There are many sets of words that we have heard about the extent of the ear from childhood, without thinking about it. For example, “The Chinese nation is the most industrious nation in the world.” I often ask myself: “Where does this conclusion come from?” Even if the “most” word is removed, is there any ethnic group that is “not hardworking”? Not hardworking, how can it survive and not be eliminated? With a frequently heard language, “was expelled from the ball”? Or, yes, they are hardworking, but the Chinese nation is hardworking. Well, there should be a concept of “quantity” that can be used for comparison.
Some people say that the Chinese nation has always been a nation that is hardworking and endless. However, such “hard work”, why not exchange for advanced systems and higher economic and technological levels? But I get the status of “being beaten” like we often hear. Therefore, this kind of hard work in history is at best a synonym for whitewashing backwardness, from politics to economy to technology. The “Four Ancient Inventions” of the Chinese nation can “get the hand”. Even after the high development of human society today, it has been repeated again and again. It’s really blushing!
Since there is “the most diligent” and “more diligent”, then hard work should be measurable. I have never found this quantitative concept in Chinese, and I am very confident. This is probably the case in many people’s minds: You see, in the history of the Chinese nation, I have not known how many natural disasters and man-made disasters have survived. Are you not working hard? But isn’t survival not the nature of all animals, including humans? Which nation does not survive like this? If a modern person, life is smooth, and has not suffered any hardships, can he say that he is “not hardworking”? If he is isolated on a desert island, he believes that he will be “hardworking” to the point where he will try his best to survive. From a social point of view, this kind of “hard work” is more important than his usual hard work. Is it commendable? We have heard such a story: Someone in the isolated state where no one can ask for help, the thigh is stuck by something, facing life and death, and is simply cutting off his leg with a knife to escape. Should people always show this “quality”? Absolutely impossible. Hardworking should not be narrowly understood as “survival” in a difficult environment. Nor can we limit “hard work” to heavy physical labor. “Industrious” means, in essence, work, which is relatively “casual”, “lazy”, and “doing nothing”.
The quantitative measure that best expresses the degree of “hard work” is probably to compare the average (year) working hours of employees in each country. Although the world has already implemented an eight-hour work system, this does not mean that each country, each employee works five days a week, and works eight hours a day. There are many people who are not working full time. Moreover, “going early and leaving early” or “going early and late” may become a fixed pattern in some countries, which is not written. Therefore, it is possible to see a big difference when actually counting the working hours of employees in various countries. By comparing the average working hours, you can really know which people are the hardest working people – you can’t boast yourself. Is there such data? Have.
Such data was found in 30 OECD databases, and the data is comprehensive. The 2008 statistics are listed below. In the list of the hard-working countries in the world, you can probably guess that the first place is South Korea, with an average of 2,357 hours of work per year, and 10% of Greece surpassing the second place. It is the well-deserved number one workaholic, the most diligent country. Here are the top ten:
annual working hours, statutory holidays, per capita GDP, per capita hourly GDP
South Korea 2,357 11 $27,939 $11.85
Greece 2,120 12 $29,361 $13.85
Czech Republic 1,992 12 $24,712 $12.45
Hungary 1,988 10 $19,329 $ 9.72
Poland 1,969 12 $17,625 $ 8.95
Mexico 1,893 14 $14,495 $ 7.66
Italy 1,802 12 $30,756 $17.07
USA 1,792 8 $46,716 $26.07Iceland
1,807 12 $36,770 $20.35
Japan 1,772 15 $34,099 $19.24
(The following important countries are not based on actual rankings)
Canada 1,727 10 $36,444 $21.10Australia
1,721 10 $35,677 $20.73
United Kingdom 1,653 8 $35,445 $21.44
France 1,542 13 $34,045 $22.08
Germany 1,432 8 $35,613 $24.87
The above statutory holidays refer to government-mandated holidays and employer regulations may vary. For example, the United States does not stipulate that employers must give employees at least these statutory holidays. About 25% of employees do not have vacations given by employers. Other countries may have similar situations or even more days than statutory holidays (for religious reasons), not listed in detail.
If we calculate this standard full-time working mode by working 5 days a week, 8 hours a day, 10 days a year, and assuming that the employees in this country are full-time employees, then the working hours per year should be 2008 hours. In fact, no country can be like this. There must be many people who are not full-time workers. For example, the United States will work full-time every week for more than 30 hours. Therefore, the average working time of a country’s employees exceeds 2,000 hours, which must mean that a considerable number of people work more than 8 hours a day, more than 5 days a week. Forbes, the US wealth magazine, once cited a 39-year-old civil servant of the Korean Ministry of Agriculture: every day from 8:30 am to 9:00 pm, 12 and a half hours of work (plus 4 hours to and from the workplace) 6 days a week, year after year, day after day work mode. This obviously does not meet the eight-hour working system recognized by modern society, but it is a very common phenomenon in Korea. Among the countries of the OECD, the French who have always been considered the most idle are not the last, and the Dutch are the most enviable of 1391 hours. The Japanese, who have always been considered to be the most industrious, are ranked 10th, behind the United States. This is a bit of a surprise to me.
In addition, as can be seen from the above table, working hours (“pay”) and per capita GDP (“income”) are not the same thing. This involves another concept, work efficiency. This of course has a great relationship with the level of development of countries. The last column of the above table is converted into GDP data for the average hourly contribution of employees in each country. It roughly reflects the efficiency of work and has exceeded the scope of “hard work”. This ranking is (without considering small countries, like Luxembourg, etc.):
United States ($26.07), Germany ($24.87), France ($22.08), United Kingdom ($21.44), Iceland ($20.35), Japan ($19.24), Italy ($17.07)
from the above data comparison, the United States leads. This also shows the high efficiency of the US economy. Among the production costs of US companies, labor costs are the highest, accounting for about 2/3. When the US economy encounters difficulties, in order to maintain employee productivity and company profits, the first thing American bosses consider is layoffs. I don’t see you. Recently, the Wall Street stock market has risen steadily (because the company’s profits have generally risen). When shareholders are rejoicing, the unemployment rate in the US labor market is also rising, and it is still in a recession. So, is this time the unemployed “not hardworking”? of course not. After all, this is not the time to dig a piece of land to plant some food, or to dig wild vegetables.