How Many Hours Should You Work Per Week

Profile photo of Vinay Kachhara - | 45 comments
Man showing work hours in a week on clock

How many hours should you work per week? Should it be 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, or 60? This question has been  talked about a lot in recent years.

Should you have a three-day workweek, or does a 5-day workweek work fine for you? How many work hours do you prefer in a day?

Another related question is whether it is better to work from office or work from home!

I know these questions may not matter for some people, especially for those who are workaholics or the Type A personalities.

Such people are always hungry for more work and they would keep working from wherever they are located and whenever they can!

Some people who probably have less liabilities may want to work less, whereas those who need to earn more might work even for extra hours.

It eventually comes to what makes you content and happy. Since the concept of happiness is different for everyone, the choice of work hours in a day would vary from person to person.

However, seriously, the amount of hours that you spend on your work and its timings affects your life and your productivity too.

If you’re going to work non-stop without a break or regularly extend it into the nights, you may have difficulty dealing with the work stress, suffer from weariness of your mind and body, and not be able to give full time to your family or loved ones.

So, how do you decide what is right for you?

Here’s what you need to do. First review the terms that you use, see what’s going around in the world, what are the things that people suggest, and choose the work schedule that works best for you.

DO READ: 6 Time Saving Tips To Avoid Being Overworked

What are Work Hours

Work hours are the business hours, which are the hours of the day that you spend in doing work or business.

Basically, work hours are used in an organization so that not only the organizational or business work gets done, but the worker also gets to balance their responsibilities at work and home, and are able to strike a balance between work and life.

So, setting the work hours in a day is all about creating the right work-life balance, right? And why not, as it is really very important.

To facilitate the work-life balance, organizations and countries have working time regulations that decide the working hours for a worker in a day.

Generally, nowadays most organizations and countries follow an 8-hour workday schedule, or a 9 to 5 job.

But did you know that once most countries, including America, had more than 10-hour workdays?

If you view this Wikipedia article, you’ll come to know that the working hours and work timings vary in countries across the world, and these change as per the geographic conditions of the place and the religious requirements.

Man working at flexible work hours in a week

Flexible Work Hours

However, the work hours, instead of being fixed, can be flexible to facilitate the work-life balance in a better way.

Well, even if you’re self-employed, it helps if you define your working hours.

Most of those who work from home follow flexible work hours. They do not have a fixed working time, unless they enforce one on themselves.

It’s a lifestyle choice made by employees too. Many companies allow their workers to opt for flexible hours for either working in the company office or from their own homes.

One good thing that work-from-home does is lessens the employee’s commute time and trouble. Of course, how can you forget this factor when there are people who spend up to 3-4 hours commuting only!

Importantly enough, flexible hours or working from home even reduces the traffic during rush hours for workers.

This news story tells you about a study that shows employees working at flexible hours are generally happier.

Now that you know what work hours are, how many hours would you work per week?

MUST READ: How To Lead A Good Life And Be Happy

What is a Workweek

Simple. A workweek is the total number of hours or days regularly worked in a week.

There are seven days in a week, but you generally work for 5 or 6 days per week. Actually, there used to be 6-day workweek until the early 20th century, when America started the trend of 5-day workweek.

Some companies and countries around the world still follow the 6-day workweek.

Did you know that once the French had ten-day weeks and a 9-day workweek? Thankfully, that did not pick up as a trend.

5-day workweek was started to cater to the Jewish and Christian workers. They wanted holidays on Saturday and Sunday respectively, for Sabbath, the day for rest and worship.

Muslims have their rest day on Friday, and most Muslim countries have weekends on Thursday-Friday or Friday-Saturday, as per the recent change to go with the rest of the world.

If you work for 8 hours a day and follow a 5-day workweek, then you work for 40 work week hours. In case you have a 6-day workweek, it becomes 48 work hours in a week.

Many countries including the European Union, Britain, and Singapore, presently sets the maximum weekly working hours as 48 hours. The French have a 35-hour workweek.

Of course, the workers have a choice to work extra and the other sectors can have their own specific work time regulations.

Less Work Days And Work Hours Per Week

Up until the 20th century, companies and industries lured people into working for more hours. The temptation was that they would earn more money and be able to buy more commodities.

