I noticed in Yahoo Finance today that this got reported. Americans (we aren't saying which variety)....are working more hours than Europeans. The same study....conducted by economists at Arizona State University, Goethe University of Frankfurt, and McMaster University of Ontario....came to say that the average guy in Europe works 19-percent less than an American.
All of that equals 258 fewer hours a year.....per person.
The same study even indicated fewer vacation days taken by the Americans.
For years, I've observed this phenomenon and just scratched my head.
What do Germans do with the extra time? That's another part of this story but left out by the university research team.
Germans can be divided up into three groups on this 'free' time deal:
1. Sports. I would take a guess that 10-percent of the people in my village....from age 30 to 65....have some sport deal built into their week (swimming, mountain-biking, workouts, tennis, soccer, etc).
2. Gardening and landscaping. I'd take a guess that a quarter of the population have some continuing project involving their garden or renovation for their house.
3. Arts, culture, and 'clubs'. A lot of Germans still dabble in painting, or language classes, or participate with their 'club'.
So, is there a negative to this? A factory that has 3,000 employees in Germany....will take longer to build a product than in the US. You can say it's unfair competition for the Germans because they can't produce the product at the same price. But then you look at quality, and the German product will be better made than the US product in most cases. Why the better quality? The better lifestyle, less stress, less chaos, and happier prospective on life.
If you gave the American less hours and same pay? I'm not sure it'd work. Americans would probably go and find a second part-time job, or find something to get themselves into trouble (an affair, dangerous sport, etc).
Is it this way all over Europe? The research team didn't really say that. It might be interesting to compare the Germans against the Greeks, or the French against the Brits. We might find some strange differences between the various cultures.
So the bottom line? Huns, the German, is definitely working less than Larry, the American.