HR Strange But True!
May 06, 2004

We all know that HR is never dull, but sometimes it can get downright strange...

Look out, mate

OK, multiple choice time. Who works harder:

  1. Americans
  2. Japanese
  3. Australians

It's got to be the Americans, right? Then again, the Japanese have their own reputation for being hard workers. But it can't be the Australians.

It can be, and it is, according to a new book, "How Australians Compare."

Co-author Ross Gittins wrote recently in the Sydney Morning Herald that "Australians are now the hardest workers in the developed world. Hard to believe, but true."

The book, which compiles facts and figures showing how Australians stack up against the rest of the world in a variety of categories, reports that the Aussies now spend on average 1,855 hours in the workplace every year. Americans put in an average of 1,835 hours annually, while the Japanese work 1,821 hours.

Australians attained what Gittins called the "doubtful honor" of being the hardest working developed nation not because they're putting in extra hours--in fact, they're putting slightly fewer than they used to--but because other industrialized countries are making bigger cuts in their workweeks. Both Australian and American workers have, on average, 10 paid holidays per year, which puts them at the bottom of the 18 countries surveyed.

By the way, the book also debunks the Australians' reputation for heavy drinking. Figures show their alcohol consumption has dropped dramatically since 1980. So much for the laid-back Australian lifestyle.

Source: Reuters, via Yahoo!

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