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Want a '30-hour work week'? Move to Paris (or Lyon)
Lunchtime in Paris? Photo: reynermedia/Flickr

Want a '30-hour work week'? Move to Paris (or Lyon)

Published on: 27 May 2016 15:14 CET

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French workers have faced more than their fair share of criticism, from an American CEO saying all they do is talk to Swiss recruitment firms calling them lazy.

Some of this judgment undoubtedly stems from the infamous French 35-hour work week, and a new study by Swiss bank UBS certainly doesn't help their case. 

The study revealed that workers in Paris and Lyon put it the least amount of hours out of 71 major cities around the globe. 

The average Parisian work week is 30 hours and 50 minutes, the study found, or about 1,605 hours per year. 

Next on the list is the country's gastronomic capital of Lyon, with the Lyonnais working just slightly longer than the Parisians: 31 hours and 22 minutes per week on average. 

So how does France compare?

France falls somewhat in line with the rest of Europe, where all of the ten least-working cities are located (see full list below). 

The average of all 71 cities is 36 hours and 23 minutes, which is also the exact average weekly shift in New York.

London’s average work week is below the average at 33 hours and 30 minutes per week.

To get a balanced representation of society, UBS looked at 14 different professions, taking into account the average hours worked per year as well as national and paid holidays.

The study didn't take any kind of productivity into account. 

France's work habits

So perhaps it's just that the French are extremely effective. It’s true that France is very serious about maintaining a proper work-life balance.

Indeed, one French think tank has even suggested that all businesses should have designated napping rooms to avoid burnout and boost productivity. 

And France also advocates for its workers' "right to disconnect", so employees who don't check emails on their time off shouldn't be penalized. 

Who works the longest hours?

If you want to find those who work the most, you need to get out of Europe and look toward Asia. Of the cities that work the greatest number of hours, Asia dominates, with seven cities in the top ten. 

Hong Kong's work week is nearly 20 hours longer than that of Paris. 

Check out the top ten cities on both ends of the spectrum below. 

READ ALSO: Ten reasons why France is a great place to work

By Katie Warren

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