Working 9 to 5 – is it your way to make a living? 6th December 2017


Just like brick-sized mobile phones and motorways without roadworks, the days of working standard office hours are long gone.

“Working 9 to 5, what a way to make a living,” trilled Dolly Parton in the 1980s film of the same name and it seems that more of us are being given a choice of when we work.

A new survey of 1,965 working adults has found that two thirds of British workers would prefer to start and end their working day earlier.

YouGov said that starting at 8am and finishing at 4pm was the most popular option, chosen by a quarter of respondents. Another 13 percent said they would prefer to work from 8.30am to 4.30pm while one-tenth plumped for 7am to 3pm.

It seems that age and working location were the biggest factors in people’s choices. Nearly one in five people aged 18 to 24 said they wanted to start work after 9am, compared with nine per cent of those aged 54 to 65.

More than a quarter of London workers also said they would like to start after 9am – which may be due to overcrowding on public transport - compared with 13 per cent in the North.

The latest data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) also reveals one in ten Britons believe they are “overemployed”, meaning that they work more hours than they want to.

We’re a curious bunch here at SW&A so we hit t’internet to find out how many hours are worked across the world. According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), us Brits are relatively fortunate. The average Briton works 1,674 hours a year, according to its statistics data for 2015 – that’s the equivalent of 32.2 hours per week.

That compares favourably with most of the other 37 countries for which it has data. The hardest working country of all? According to the OECD, it’s Mexico. The average citizen works 2,246 hours a year, or 43.2 hours a week. In second place is Costa Rica with South Korea, Greece and Chile completing the top five.

At the other end of the table is Germany, whose average worker chalks up 1,371 hours a year – or 26.4 hours a week. Also enjoying plenty of leisure time are residents of The Netherlands, Norway, Denmark and France – whose 35-hour working week is enshrined in law. C’est la vie!


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