In 2022, the average working week for individuals aged 20 to 64 within the European Union stood at 37.5 hours, according to the EU’s statistical agency, Eurostat.
The report highlighted significant disparities amongst EU nations: Greece recorded the longest working week at 41 hours, followed by Poland (40.4), Romania and Bulgaria (both at 40.2 hours). In contrast, the Netherlands boasted the shortest week with 33.2 hours, succeeded by Germany (35.3) and Denmark (35.4).
These figures derive from the EU Labour Force Survey, encompassing both full-time and part-time employees. Typical working hours refer to the usual hours worked weekly in a primary job, excluding weeks affected by holidays, absences, or strikes.
Several factors might account for the variations in working hours across EU nations. These include job type, employment sector, company size, and a country’s cultural and traditional norms.
For instance, workers in certain sectors like construction and agriculture tend to have lengthier work hours than those in fields like education and healthcare. Similarly, employees in larger corporations usually experience shorter work hours compared to those in smaller enterprises.
Culture and tradition also play pivotal roles in shaping work hours. In countries like Greece and Italy, people often work longer, while in nations like the Netherlands and Denmark, shorter work hours are more customary.
It’s crucial to note that the average typical working week is just one method of assessing work hours. Other measures, such as actual worked hours and paid worked hours, can provide a more comprehensive view of EU working patterns.