All you have to do is work more to earn more and be happier, right? That's not true everywhere, according to a ranking that evaluates work/life balance in more than 130 countries around the world.
According to research conducted by Amerisleep, six of the ten countries with the best work-life balance are in Europe (Austria, Denmark, France, Iceland, Portugal, Sweden) while the ten "hardest working" countries are in Asia, Africa and America (North and South).
With the exception of the United States, the countries where people work the most hours per week do not make the list of the 100 countries with the highest GDP. This finding is consistent with previous research by the OECD, which found that taking more time off work does not necessarily mean reduced output.
"On the contrary, Europe has some of the most productive countries in terms of GDP per hour of work," notes the Amerisleep study.
The survey also looked at the number of annual or public vacations (i.e., days not worked) per country. Burma and Iran take the lead, with 61 days and 27 days respectively.
In search of some answers to the highly philosophical question of whether money makes people happy, the authors of the report analyzed the relationship between the GDP of the 20 countries with the best work-life balance and the level of well-being of their inhabitants.
The bottom line is that even with a high GDP, countries like Russia and Iran have low well-being scores. Conversely, the inhabitants of Iceland, Luxembourg and Lithuania seem to lead a happy life without much wealth, notably because work/life balance is more closely maintained.