What Countries Have the World’s Shortest Work Weeks?

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The majority of us have heard the saying “Work hard, play hard,” but in some parts of the world employees are doing more playing than anything else.
While American’s work an average of 38 hours a week, there are a few countries which have fewer hours and still make a decent amount of money. So what are the countries with the shortest work week? We checked out CNN and gathered information on five of them.


Not only is the Netherlands a beautiful place to live, but its four-day workweek is definitely a plus as well. The workforce averages around 29 hours a week with average annual wages at $47,000.

A Dutch law was passed in 2000 which stated a worker can lower their hours to part-time, while keeping their job and continuing to receive hourly pay and health care benefits.


Denmark averages 33 hours per week with estimated annual wages of $46,000.Their unemployment benefits go up to two years, and the Danish have flexible schedules that lure people in.


Norwegians work about 33 hours a week with average annual wages of $44,000. In fact, Norway’s labor laws are the most lenient since they provide workers a minimum of 21 paid vacation days.


Of course we know Ireland for its famous breweries and landscape, but that’s not all they are known for. The Irish work about 34 hours per week with average annual wages of $51,000. This drastically changed from the 44 hours they worked previously in 1983.


Germany works about 35 hours a week with average annual wages of $40,000. They actually encourage some employers to lower their hours in order to prevent layoffs. The plan seems to be working well, with the country’s current unemployment rate at five percent.

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