In today’s era, work-life balance is a constant struggle for many professionals.

Average working hours have now become more important than ever because of the following reasons:

Let us explore the concept of working hours by exploring historical data and uncovering exciting insights.

This guide will provide valuable knowledge and help you navigate the modern work landscape.

Let’s dive in:

The Evolution of Average Working Hours

From the Industrial Revolution to the modern digital age, where technology has reshaped the way we work, the journey of working hours has been transformative.

Key Transformations:

  • Rise of labor movements and regulations
  • Establishment of the 8-hour workday as a standard in many countries
  • Labor regulations and reforms
  • Modern Shifts

The rise of labor movements and regulations played a vital role in establishing the 8-hour workday as the standard in many countries.

Historical Data and Global Trends

In this section, we will learn about historical data and global trends.

Here is the importance of Examining Historical Data and Global Trends:

  • Provides a broader perspective on working hours
  • Helps understand the evolution and variations in different countries and cultures

There are varying norms in Different Countries and Cultures:

  • Different countries have different norms and expectations regarding working hours
  • Cultural factors influence attitudes toward work-life balance and productivity

Example of European Countries:

  • Some European countries have embraced shorter workweeks
  • Experimenting with 4-day work schedules has yielded positive outcomes

Additionally, technology has played a significant role in fading the boundaries between work and personal life, impacting working hours positively and negatively.

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16 Facts about Average Working Hours 

Here are some average working hours facts for you.

Long working hours

Average working hours in some countries:

  • The average annual working hours in Mexico in 2020 were approximately 2,148 hours, equivalent to 41 hours per week
  • The average annual working hours in South Korea were 1,769 hours, approximately equal to 34 hours per week

Impact of Extended Working Hours:

  • Higher stress levels can result from prolonged work hours
  • Potential for burnout increases with extended work schedules

Shorter workweeks

Conversely, countries like the Netherlands and Denmark embrace shorter hours, averaging around 30-35 hours per week.

It promotes a better work-life balance and increased job satisfaction.

The 9-to-5 shift is evolving

The traditional 9-to-5 workday is becoming less prevalent, with flexible work arrangements and remote work gaining popularity.

It lets individuals customize their hours to optimize productivity.

How many hours per day?

On average, people work around 7-9 hours per day.

However, this can change depending on the job role, industry, and country.

The pandemic’s influence

The pandemic has reshaped working hours, with remote work becoming the new norm for many.

It has brought greater flexibility and autonomy in managing work schedules.

Working hours in a year

On average, considering a standard 40-hour workweek, individuals work around 2,080 hours per year.

However, this data is subject to change depending on factors such as overtime, part-time work, or different workweek arrangements.

Prioritizing well-being

Studies have shown that extended working hours increase the risk of the following health issues by 41%.

  • Stress
  • Burnout
  • Fatigue 

You can do the following for your long-term well-being:

  • Take breaks
  • Define boundaries
  • Practice self-care

Average working hours by country

On average, individuals work about 1,700-2,200 hours per year, vary from country to country.

There are several factors responsible for these variations, such as:

  • Cultural norms
  • Economic conditions
  • Labor regulations

Working hours and productivity

Research indicates that excessively long hours don’t necessarily equal higher productivity.

In fact, productivity tends to decline after a certain threshold, highlighting the importance of working smartly within reasonable time limits.

Part-time work and reduced hours

In addition to full-time positions, part-time work is prevalent in many industries.

Part-time individuals may contribute to lower average working hours in certain regions.

Varying workday durations

While the standard workday typically spans 8 hours, many countries have variations.

Some nations adopt a 9-hour workday, while others have shorter workdays of 6-7 hours.

Factors such as industry norms and labor laws influence these variations.

The impact of long working hours 

Research suggests that consistently working long hours, such as 55 hours per week or more, can largely contribute to heart disease and stroke.

It’s essential to prioritize work-life balance and establish healthy boundaries.

The impact of reduced working hours on employee well-being 

Research by the University of Melbourne found that reducing the standard workweek from 40 to 25-30 hours resulted in the following:

  • Improved work-life balance
  • Increased job satisfaction
  • Lower stress levels

The role of legislation in working hours

Several countries have implemented regulations to protect workers’ rights and promote work-life balance.

For instance, France introduced the “right to disconnect” law, which grants employees the right to disconnect from work-related communication outside of working hours.

Working hours around the world

The average global working hours in 2020 were reported to be 34.6 hours per week.

Regional Variations:

  • Significant variations exist across regions in terms of working hours.
  • Countries in Asia are often known for longer working hours compared to many European countries

Discover the secrets to optimizing your working hours and achieving a healthier work-life balance.

Factors Influencing Average Working Hours

Here are certain factors that influence average working hours:

  • Varying work patterns and requirements across different industries and organizations
  • Influence of sector-specific factors like healthcare, manufacturing, and professional services
  • Some countries prioritize longer working hours, while others emphasize shorter hours and leisure time
  • Cultural and societal norms shape working hours
  • The rise of flexible schedules and remote work has transformed working hours

At last, flexible schedules and remote work have transformed working hours by letting individuals achieve a better work-life balance and customize their working hours.

Closing Thoughts

In conclusion, the evolution of average working hours throughout history has been influenced by

  • Labor movements
  • Technological advancements
  • Cultural norms

The increasing emphasis on work-life balance and adopting flexible schedules signal a shift towards prioritizing employee well-being and productivity in the modern workforce.

About Workstatus

At Workstatus, we are dedicated to helping organizations and individuals work smarter, not harder, with the help of the following features:

Workstatus provides valuable insights into work patterns, helping industries optimize their productivity and achieve a healthier work-life integration.

Workstatus caters to the following industries:

  • Accounting
  • Architects & Engineer
  • Consultant
  • Design
  • Healthcare
  • Landscaping
  • Real Estate
  • Agency
  • Attorney
  • Construction
  • Ecommerce
  • Janitorial services
  • Manufacturing
  • Software Development


Q: Have working hours changed over time?

A: Yes, historical data shows a gradual reduction in working hours over the past century, influenced by the following factors:

  • Labor movements
  • Legislation
  • Evolving workplace practices

Q: How many hours per day do people typically work?

A: People typically work around 8 hours per day. But working hours vary based on the following factors:

  • Country
  • Industry
  • Job type
  • Employment contracts

Q: What impact do long working hours have on health?

A: Long working hours can negatively impact health in the following ways:

  • Increased stress
  • Mental health issues
  • Fatigue
  • Reduced productivity

Furthermore, it can also lead to an increased risk of work-related injuries or accidents.

Q: Is there any app that can track the working hours of employees? 

A: Yes, Workstatus is an efficient app that can track the working hours of employees. With its user-friendly interface and robust features, Workstatus enables businesses to

All this contributes to efficient project management.

Discover the power of data in shaping optimal working hours

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Discover the power of data in shaping optimal working hours