18 European countries where people work fewer hours than the US

caption
Parcels move through Amazon’s warehouse on December 5, 2014 in Hemel Hempstead, England.
source
Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

Last month, Amazon announced its plans to pilot a program in which a few dozen employees will work just 30 hours each week. In return, they’ll receive 75% of their normal salary and retain full benefits.

The idea behind the pilot is to see whether working 30 hours could actually make employees more productive than a 40-plus-hour-week.Research backs up this premise, since evidence suggests most people can only concentrate on a task for four or five hours at a timebefore we start to feel fatigued. After we’ve hit our peak, our performance will begin to flatline or suffer.

Citizens of some countries, like France and Hungary, have been working fewer hours for a long time. A new working paper, spotted by Quartz, looks at the average annual work hours per person in 18 European countries and the US (factoring in vacation time). Researchers compiled data from the European Labor Force Survey, the US Current Population Survey, and the German Microcensus to produce the ranking.

Check out the list below, which shows how many hours the average employee from each country works per year.


19. The US — 1,353 hours per year.

caption
New York City.
source
Facebook.com/Summer Streets

18. Switzerland — 1,310 hours per year.

caption
Zurich Airport.
source
Flickr/abstrkt.ch

17. Czech Republic — 1,219 hours per year.

caption
Prague.
source
maziarz/Shutterstock

16. Portugal — 1,191 hours per year.

caption
Dom Sebastiao statue at Rossio station in downtown Lisbon.
source
Thomson Reuters

15. Denmark — 1,182 hours per year.

source
Kristoffer Trolle/Flickr

14. Austria — 1,177 hours per year.

caption
Vienna.
source
Alex Poison/Shutterstock

13. Greece — 1,161 hours per year.

source
Yorick_R/Flickr

12. Ireland — 1,149 hours per year.

source
daspunkt/Flickr

11. The UK — 1,143 hours per year.

caption
London.
source
Pixabay

10. Sweden — 1,141 hours per year.

caption
Stockholm.
source
Flickr/Chas B

9. Norway — 1,116 hours per year.

caption
Oslo.
source
Flickr/Éole Wind

8. Spain — 1,089 hours per year.

caption
Madrid.
source
gnoparus/Shutterstock

7. The Netherlands — 1,081 hours per year.

source
Christian Mueller / Shutterstock.com

6. Hungary — 1,061 hours per year.

caption
District V in Budapest.
source
lumokajlinioj / Shutterstock.com

5. Germany — 1,053 hours per year.

caption
Berlin.
source
Michela Simoncini/Flickr

4. Poland — 1,038 hours per year.

caption
Warsaw.
source
Shutterstock

3. Belgium — 1,011 hours per year.

caption
Terrasse au Vaudeville in Brussels, Belgium.
source
Stephane Mignon/Flickr

2. France — 1,007 hours per year.

source
Flickr/Moyan Brenn

1. Italy — 960 hours per year (or an average of 20 hours per week, factoring in vacations).

caption
Rome.
source
Pixabay