Want a quick way to ruin your Thursday? Have the number of hours you work and the number of vacation days handy, and then check out the BBC's nifty tool that lets you compare the number of hours you're working compared to other country's averages. Depressingly (for those of us in the United States), the BBC's Wesley Stephenson explains, "Workers in the US are given an average of nine days of paid leave and six paid public holidays," which is nice in theory but no one is really taking those 15 days. According to an ABC report from 2010, only 57 percent of Americans were taking their full vacation time. And in April, USA Today reported that 48 percent of Americans chose not to take half or more of their allotted vacation time in 2011.
With that in mind, here's what a 50-hour work week with 15 days of vacation looks like:
And before you pat yourself on the back for your strong work ethic, keep these words from an International Labor Organization expert in mind:
Generally speaking, long working hours are associated with lower productivity per hour. Workers are working very long hours to achieve a minimum level of output or to achieve some minimum level of wages because frankly they're not very productive.
To see the numerical horror of how much you're working, head on over to the BBC.
Image by Blaj Gabriel via Shutterstock
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.