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The Top 8 Hardest Working Countries in 2024

Which country do you think is the hardest working in the world? Many would guess the most successful ones, like the USA, Russia, or China. However, none of these countries is the most hardworking in the world. However, they have respectable positions.

There are 195 countries in the world currently. Every day, billions of workers from these countries contribute to local and global economic development. However, the work ethics in these countries aren’t similar, and some work harder than others.

This article will educate you on some of the hardest-working countries in the world. You’ll understand what they are and why they’re on the list.

The Hardest Working Countries in the World

Compiling a list of the hardest-working countries is hard as almost all countries have dedicated workers willing to work hard to take it to greater heights. Also, regulations differ in different countries, which employers and workers mustn’t disrespect.

This section will educate you on the OECD countries that work the hardest annually. OECD means the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and entails 38 member countries. These countries have a collective GDP of 60% of the world’s global. It indirectly means that the hard work in these countries is more productive.

That said, here are some of the hardest-working countries in 2024.

1. Mexico

Mexico

Mexico is the country with the hardest-working people in the world. The average number of working hours for individuals in the country is 2,127.8. Around 27% of people in the country also work more than 50 hours per week, among the highest. This week includes six days, and the 7th is for rest and pay.

Mexican workers can work day and night shifts. Day shifts can be 14 hours long, from 6 am to 8 pm. Night shifts can be 10 hours long, and the legal work time is 8 pm to 6 am. You can also work mixed shifts, which entails 7½ of the day shift, and 3½ hours of the night shift.

Mexicans work hard because they believe it is the key to success. The regulated maximum amount of weekly work time in the country is 48 hours, but the craving for more pay makes many of their workers work more time.

2. Costa Rica

Costa rica

Costa Rica is a relatively tiny company on the North American continent. It isn’t among the richest, with a GDP of around $85 billion. However, the people of Costa Rica are very hardworking, and the average amount they work annually is 2,073 hours.

The regulated working hours for Costa Rican workers are also 48 hours, like in Mexico, but it falls short in the number of citizens who work 50 hours or more weekly. However, it is still among the countries with one of the highest numbers of people working long hours weekly.

Costa Ricans have daylight working time, from 5 am to 7 pm, and night shifts, between 7 pm and 5 am. Workers usually don’t work for more than 10 hours at a stretch. The average pay for workers in Costa Rica is around 283,000 CRC-565,900 CRC, which equates to $500-$1,000.

3. Chile

Chile

Chile is the world’s closest country to Antarctica. It has a population of around 20 million people. The average Chilean works for 1,915.6 hours annually, and 7.7% of its people work more than 50 hours weekly.

While this stat isn’t over the board compared to the other countries on this list, Chile is here mainly because of the average number of hours worked. Even though only a comparatively few work over 50 hours, the standard work time is around 45 hours–one of the longest in the world.

However, the Chilean government has passed a reform bill to reduce the work week to 40 by the end of 2028. This reform is to make the country more accommodating to investors, as it’s one of the fastest-growing economies in the world. Chilean workers earn an average of around 6,524 CLP per hour (7.48), or 982,767 CLP (1127.866) monthly.

4. South Korea

South Korea

South Korea is statistically the hardest-working Asian country. It has an average annual work hour of around 1,915 hours. 19.7% of their citizens also work 50+ hours per week.

You can work up to 52 hours in South Korea, 40 hours regular, and 12 hours overtime. However, the employer must pay an extra 1.5x regular pay. The standard working day in Korea starts at 9 am and ends at 6 pm.

South Korean work ethics is one of the reasons why it has one of the biggest economies in the world. With the government labor reforms, there’s no doubt that the country will continue to soar higher in the global rankings.

5. Greece

Greece
Charming sunset view of traditional Greek village Oia on Santorini island in Greece.

Greece, the cradle of Western civilization, is among the countries where its workers work the hardest. It has 4.5 percent of workers working 50 hours per week and an average annual work hours of 1,872, putting it in the European top two.

Despite having a relatively low number of workers working 50 hours per week, the average work hours is 42 hours–higher than Europe’s average of 40. Part of the reason the Greeks worked that long is because of the economy that it has faced recently. However, its worker’s work ethic is paying off, and the country’s GDP is rising.

6. Romania

Romania

Romania has a 1,838 average annual work, and a few people work 50+ hours annually. However, the average Romanian works 40 hours weekly. The average work hours for the country have been on the increase in recent years, and the figure is expected to increase.

The Romanian work environment is friendly, explaining why workers put in their best always. It doesn’t have an abundant population of international workers, but it’s gradually becoming a top option for immigrants. The minimum wage for Romanian workers in 2023 is around $725.76.

7. Poland

Poland

The average workweek for Polish workers is 40 hours, and they work around 1,830 annually. Also, over 10% of their workforce works 50+ hours per week. Poland’s work laws are solid as it believes workers must have a good balance of work and free time to be optimally productive.

The country’s work day is 8 hours, five days a week, from 8 am-4 pm or 9 am-5 pm. Polish workers pocket around $21,864 annually, which isn’t bad for the standard of living.

8. United States

Hawaii in the United States

Many people will guess the US as the hardest working country if asked. While they aren’t far from the top, the United States is 8th on the list of OECD hardest working countries, and their reasons aren’t far-fetched.

Rather than work for lengthy, unproductive hours, the US is one of those states that believes that productive work is more important. The average worker in the US works for an average of 1,892 hours annually or around 36.4 hours weekly. Workers in the US earn an average salary of $74,738 annually, or $6,228 monthly.

The Most Diligent Countries by Average Hours Worked

Aside from the OECD stat of the highest working countries in the world, other non-OECD countries work incredibly hard, sometimes even better than OECD states. Usually, the number of hours that the workers of these countries put in weekly is used to grade them.

Tanzania is the country with the highest number of weekly hours worked by employees, with 54, and following closely behind are Bangladesh and Senegal, with 51. Gambia is 4th with 50, and Cambodia, Liberia, Pakistan, and Qatar tied for 5th with 49. Bhutan and Eswatini complete the top ten, with 48 hours each.

All these countries have hardworking employees, but most are developing or undeveloped countries. Therefore, they prove that long hours don’t necessarily equate to success. A country needs hard work and labor reform to accomplish maximum success.

Conclusion

That concludes the list of the hardest-working countries in the world. While some of these countries are not among the best in the world yet, they rank among those with the fastest-growing economies, thanks to their citizens’ work ethic.

Mexico is the country that works the hardest on the American continent, followed by Costa Rica. Greece has the hardest work ethic on the European continent, and South Korean workers work the hardest on the Asian continent. Africa has Tanzania, and Australia is an honorable mention on the Australasian continent.

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