The possession of commodities and money was linked to achieving happiness in life.

Therefore, people preferred to work more, but eventually had little time for their families or even for their own selves.

The concept of personal development was based on only one criterion – professional development. Isn’t this what most people still try to follow?

Most people are still clueless what really brings happiness into their life. Money and commodities are not the only factors, obviously.

It is important that you spend quality time with your family and have time for working towards your personal growth.

Unless you learn to understand yourself, be content, and control your mind, you cannot achieve real and long-term happiness.

A simplistic lifestyle and a minimalistic approach to life will certainly help you bring more happiness to your life.

Today, there is a gradual decrease in the number of average working hours per week, mostly in the developed countries.

The average hours worked in a week is 33 in the U.S., 30 in France, 27 in Netherlands, and 25.6 in Germany.

The factors that facilitated the lowering of average working hours and raised the standard of living are:

  • Increased use of technology at work
  • Increase participation of women as income earners in the family
  • Lesser number of children, so fewer hours are needed to support children
  • More paid leave days

You can earn more if you and your spouse, both earn and work at flexible hours or work from home. In this way, you save more while working for less hours and are more with the family to gain more happiness.

If you work for lesser days per week, you eventually save the world from more problems.

There will be lower rate of unemployment, lower carbon emissions, higher levels of well-being, and lower conflicts because of more quality time for family and self.

But it’s sad that some people need to work more, else they don’t earn enough and can’t support their families.

A working man with family

Four-day Workweek

A 4-day workweek is being followed in various states of America. Many schools extend their daily timings and government offices adopt the 10-work-hour day from Monday to Thursday, so as to remain off for a 3-day long weekend, including Friday.

This way, they not only save on the trouble of commuting and enjoy an extra holiday, but also save on the costs of electricity and gasoline.

Three-day Workweek

Some of the world’s top business leaders like Carlos Slim and Richard Branson have come up with a 3-day workweek model.

In this model, employees can work for 11 hours a day for three days and then have a four-day long weekend!

Would you be more productive and happier if you worked for only three days a week?

Well, this model may not be practical at many places and in many countries.

But if I were a salaried employee and got an offer from an organization with this work week hour model, I’ll just go for it!

In the end, what a company eventually wants is better productivity in terms of quality and speed. Of course, this is directly proportional to the employee’s productivity.

And, employees will be more productive when they are happier. Some would say employees are more productive when they’re pressurized and controlled. What do you say?

The 4-Hour Workweek And 2-Hour Workday

Lastly, how can we not include the 2007 bestseller self-help book by Timothy Ferriss, “The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich.

In his book, Tim emphasizes on lifestyle development by applying the Pareto principle or the 80-20 rule and company automation.

He promotes telecommuting and outsourcing of work to free up personal time.

Though this book inspired many entrepreneurs, but one entrepreneur and blogger launched his own course called “The 2-Hour Workday” to achieve a laptop lifestyle and freedom in life.

He is Yaro Starak and you can read more about his course in his interview on Aha!NOW.

How Many Hours Should You Work Per Week

Here I’m wrapping up this post by asking you this question.

What is your sweet spot for the work week hours? How much work is really good enough for you to lead a happy life?

I’d echo what most people recommend: at the most a 40-hour workweek, or working for 8 hours a day for 5 days a week for a good work-life balance.

It was during the Industrial revolution in Britain that people began demanding an 8-hour workday.  Their slogan was 8 hours for work, 8 hours for recreation, 8 hours for rest. That sums it up.

Do you want to work harder or smarter? Remember that you may work for fewer hours but earn even more if you make smart work choices and adopt the right methods or the right lifestyle.

Read this post, where Chris demonstrates using interesting illustrations that if you work for 35 hours a week, you can be most productive.

Anything above 40 work week hours will not help much if you’re a family person and consider happiness to be an all-round concept, rather than just depending on money or your income. This post attests the suggestion.

It’s not about how much you can work, it’s about how many hours you should put in to your work. Of course, you can slog for 60+ hours a week, but you should not.

I know you would say some people have to because they have no other option. Even then, such a practice can’t work for long and becomes counterproductive after sometime.

