Manoj Rao bio photo

Manoj Rao

Your Average Common Man

Email Twitter Github

Annual Working Hours Per Worker

"The available evidence shows that, rather than working more than ever, workers
in many countries today work much less than in the past 150 years. There are
huge inequalities within and across countries, but substantial progress has been

Richer Countries Working Hours

"Countries like Cambodia (which is the country in the very top-left corner) or
Myanmar have some of the lowest GDP per capita but highest working hours. In
Cambodia the average worker puts in 2,456 hours each year, nearly 900 more hours
than in Switzerland (1,590 hours) at the bottom-right of the chart. The extra
900 hours for Cambodian workers means longer work days and many fewer days off."

Hours Reduce As Countries Become Richer

"People are able to work less when they work in more productive economies"

Technology Enables Productivity (Duh!)


Here’s the kicker :(

" ... people in poorer countries work so much more than in richer countries
shows that differences in prosperity are not due to differences in work ethic —
they are largely due to differences in circumstance and opportunity. As we ask
in another post, “what would have been the chances for Steve Jobs if he was born
in the Central African Republic?” No matter how hard he worked or how smart he
was, it is difficult to imagine that Steve Jobs would’ve been able to realize
his potential with such a steep mountain of inequality to climb.

We also see what the world misses out on when exceptionally talented people,
including all the brilliant but underprivileged people in today’s poorest
countries, don’t have the opportunity to realize their potential.

Finding ways to raise productivity is therefore not just key to increasing
production, but also to the reduction in working hours that is necessary for a
society to flourish."


Charlie Giattino, Esteban Ortiz-Ospina and Max Roser (2013) - “Working Hours”. Published online at Retrieved from: ‘’ [Online Resource]

My Podcast!

If you like topics such as this then please consider subscribing to my podcast. I talk to some of the stalwarts in tech and ask them what their favorite productivity hacks are:

Available on iTunes Podcast

Visit Void Star Podcast’s page on iTunes Podcast Portal. Please Click ‘Subscribe’, leave a comment.

Get it iTunes