Work-Life Balance of US, France, Australia, UK, Compared

  • American expatriates are increasingly more discussing the variations in work-life steadiness around the globe. 
  • Parental depart, PTO days, and total workload are all subjects intriguing employees.
  • Insider in comparison the work-life steadiness of the United States, France, Australia, and the United Kingdom.

American citizens expatriates are wondering how work-life steadiness in the United States compares to different nations after transferring in another country and discovering massively other insurance policies on paid depart and dealing hours.

The subject is gaining traction on social media, the place customers like American in another country Brooke Laven are considering the global variations in how we paintings and reside. In a February TikTok, Laven expressed her surprise and dismay over the typical paid day off US employees obtain in comparison to full-timers in Australia, the place she is recently founded. 

Laven stated within the video she was once presented 4 weeks of PTO for each and every one year she labored at her Australia-based activity. In step with the United States Bureau of Hard work Statistics, the typical selection of paid holidays after three hundred and sixty five days was once 13 days in 2021.

“I knew American operating rights are dangerous, however I did not know the way dangerous till I were given my Australian full-time contract,” Laven stated within the video.

The clip triggered Insider to seem into how work-life steadiness in the United States compares to different evolved nations like the United Kingdom, France, and Australia. Here is what we discovered.  

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Aerial view of New York City

Alexander Spatari/Getty Pictures

At the entire, work-life steadiness is best possible in North American and Eu nations when in comparison to the remainder of the sector, however overworking continues to be an international worry, in keeping with a record through the UN’s Global Hard work Group. The record discovered that greater than a 3rd of all global employees are at the activity a minimum of 48 hours a week.

In the United States, workers labored greater than in the United Kingdom, France, and Australia at a median of one,750 hours in step with yr, the record discovered. Even if the usual full-time workweek is 40 hours, the typical US employee is clocking 400 hours extra yearly.

Some US firms — together with Basecamp, Panasonic, and ThredUP — need to minimize down on the ones hours through enforcing a four-day workweek. And remaining week, Rep. Mark Takano of California reintroduced a invoice in the United States Area that may take the nationwide 40-hour usual right down to a 32-hour workweek, Insider reported. 

The craze of “quiet quitting,” or opting for to not do greater than the indexed activity duties, has won traction with American employees as they are trying to stave off skilled burnout. It follows the Nice Resignation, which earned it is identify in 2021 after execs started quitting their jobs in droves to search out extra pleasant alternatives.

As for parental depart, American citizens are entitled to take 12 unpaid weeks off from paintings after they welcome a brand new kid beneath the Circle of relatives and Scientific Depart Act, and are assured to have activity coverage right through that length.


Skyline of Canary Wharf in London, England.

Getty Pictures

In a 2023 international work-life steadiness index through Forbes, the United Kingdom claimed 5 spots within the most sensible 25 towns with the most productive work-life steadiness.

The top-ranked town in the United Kingdom is Edinburgh, Scotland, at quantity 9, identified for its 28-day annual depart coverage, in keeping with the Forbes record. Edinburgh’s maternity depart gives no less than 39 weeks’ pay and three hundred and sixty five days of maternity depart in comparison to 3 months in the United States.

In a TikTok video, one American expat residing in London stated she’d moved to England for a greater work-life steadiness, however ended up “operating greater than she labored within the (US) for 40% much less pay.” Customers echoed her frustrations with the United Kingdom within the feedback.

“Transferring to London for a greater work-life steadiness is solely simple loopy! other folks transfer OUT of London for that. Excellent success although,” one TikToker wrote.

A pilot program in the United Kingdom noticed dozens of businesses take part on this planet’s biggest trial of the four-day workweek, and 90% of them stated they would not return to 5 days per week, in step with the Washington Put up.


Eiffel Tower in Paris, France

Alexander Spatari/Getty Pictures

Netflix’s “Emily in Paris” painted the image of past due begins, luxuriously lengthy meal breaks, and no paintings conversations at events — an outline that seems to be fairly misguided.

Although the Town of Gentle did not make it to the Forbes record, full-time employees in France get 30 days of annual depart, whilst moms can stand up to 26 weeks of maternity depart

Whilst French workers decrease work-related conversations outdoor of the administrative center, they do not display up past due within the day, à los angeles Emily. However as Marie Culleron, a 23-year-old bid mission supervisor who commutes to Paris day by day for paintings, identified, it is as much as the corporate’s coverage. She additionally highlighted that more moderen generations generally tend to have higher barriers.

“I am amongst those that assume you have to have a work-life steadiness,” Culleron informed Insider. “We simplest have one lifestyles and we mustn’t wish to spend it operating always, irrespective of whether or not this can be a pleasant activity.”

She persevered: “When you sign off, that is it. You are accomplished for the day. Social media can attest to other folks sharing the similar perspectives. Younger other folks refuse to let paintings immerse itself of their non-public lifestyles.”

However this mentality is a “double-edged sword” for corporations as a result of more youthful other folks don’t really feel as responsible to go away for a greater alternative if it gifts itself, Culleron added.

A lot of France additionally takes virtually all of August off. The Wall Boulevard Magazine reported in 2019 that part of all salaried workers in France had been on holiday right through the primary 3 weeks of August, bringing up information from the nationwide statistics company Insee.

David Achille, distribution director for sports activities newspaper L’Equipe, informed the Magazine on the time: “You name, no person solutions. You ship an electronic mail, no person solutions.”


Sydney, Australia

Vijay Anand/Getty Pictures

Australia had two of its largest towns making the highest 25, Melbourne and Sydney, respectively score 18 and 22, in keeping with the Forbes record. 

It discovered that Australians labored between 32 to 38 hours per week on moderate. They get 20 days of PTO, aside from financial institution vacations, and moms can obtain from 60 days to 16 weeks of maternity depart. 

Whilst Australia did not get to the highest 10, its neighbor, New Zealand ranked in 6th position, the place a full-time worker works 26 hours per week on moderate. 

About 20 organizations in Australia and New Zealand trialed the four-day paintings week for 6 months from August remaining yr. Senators sponsored the concept that and stated they must take a look at it for a yr, in addition to double up the volume of parental depart, in keeping with The Parent.

“The work-life steadiness is fantastic,” stated American TikToker Chris who now lives in Australia. He stated in a TikTok discussing the variations between the United States and Australia are his “absolute favourite speaking issues.”

“Within the States, I might take 4 weeks off to take a vacation and other folks could be like, ‘That is wonderful,'” he stated. “Australians would not bat an eye fixed in the event that they listen this as a result of lengthy vacations is sort of a factor right here. That is identical to a part of the norm, they understood that is the way it must be.”

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