Americans have popularized the “busy culture,” but according to a new survey, it’s French executives who are most employed.
Nearly four in 10 French business leaders admit to working intense, long hours with no regular breaks, well above the global average of 25% and the best figures in the US, UK and China, according to research by health insurer Bupa Global. French executives were also the most concerned about their individual job performance of all the countries surveyed. Concerns about their organizations’ ability to weather the current economic instability, along with a reluctance to work remotely compared to their global peers, contributed to their tendency to become workaholics, the study authors found.
“This combination of external economic pressures and a tendency to take on responsibilities could contribute to making French executives the most employed,” said Anthony Cabrelli, general manager of Bupa Global, which serves expatriates, executives and other high net worth individuals.
The findings might surprise some, in light of French policies and workplace lifestyles. Most blue-collar and service workers work less than 35 hours a week, and summer vacation can take up most of August. In 2017, France became the first European country to enact a “right to disconnect” law that requires organizations to ban emails, calls or other workplace intrusions after certain hours. The shift to remote working during the pandemic has led more countries to propose similar legislation. For years, French employment law has banned anyone from having lunch at their desk, though the law was suspended during the height of the pandemic.
According to the Bupa survey, which surveyed 2,439 high net worth individuals in eight regions in August and September, binge working was more common among executives who went to the office full-time than those who worked remotely.
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