Rome and Lisbon compete for the title of hardest-working capitals in Western
Europe, writes Delwyn Swingewood. Employees in these cities put in an average
of more than 1,800 hours work a year, dispelling the myth that Latin nations
care more about siestas than business. The next hardest working capital is
London, where employees average 1,787 working hours a year.
Anyone who values their leisure time should aim for a job in Berlin or
Copenhagen, where the average number of annual working hours are less than
1,700. The truly indolent should head for Paris, which is not just the laziest
capital in Europe, but also the laziest in the world. According to the 2003 UBS
Prices and Earnings Survey, the average Parisian puts in 1,561 days at work a
year. By comparison, Hong Kong lays claim to being the world’s most industrious
city, where the average number of hours worked per year is 2,938.
The survey provides a global overview of prices for goods and services,
wages and working hours from 70 cities around the world. It uses the ‘Big Mac
Index’ as a way of benchmarking purchasing power. The global average is 37
minutes’ work to afford a Big Mac. Irish luck means Dubliners only have to put
in 15 minutes to buy one of these delicacies. By comparison, industrious staff
in Lisbon have to labour for 33 minutes.