important were about to happen every 2 minutes. We recently had a speaker talking about this, do we really need to always be connected? Is there a way to stop this crazy addiction without giving up on our tech? It seems that we really have troubles disconnecting, and labour unions are increasingly raising concerns about excessive work, especially its impact on relationships and physical and mental health.

Take the case of the IG Metall union in Germany: 15,000 workers (who manufacture car pieces for firms such as Porsche) called a strike, requesting a 28-hour work a week with unchanged pay and conditions. It’s not about indiscipline or disobedience they say, but it’s about self-protection: “they don’t want to die before their time has come”. Science is on their side: a research from the Australian National University recently found that working over 39 hours a week is a risk to wellbeing.

We were curious about the reality at The Thinking Hut, so we asked our Thinkers in order to know how many hours they work per week. It looks like our Thinkers’ working weeks vary a lot. Some Thinkers have enough with 20 hours, allowing more time for hobbies and free time, while others work between 50 and 60 hours a week in order to manage all their job responsibilities. One of them even told us: “Every hour I am not working is an hour where my business is not progressing”. Not surprisingly, however, the most frequent answer was: “I don’t know”.

Working for yourself has a lot of advantages as you know, but for most, running your own business is definitely not a 9 to 5 job. However, there is hope! As some of you witnessed during our 24h Oost open day, some of our Thinkers have actually managed to reach a very healthy life work balance.

And you, how many hours do you work, and what is your average goal?

Acknowledgements : This post was crafted by Cristian Sanchez, our intern until mid June 2018. Thanks Cristian, see? The blog is live! 🙂