Career Testing
Career Testing
Career Testing
WORK-LIFE BALANCE / OCT. 17, 2015
version 17, draft 17

The Most Hard-Working Countries in the World

It seems as the years roll on people work more and more. Some people work lots of overtime and right through the weekends. For some it is because they are workaholics and simply love it. Most humans do not understand this ‘crazy’ way of thinking and are instead hoping for a raise or promotion. In other places a strong work ethic is just part of the culture. If you have recently been lacking in the motivation department then we have put together a list of some of the hardest working countries in the whole world. They just might inspire you to whip your working butt into gear.

See Also: How to Embrace Your Exhaustion at Work

1. Mexico

Mexico
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Most people might think that the majority of Mexicans work in America. However this country did not grow to have the 14 largest economy in the world by sending all their workers elsewhere. Due to most Mexicans having less education, and therefore lower skills and knowledge, then their American neighbours, most turn to the workforce. What they might lack in education they certainly make up for in their work ethic. Most work around 45 hours each week or around 2,317 a year. This is 519 more hours than Americans. This work ethic may come down to the fact that most do not have education to fall back on; only one third of adults actually have a high school diploma.

2. Slovak Republic

Slovakia
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Since achieving independence from the Soviet Union it seems that hard work ethic has remained ingrained in the people of the country. Though the unemployment rate might be sitting at 13.9 percent, those who are in the workforce are working damn hard. Thousands of people work in the electrical engineering and car manufacture industries and help make up the total 495 minutes a day people work. In fact for 231 of those minutes most people don’t even get paid, and there tends to be a lack of job security. This all adds up to around 1786 hours per year. Most companies employ staff who they can pay a minimum wage, keep on short contracts and dismiss without notice whenever they need.

3. Korea

Korea

Most people are probably not shocked to see Korea making this list. As some people would jokingly say, Asian people tend to work their butts off. Usually the view is that authority is forcing them to work so much, but there are facts that actually show the complete opposite. The government in South Korea had to actually implement a five-day, 40-hour law in 2004 in the hope of making people work less and reduce the pressure put on workers to stay late at night in their offices. Despite this though, it has been shown the law is currently not doing much to reduce the hours people are working. Clocking up around 2,193 hours a year, most workers are still pushing on into overtime in order to meet tight deadlines and high quotas.

4. Turkey

Istanbul
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Up until recently schools in Turkey use to read out an oath to their students that said “I’m Turkish, I’m righteous, I’m hardworking”. Working at an average 1877 a year, this oath seems pretty spot on. While it is the country with the highest minimum wage around and the fact that Istanbul itself has around 30 billionaires, not everyone in the country is so lucky. In the east unemployment still proves to be a massive problem.

5. Chile

People in Chile know how to work hard even though they might not get a lot for it. Around 16 percent of those in the workforce in the country will work for around 40 hours a week. This is strictly regulated by the government who will only allow such a high amount of hours to be worked if the employees have rested for a period of at least 24 hours once during the working week. Despite this commitment those sitting in the wealthiest 20 percent of the population will only take home around $31,000 each year. For those stuck in the bottom 20 percent they only get about $2,400 a year after taxes. So next time you are working at your local café job thinking you are getting ripped off think about all those in Chile and you will realise things are not so bad after all.

6. Russia

Russians have a reputation for being strict and that same attitude has translated over to their workforce. Back when the country was a communist state, various initiatives were put in place to try and encourage hard work, such as the Stakhanovite movement. Though some things may have changed the need for hard work has not. A normal working week is around 40 hours, but extremely strict overtime laws means that no one really works anything over 50 hours. Another big bonus over there is that the labor laws mean workers are given 28 days of paid holidays a year in addition to any of the public holidays. Seems pretty chilled yet the average Russian works around 2,002 hours a year. These hours rack up because most people take on full-time work, only 5 percent works on a part-time basis. The biggest field of employment in the country are physicians and healthcare workers. However health in the Russian population has significantly declined since the collapse of the Soviet Union.

7. Estonia

Estonia
shutterstock

The Estonian website says it all as it states “A typical Estonian would like to portray himself as hard-working, reliable, smart, innovative and friendly”. People in Estonia fulfill this image by getting into the work game early. Most in the country are encouraged to start their career when they are still students getting a degree. As well as regularly working long hours, around 1879 a year, it is common for people in the country to take on even more unpaid work and to get involved with volunteering.

8. Poland

Poland and its workers are another group who have become synonymous with the idea of hard work. Due to the labour policy of free movement in Europe, many Polish people emigrated to other countries, like the UK and Ireland, to work. It might just be the massive influx of these workers to these other countries that has developed this hardworking perception to others, because the Polish themselves feel the situation is the exact opposite. Polish believe they are a lazy nation due to the previous presence of communism, which brought about forced labour and therefore limited career aspirations for the people of the country.

See Also: Keep Your Morale Up During Trying Times at Work

People all around the world are working hard. Some work hard because they like to do so. Some do it because it is expected in their society or culture. Others end up working longer hours because their lack of education means it is harder for them to understand and do things quickly. There are people all over the world stuck in offices just like you and me, slogging it out for a paycheck. They are also dealing with terrible bosses who all the co-workers rant about behind their back. So next time you are looking out your office window at the night sky as you type away on your computer, remember there is likely someone on the other side of the world sitting and feeling and doing the exact same thing.

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