It’s wise to try to lessen your expenses, than to reduce your happiness by working for extra long hours.

I’ve special concern for bloggers, Internet marketers, and all those who work-from-home, because I’m one of them.

Most of us tend to cross the limit and work endlessly to be successful and earn more money.

We all need to really think and define how many hours we need to work per day and per week. We need to make sure that we give enough time to our family, our health, and for our personal growth.

This is because your aim of life is not to have bounty full of money, but boundless happiness.

Share Your Thoughts:

What are your work hours per day? How many days per week do you work? Have you given flexible work hours and work-from-home a chance? What was your experience and result? Do you believe less work can eventually bring you more happiness?

Photo Credit: FreeDigitalPhotos



Last Updated on: August 26th, 2014


Profile photo of Vinay Kachhara
Vinay Kachhara is a writer, designer, blogger, WordPress expert, teacher, and also considers himself as a lover and student of life. He has academic degrees in Education and Psychology, and presently manages Aha!NOW.

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45 Comments - Read and share thoughts

  1. Kumar Gauraw

    August 26, 2014 at 1:04 am

    Hi Vinay,

    This is a very relevant topic for majority of human population around the world. 40 hours a week is a pretty standard work hour in USA and majority of us follow this schedule.

    It works great, provides work-life balance and all that.

    However, I truly believe in the fact that if you love what you do, you never work a day in your life.

    Whether I undertake a client assignment on an IT project or I take a web development project or I build my network marketing business, I don’t define my work hours. I get up at 5:30 in the morning and work till my body says it needs some rest 🙂

    I remember a few years ago a friend asked me, “So, Kumar! How many days in a week you are a businessman and how many days you are my friend?”

    It was a trick question and my answer was, “Well, How many hours in a day are you a husband and how many hours you are not? How many hours you are a father to your child and how many hours you are not?”

    My friend had no answer.

    My business is my baby and I don’t want to define how many hours I give to it. My philosophy is, you give whatever it takes to grow your baby and you don’t define hours as a duty because duty is not fun.

    I enjoy my work, I enjoy building my businesses and I enjoy helping people. I enjoy being with my family and as much a possible, I involve them in my endeavors so instead of feeling left out, they feel engaged and they help me where they can 🙂

    That’s the way I want to define my work hours and I prefer to keep it that way 🙂

    Thank you for this wonderful post and starting an interesting discussion!

    Regards,
    Kumar

    • Profile photo of Vinay Kachhara

      Vinay Kachhara

      August 26, 2014 at 11:17 am

      Hi Kumar,

      Nothing can be more true than what you wrote – if you love what you do, you never work a day in your life. Absolutely, and I totally agree with it.

      So, in this case whenever you go for work, you probably will enjoy it and never feel stressed or burdened. However, the dangers are that you may take it too far. You might become in love with your work far too much than your family or your ownself. Then eventually, your work becomes your priority as that becomes your first love, and the family or your own health takes a back seat.

      It’s great to know that you love and enjoy your work so much. But what I wanted to convey is that if you don’t define the boundaries or your work hours, you may not realize but you will eat up or encroach your family time or me time just to complete your work, which becomes a passion for you, or for some people it becomes an obsession.

      There’s nothing wrong with having a passion in life, in fact, that is very good and necessary too. But if you work till the point of exhaustion, it might mean that you already have done harm to yourself.

      I worked at a place which my boss said was her baby. She became so involved in it that she neglected her own real baby. Some people really get too far when they are passionate with the work they do. Of course, my boss regretted not paying much attention to and giving not much time to her son. Now what all she could do was ‘damage control’.

      I like your philosophy of growing your business as your baby and not define hours as a duty, as far as your family doesn’t miss you, you take care of your health, and you take out time to grow yourself to bring happiness into your life.

      I’m sure you’re already doing all this and you’re indeed a very helpful person by the account of what you’ve mentioned in the comment. However, I still wrote down my thoughts so that it might help those who read our conversation and so they check out their own work life if they are doing the right things.

      Thanks for your wonderful comment and for sharing your thoughts about your concept of work hours and how you go about it. I wish you all the success in all the work you do.

