Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Working late

Who said the French don't work long hours?! For even if it's true that the legal number of work hours per week amounts to 35, most people work much longer than that. Besides, to remain synchronized with the "the rest of the world", a lot of French companies agreed with their employees that they would continue to work 40 hours a week and would be granted 12 to 15 extra days of holidays as a compensation. Worldwide comparisons must then be made on a yearly basis, but I have been unable to find reliable figures... FYI, I took this photo last evening at La Défense.


  1. I think you work many more hours than that, Eric. :)

  2. And the early darkness of the season means daylight is only something seen through the windshield or a window from work. I've entered the vampire life of winter: I only come out at night.

  3. I like this photo - the perspective of the building and the gray-blue color of the sky.

    I should have worked in Paris. I worked more than 40 hours most of the time and no extra holidays. But, that's in the past, I'm retired now.

  4. Dang—I work at least 45 hours a week—and the extra 12 to 15 days that I don't get for it wouldn't even bring me up to the minimum days off granted to French workers. We could learn something from the French! Love the angle here, Eric.

  5. Nice photo! I am very blessed to be able to stay home with my children and teach them here, so my hubby is the one who works in our family. He has a 9 to 5 job and we are very thankful for it. There are some times that I miss working, mainly for the adult interaction, but I know that once the kids are gone, I can do that again, and for now, I wouldn't want to miss them growing up. Such a blessing to be here with them every day. (Okay, not every day is all blessing, but the hugs make up for it!)

  6. I'm with you, Jeff! When I'm not traveling, it's night when I arrive in the office, and night when I leave... And I don't even see daylight through the window, as my window gives view to a sort of covered patio ;-((

  7. Yes it's strange that France has this reputation for not working long hours. Here in the UK you'll find that most office workers don't work more than about 35-37 hours a week.

  8. It would be nice to live and work in France... :-)

    In our country (also a part of EU) we have an 40 hrs working week by law, most of the people (appox. 80%, almost everyone except those working in state/government owned/managed offices) work usually 50-55 hrs a week.
    The overtimes are not paid (eventhough law says it has to be paid), people cannot report officially more than 40 hrs work - which is given by internal procedures given by employers - and it´s not only about some locally owned companies - mostly the global ones (foreign investments).

    Breaching these internal procedures and reporting/requiring or approving paid overtimes means: you will loose your job almost immediately due to the fact you seriously breached the rules.

    Of course, no extra days of holidays as a compensation..., unfortunately. :-(

  9. Here in Brazil, we have a 44 work hours per week, by the law.
    And we have the same (nasty) problem that "... Em" reported: most of the people works much more than 44 h/w, but they can't complain, because they are affraid of loosing their jobs. Mostly, they only go for these payment, when they are already unemployed.
    I see it's a global social issue.

    Je vous embrasse, Eric!