According to popular prejudice, UK workers are work obsessed and spend too
many hours in the office, with not enough leisure time, while the French are
lazy, clock-watchers, ready to go on strike at a moment’s notice.
But all this could be pure myth, according to new research by EU statistical
It has released figures on the average time working people spend on daily
activities that challenge the image of the overworked UK employee.
On average, UK men logged an average five hours and 42 minutes a day in
gainful work or study. Frenchmen – supposedly living in the union utopia of a
35-hour week – logged slightly more at five hours, 44 minutes.
For women, the contrast was starker still. Women in the UK shun long working
hours in comparison with their Gallic sisters – registering only four hours and
six minutes per day, compared with four hours and 32 minutes by French women.