      Take care and have a great time! 🙂

  2. Balroop Singh

    August 26, 2014 at 1:42 am

    Hi Vinay,

    You have raised a very relevant question and I read with great interest all kinds of people you have mentioned and all the possible hours one can work! Very interesting! You have yourself suggested a good answer by saying ‘It eventually comes to what makes you content and happy.’ I agree with this but would like to ask whether you consider the time women devote to their home [- cooking, tidying up, looking after the children and the elderly members of the house, if any, and myriad other odd jobs] -hours of work?

    While in the west men share the chores to make a home work, women have to work 24/7, in many countries, without any mention anywhere! It is high time we consider working at home too as professional work! And also consider giving them the same break which companies give – with full pay!!

    Thanks for sharing a well thought out post!! Have a nice day!

    • Profile photo of Vinay Kachhara

      Vinay Kachhara

      August 26, 2014 at 11:52 am

      Hi Balroop,

      I’m glad you found the information in the post interesting. Actually, sometimes your concept of being content and happy may not be very realistic or right, so you need to be careful on that part.

      Basically your work hours are the time you spend earning your livelihood, or at least this article was only about working in companies or working for your own business. Whatever you do for your family doesn’t count as paid work because that is ultimately your (both parents) responsibility. However, I agree that men should share the home chores and not put it all on the women. House work is equally challenging and women should get a credit for that as an important job!

      I agree that women in many countries do not get a fair share of credit and praise for all the hard work they do. It’s completely wrong to think that their contribution is not important just because their work doesn’t bring money. Actually husband and wife have an assumed partnership declaration in mutual understanding that the husband takes care of one thing, and the wife takes care of the other – so they distribute their work for better management of home and its affairs.

      I think it’s a great suggestion that homemaker wives should get full pay and benefits as those working in companies do..hmm.. who’d give the paycheck..umm.. then the husband becomes your boss.. in that scenario, any parent would only do any housework or look after the children or members only if they get paid. Things can get nasty then! What are your thoughts? 😉

      But I’m sure in many families the husband and wife share the income and take combined financial decisions so having the question of pay should not arise. But in societies and communities where women do feel insecure and are not treated well, I think a personal financial standing can give them confidence and power to fight their rights. In that case, may be there should be a legal binding for the husband to contribute a share of income to the personal bank account of the wife, what do you think?

      Nice discussion, take care!

      • Balroop Singh

        August 27, 2014 at 12:53 am

        That was my purpose of mentioning this particular point Vinay, why shouldn’t working at home be considered a work equivalent to working in companies?
        Why would things become nasty? Do they become so when one works in a company? It only happens when the work is not done well!
        What credit do you have in mind for those who do so much for the family and still are looked down upon as non-working?
        I know it is just lip service or you can call it lip sympathy…going on for ages!
        Vinay, we need to write one full article to answer these and a lot more questions!! Have a nice day!

        • Profile photo of Vinay Kachhara

          Vinay Kachhara

          August 27, 2014 at 8:23 am

          Balroop, I understand your concerns that the hard work of women as homemakers go unnoticed or unappreciated, but the question is how and in what terms would you want taking care of home and family to be equivalent to working in the companies?

          In aspects of working hours, leave, promotions, or a getting a paycheck?

          In my comment reply, I said things will get nasty if you start calculating, equating, and trading the services you do for your home and family in terms of money or other corporate perks. It will create lots of many other issues. I also raised a question – who’ll pay you the check, the husband?

          I’d say the solution lies in educating the husband to understand and value the efforts of the wife and credit it with recognition, respect, rights, love, care, treating at par, sharing the salary as equals, because marriage is a shared partnership or team work on equal terms – you take on different tasks or roles but reap the rewards together.

          As far as work hours are concerned, it is truly said that parenting is a thankless job, and that’s one aspect where there can be no work related restrictions. But if the husband can’t be thankful, then he needs some counselling. You’re right, I think this topic deserves a post from both the husband and wife’s perspectives.

          Thanks for the suggestions, sharing your thoughts, and starting an interesting discussions. Take care!

  3. Bren Lee

    August 26, 2014 at 3:25 am

    Great post Vinay!

