It's late-summer, peak "out of office" season, and a time when many of us question how (and how hard) we work. During the July heatwave, a survey found that more than half of Brits believe flexible working is the future.
And as blissful summer holidays make us dream of jobs with better work-life balance, it's also a time when some people may contemplate joining the UK's freelance workforce, which has been steadily growing since 2001 and now accounts for 15% of the population. Highly-skilled female freelancers are fuelling this boom, recent stats show.
So it's an especially interesting time to compare how many hours the average person in the UK works each week next to the average person in other countries.
According to data compiled by the International Labor Organization, the average UK working work clocks in at 36 hours – the same as in Austria, Canada, Finland, France, Israel, Sweden and Switzerland.
Only nine countries have shorter average working weeks than the UK, led by the Netherlands, where the average person works 32 hours a week.
Australia, New Zealand and Rwanda have average working weeks of 33 hours; people in Denmark and Norway work an average of 34 hours; and Belarus, Georgia and Germany have average working weeks of 35 hours.
The graphic below, created by RS Components, illustrates the extent to which weekly work hours vary from continent to continent. Countries in Europe appear in purple.
Of the 10 countries where people work the most hours every week, nine are in Asia. Qatar has the longest average working week of all (49 hours), followed by Myanmar (48), Mongolia (48), Bangladesh (47), Brunei (47) and Pakistan (47).
In both Ireland and the United States, people work an average of 37 hours every week - an hour more than in the UK. Europe's longest working week can be found in Montenegro, where people work an average of 43 hours.
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