An average Pole was working for 1,963 hours in 2015. According to the report of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), that’s the highest amount in the last six years.

In comparison, in 2005 an average Pole was at work for 1,994 hours, however by 2013 the number of hours worked dropped to 1,918.

Tired people fall asleep in strange places

Tired people fall asleep in strange places

Busy as a bee

The report shows that Poles are one of the busiest nations of the world. In the ranking made by OECD Poland occupies 7th place amid 38 countries studied. Among nations working less than Poles there are Czechs (1,779 hours per year), Slovaks (1,754), the French (1,482), Norwegians (1,424) and the Dutchmen (1,419). The most hard-working people seem to live in Mexico, working 2,246 hours per year. Other busy nations include: Koreans, Chileans, Russians, Greeks and people of Costa Rica.

OECD stresses that the working time rarely translates into workers’ efficiency, and companies usually do not have the tools with which they could measure their employees’ work effectiveness.

That is why we are rarely held accountable for our results, but usually according to our working time. Sometimes we are simply bored at work, especially when our duties do not fully correspond to our competence, predispositions, interests, – explains Anna Węgrzyn, expert of BPSC (company providing solutions supporting HR management). – In other situations, when requirements exceed our abilities, the accompanying stress results in decrease in efficiency as well. Everyone loses here: employers, for every hour of work has to be paid for, and employees, because they are at work longer than they should, – added the expert.

According to Węgrzyn the problem of many companies is that they do not treat employees as their most precious capital. She notes that the companies very often have no knowledge of strengths of their employees, their competence and qualifications.

If you are suitable for the position, you are well aware of your development path, you are working efficiently and don’t run away from more difficult tasks. Otherwise, all the energy is wasted on trying, pointlessly, – notes Węgrzyn.

Working less than our parents

The study shows that on each of the 252 working days in the whole year, Poles were working for less than eight hours.

In theory, we are working less than our parents, who had to come to work on Saturdays as well. Today hardly anyone remembers that in communist times, the average working week had six days, and not five, as it is now. It was not until 1981, when a regulation was introduced that constituted every second Saturday a day off, – points out Węgrzyn.

However, it turns out that in practice Poles work much more intensively and in a more demanding environment than it used to be in our parents’ times. The expert warns that the risk of overworking and psychosocial costs related to it are therefore higher – the overwhelming rat race can lead to depressions and cause the so-called burnout effect.


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