    At my job, I work 5-days per week 7.5 hours per day. However, we also have the option of working Flex time. This is a schedule that we can design ourselves, with approval of the CEO, and work the schedule so that we obtain our 75 hours bi-weekly. Most people work 10-11 hour days so they can have off either a Monday or Friday. It works well for those who can do it.

    Having a dog at home myself, it would be difficult for me to expect him to hold his potty breaks for 10-11 hours so I opt for the 7.5 hour days.

    It’s interesting to see the different schedules around the world. Thank you for sharing this!

    B

    • Profile photo of Vinay Kachhara

      Vinay Kachhara

      August 26, 2014 at 11:58 am

      Hi Bren,

      Glad you like the post.

      So your work hours are less than 40 work week hours and that’s great. It’s good to know about the flex time system too. Working a but more to eventually earn a long weekend is not bad, effectively that becomes a 4-day workweek!

      I can understand your concerns and having a pet is a great responsibility. We too have one at home, and we’ve to take him into consideration whenever we make any plans for outings.

      Thanks for visiting and sharing your thoughts. Take care!

  4. Profile photo of Maxwell Ivey

    Maxwell Ivey

    August 26, 2014 at 8:34 am

    Hello; I was impressed with the quality of this post. You covered the topic very thoroughly. for me it usually comes down to getting the work done. sometimes that may mean having some fun and only working a few hours. other times it could mean being up til 3:00 in the morning sorting out a problem or communicating with a client. I actually find my body has trouble going to sleep whenever my amusement equipment business has a sale pending in australia or europe where the time difference is over half a day or more. I take a lot of small breaks during the day. and I guess to help with the conversation I should mention that I am self employed and working from home. I hope to travel for my business soon. Used to that would have meant carrying a data card for internet access. but now there are so many more options for accessing high speed internet connections. by the way I wonder if you considered the number of people who work their assigned number of hours but then spend a lot of time during their commute or after reaching home working on projects for their employer. I’ll look forward to your thoughts. thanks and take care, max

    • Profile photo of Vinay Kachhara

      Vinay Kachhara

      August 26, 2014 at 12:11 pm

      Hi Maxwell,

      Thanks for those appreciating words.

      Definitely, getting the work done should be the main aim. Occasional break of routine and putting in more hours is perfectly okay if the situation demands so. If your work is such that you can’t avoid irregular work hours, well you can’t help it and you’ve to live with it. That’s fine. It’s interesting that you write about your body having trouble going to sleep..more than the body, it’s the mind that needs rest! But I understand that what you mean is that your mind remains occupied by the thoughts about your sale and at the top of it you’ve this great time difference too so you need to remain awake.

      It’s great that you take short breaks as that is essential for those who have irregular work hours. I’m also self employed and work from home and I sometimes find it difficult to manage time and the professional and personal priorities sometimes get mixed up.

      It’s great to know that you’d start your business on a new level and start travelling too. Harleena has briefed me all about you and it’s great to know what you’re doing with your business. Yes, I did take care of including the worker’s commutation part and mentioned in the post too, and sometimes that can be really frustrating that I can say from my personal experience.

      Thanks for visiting and sharing your thoughts. Take care.

  5. Swadhin Agrawal

    August 26, 2014 at 10:17 am

    Hello Vinay Sir,

    Thanks for coming up with yet another post that stirs our mind and forces us to analyze the work hours we follow and how many hours should we work to maintain body and mind harmony.

    Being from a business background I am used to working 11-12 hours a day and you could easily imagine that from the fact that we have a grocery shop that stays open from 7am in the morning to 1 or 1:30 pm and again from 4pm to 9pm in the evenings.

    This is the fact I hate about business and so I love jobs though you hardly get any time through jobs too. It is only said 9-5 job while rest of the time is spent on office projects that are brought home and other tasks.

    It was great to know to working schedules in different countries too.

    Thank you and have a great week.

    • Profile photo of Vinay Kachhara

      Vinay Kachhara

      August 26, 2014 at 12:21 pm

      Hi Swadhin,

      It’s very important to consider the work-life balance and choose your work hours accordingly if you’ve that option. If you can’t, then try everything to cut off the non-essential engagements or tasks and give more time to your family and yourself.

