Back To Career News

Stop Complaining About Being Overworked, Unless You Live in One of These 5 Countries

Americans may think they’re being overworked, but a new study shows that they’re just being a bunch of wimps compared to professionals in these five nations.

Americans may think they’re being overworked, but a new study shows that they’re just being a bunch of wimps compared to professionals in these five nations.

job stress

(Photo Credit: Habeeb Mohammed/Flickr)

The average American works 1,787 hours annually, according to the data collected in a study called the Better Life Index by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) that assessed the average work hours for 36 nations. America, with its standard (in theory) 40-hour work week, places 12th amongst the countries evaluated. Here is a list of the top five overworked nations, according to the study, in ascending order.

Do You Know What You're Worth?

5. Russian Federation – People in the Russian Federation work 1,981 hours a year.

4. Greece – People in Greece work 2,032 hours a year.

3. Chile – People in Chile work 2,047 hours a year.

2. Korea – People in Korea work 2,090 hours a year.

And, the country that works its citizens to the bone is…

1. Mexico – People in Mexico work an unbelievable 2,250 hours a year. Compare that to Americans who work an estimated 1,787 hours a year, and that’s a difference of 463 hours more a year.

Which countries work the least from the study? The Netherlands (1,379 hours), Germany (1,413 hours), and Norway (1,426 hours) rank as the top three countries whose citizens work the least amount of hours in a year. Must be nice, right?

Regardless of what nation you live and work in, overworking citizens is a global dilemma. To some degree, everyone around the world struggles with finding work-life balance because managing family and a career definitely isn’t a walk in the park.

Being overworked can wreak havoc on your health, too. The American Institute of Stress states that, “Increased levels of job stress […] have been demonstrated to be associated with increased rates of heart attack, hypertension, and other disorders,” not to mention result in more immediate effects like grogginess, insomnia, and loss in productivity.

For more information on how detrimental job stress is to your health and ways to cope with it, read this post.

Tell Us What You Think

Do you feel overworked and stressed out because of your job? What would you change about your job, if you had the chance? Share your thoughts on Twitter or in the comments section below.

Leah Arnold-Smeets
Read more from Leah

Leave a Reply

7 Comments on "Stop Complaining About Being Overworked, Unless You Live in One of These 5 Countries"

Notify of
Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted

You’re right!! Don’t complain about being overworked because these people have it worse!!! ONLY THE ONE PERSON WHO HAS IT WORSE IN THE WORLD CAN COMPLAIN!!!!! YOU’RE F****G CORRECT!!!!

Sarcasm. You’re an idiot.


According to the ILO, “Americans work 137 more hours per year than Japanese workers, 260 more hours per year than British workers, and 499 more hours per year than French workers.” in fact according to the OECD in Jan 13, 2015 your stats are bogus.
The above link shows Americans work more hours than countries you listed.


A wimp, how dare you! This article has been brought to you by over paid CEOs who want to play golf while their front line empoyees work 80 hr weeks.


As a laborer I was working on anywhere from 50-75 hours a week, and you could not just stop at 40 hrs. You forget most contries have laws in place that tell employers they can’t make there people work more then the set time if they don’t want to. Here in the U.S. that’s not true if you don’t work the set time, you can get fired; as well as, most countries have paid leave, and paid vacation. That’s not a law in the U.S. For the most part here if your not working, your not making money.


“People in Mexico work an unbelievable 2,250 hours a year”. Really? That works out to about 45 hours a week, if you get a two-week holiday each year (2250 hours divided by 50 weeks). A normal work week is supposed to be at least 40 hours. If you work just 5 hours more a week, what’s unbelievable about it? Are you hoping for free money? I have worked 15-hour days for months, years. That may have been excessive, but hardly unbelievable.


I can’t say whether it’s true Russians work a bit more hours annually compared to Americans. However, they are compensated by the fact their annual leave policy is WAY MORE generous than that of the latter! And many Russians I know do take holidays in large chunks and don’t have the fear they’d get booted upon returning home for doing such a thing!

michael beverly
Your report, while accurate in the (supposed to be) sense, is lacking in the real world sense. i work on average between 60 and 80 hours a week. I do it in hopes of advancing my life. Most people I know are in the 40-55 hours a week area, but quite a lot of people I know are working two and three jobs and still just barely getting by. At my average of 65 hours a week by 52 weeks thats 3120 hours a year and I smash all your hard working countries to pieces. Quite simply there are no… Read more »
What Am I Worth?

What your skills are worth in the job market is constantly changing.