Americans tend to work longer hours at work than other countries like Japan, Germany, and the UK
WalletHub recently compared 116 cities to see which cities had the strongest work ethic and was the "hardest working". They measured the employment rate along with the average hours put in between different workers to come up with their list.
San Francisco earned the number one spot on the list. Washington D.C. and New York City got number 4 and 5. Los Angeles took the number 12 spot. Riverside got the number 22 slot. Chula Vista sits at number 25 and San Diego at 45.
According to the data, Americans work 25% more hours than their counterparts in Europe.
Living and growing up in the "Land of Milk and Honey," we were taught to always work hard in order to reap the benefits of your labor. There's a possibility that this work-ethic could change with Millennials. Most millennials are more likely to be OK with working a flex schedule while focusing to complete a task rather than putting in hours for the day.
Over the past few decades, unions in the United States' private sector have declined. Back in the 1950s, about 1 in 3 workers were part of a union. Today, only about 7% of US workers belong to a union. When compared to a country like Germany, where a union (IG Metall) recently struck a deal with a few employers which would allow their members to only work a 28-hour week, instead of 35-hours.
Prior to 1938, many employers hesitated to have 8-hour days for their workers. Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 changed all that when it made standard the 8-hour day, Monday to Friday schedule, or as we call it, the 9 to 5 schedule.
The ideal amount of hours suggested at a job depends on the industry you're working in. Every person has a different physical and mental breaking point.
Do longer hours equal higher output at work?
Maybe. But longer hours usually result in workers who are more tired and more prone to making mistakes in the workplace. Some countries in Europe pointed out that productivity actually increases when the number of hours worked per day is decreased. In Sweden, nurses were happier and more productive when they tried working 6 hours instead of 8 hours.
When businesses lower the number of hours worked, they're also able to employ more workers as a result. In a world where the population is rising and jobs are becoming more automated, some feel that this formula works better as it spreads the work among more people. A shorter workday would also benefit working families who rely on daycare services for their children.