      I’d say that the grass is always greener on the other side. I’d say that having a business like yours is great because that assures financial stability and guaranty. If you can afford to take a break for rest in your business, what could be better than that! Not everybody can get the privilege of a 9-5 job, but then we should be happy with what we have and our conditions, and make efforts to improve them.

      Bringing your office work home is not a good practice, and I agree that it’s like extending your job work timings.

      Thanks for visiting and sharing your thoughts. Take care!

  6. Liz McGee

    August 26, 2014 at 6:21 pm

    Hi Vinay,

    As you said a work week varies for everyone. The demands of the job, the individual drive and what makes us happy differs from person to person.

    But I’ve found my work week depends a lot on how organized I am. If I have no plan, goals or structure for the week, I could work 40 hours a week and not get much done if I’m not organized. There’s just too much that goes on in my personal life to risk being disorganized, but I’ve done it LOL!

    My ideal week is about 30 hours, but I also have to be sure I don’t let distractions like Facebook, Pinterest and other social media soak up my work time. Sometimes what I call work often turns out to be time wasted.

    Good food for thought here Vinay.

    Liz

    • Profile photo of Vinay Kachhara

      Vinay Kachhara

      August 26, 2014 at 6:45 pm

      Hi Liz,

      You’ve contributed a very important factor that can really impact the number of hours that we work per week. Planning is essential and we need to organize our personal as well as professional tasks. It’s not always possible to do that and it’s okay if we falter at times. But we need to try to make organization a habit, again, not that much that you get addicted to it and a little disorganization is able to drive you crazy!

      That’s right, you never realize how much the social interactions extend the number of hours worked or the time taken to complete a task. Self-discipline is a must when it comes to being proficient and efficient in whatever you do.

      Thanks for visiting and sharing your thoughts. Take care!

  7. Amit Kumar

    August 26, 2014 at 8:24 pm

    Wow,

    This is really a well calculated and very detailed article. This article is really important for all those people who don’t care about the time and work continuously without managing their work schedule.

    This article impressed me so much. Specially the section of “How Many Hours Should You Work Per Week”. Thank you so much Vinay sir for sharing this impressive article with us.

    Keep informing 🙂

    • Profile photo of Vinay Kachhara

      Vinay Kachhara

      August 26, 2014 at 11:18 pm

      Hi Amit,

      I’m glad that you find the post useful. You got the point that you really need to manage your time or your work schedule to be more productive. Planning and organization make you effective and do more in less time.

      Thanks for visiting and sharing your thoughts. Take care!

  8. Corina Ramos

    August 26, 2014 at 10:07 pm

    Wonderful post Vinay.

    When I worked in an office, I was working 50-60 hours a week and that’s not including the time I spent shopping (I was a Coachleader and the Call Center’s Sales Manager) on the weekends.

    When I started working from home I took it easy but when I launched my blog, I was back at working long hours. Now I work an 8-10 hour shift and split it up so I can tend the the family. I work from 9am-2pm then 7pm to 10pm. I promised the family to disconnect on the weekends to spend more time together since that was the main reason to work from home in the first place.

    I would have loved a four-day work week :).

    Thanks for sharing this information with us! It was interesting to read how different countries have their work weeks.

    Have a great day. Hello Harleena!

    • Profile photo of Vinay Kachhara

      Vinay Kachhara

      August 26, 2014 at 11:26 pm

      Hi Corina,

      Thanks for sharing your experiences. I don’t really call myself a full blogger like Harleena is, because I don’t spend the amount of time she spends on blogging. I seriously feel that all bloggers should limit their work hours and I appreciate you taking a proactive step towards a better lifestyle.

      I’m sure your family too appreciates your decision and enjoys having you with and around them. You’re right – that’s probably the main reason for many to work from home, and it should be honored.

      If you ask me, I’ll like to have a 3-day workweek, working alternate days only. 🙂

      I’m glad you found the information useful. Thanks for visiting and sharing your thoughts. Take care!

  9. Alison Phillips

    August 27, 2014 at 1:38 am

    It is very clear to me that I need to give myself more set working hours. I find myself working for longer periods at a stretch and burdening myself too much by pushing it all into too narrow a window. It makes me feel like I have more work than I really do, and thus more productive as a human being, but it’s tough on the schedule. This post was helpful.

