This Infographic Reveals Which Countries Have the Best Work-Life Balance


(Flickr/Tom Blackwell)

Below infographic, based on data collected from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)’s Better Life Index, looks at the average number of hours per year a person from different countries spends working, and how satisfied they are with the time they committed to their profession.

Netherlands, Germany, and Norway are the top three in the list, meaning that they spend the least amount of hours – ranging from 1,381 to 1,420 – per year on their work. Those countries have relatively high satisfaction rate, too, of around 80%.

The share of employees working 50 hours or more per week is not very large in OECD countries. Turkey is by far the country with the highest proportion of people working very long hours, with more than 43%, followed by Mexico with nearly 29% and Israel with nearly a fifth of employees. Overall, men spend more hours in paid work and the percentage of male employees working very long hours across OECD countries is 12%, compared with less than 5% for women.

This infographic is an important reminder to keep a work-life balance in check. If a person spends too much time on the job, the OECD warns that there’s evidence indicating “long work hours may impair personal health, jeopardize safety and increase stress.” The more people work, the less time they have to spend on other activities, such as personal care or leisure. The amount and quality of leisure time is important for people’s overall well-being, and can bring additional physical and mental health benefits.

Take a look at the findings below. Do you think these accurately reflect the situation in your country?


Working hours around the world