  10. Profile photo of Yvonne I. Wilson

    Yvonne I. Wilson

    August 27, 2014 at 2:04 am

    Hi Vinay

    I love this! 🙂 What I really love about your writing is how you challenge us to think and move outside of the box. 🙂 Lots of information you’ve shared and I really like how you included the different works hours for other countries.

    As you rightly pointed out, the workweek varies from one individual to the next. I am currently working 40 hours or 5 days (Mon-Fri) I enjoy what I do. I love to help people. But what I would love to see introduced is the Flexi Time – I believe people should be working smarter and not harder. I should be the one telling a company how many hours I would work for it and not the other way around. (that’s me personally 🙂 )

    My medium to long term goal though is to work for myself in which case I will have control over how many hours per week I dedicate to work.

  11. Mi Muba

    August 27, 2014 at 2:07 am

    Hi Vinay

    Quite interesting topic and least discussed in a way as you did in this post.

    Mostly it is discussed in trade unions meetings to confront with their management on work hours.

    Or it is simply discussed in HR seminars to know the pros and cons of various lengths of work hours.

    But the way you mentioned various aspects of the topic is amazing.
    I think keeping a good balance between your professional and personal life should be the ultimate aim of every professional and businessman. Its glaring example of fast traffic at morning and evening time around commercial centers more particularly.

    Exceptions are always there so we can’t make a benchmark by following the work hours of specific industry. Just take the example of blogging industry where work hours are quite odd and many people feel proud to spend that much hour just for blogging. This is a little crazy approach and that is why many bloggers quit.

    Work hours were also be main cause of advent of communism in global politics where under the capitalist system of economy there were no strict laws to regulate work hours. So the communism raised the voice for the rights of laborers and many things related to work were rationalized.

    Even I would say if someone is much passionate about his work he should not cross the limit and equally take care of his family and full enjoy off-work life as well.

    Thanks a lot for sharing a post which well covered the whole topic from its all aspects.

  12. Andrew M. Warner

    August 27, 2014 at 3:20 am

    Hi Vinay,

    These are some very relevant questions. I need to work on a more set schedule than I currently do but I probably work 8 – 10 hours a day. But what I do is split the times. I may work from 9 – 2 and then 7 – 11 or something or break it up into smaller chunks.

    I can’t work for a set amount of hours straight.

    A four hour workweek is nice and dandy but it probably isn’t plausible for me and for the plans I have in place. I own a publishing company and I’m working on several other projects as well as writing a weekly post on my blog so 4 hours a week would probably be out of the question.

    Really interesting topic though because I may need to reevaluate how much time I’m spending actually working. Great food for thought here.

    Thanks.

    – Andrew

  13. Babanature

    August 27, 2014 at 4:41 am

    Hello Vinay,
    This is indeed a nice post to go along with the stressful week 🙂
    When i was still working from home, i was working the whole day. but after renting an office, I do work 12 hours a day (Sometimes more) from Monday through Friday. My Saturdays, i do spend it with family. But on Sunday, i work for just an hour to attend to mails and other online stuffs :).

    Though i have people working for me now, but i just can’t stay without handling some things myself 🙂

    Thanks for the lovely post and do have a wonderful week ahead both of you…

  14. Lexis

    August 27, 2014 at 4:32 pm

    I’m so lucky because I’m a stay at home mum. I still help manage some of our families blogs and passive income websites. Work time for me is whenever my son is asleep. I usually have a set a bed time and I have to stop then to ensure I’m getting enough sleep. I also try and take occasional times off when I’m feeling run down to do things for myself, like read or get a bit of extra sleep. I find this helps recharge me and I become a lot more productive when I resume working.

  15. Sunday

    August 28, 2014 at 1:06 am

    Hi Vinay,
    The ideal work-per-week is relative. Every individual should apply what best works for him/her. This should be applicable as long as there productivity is achieved.

    Time consciousness often escapes most people that work at home because of the “shallow” understanding or misconception of what “flexible time” means.

    For me, I average between 40 to 50 hours work week from home. The timing is dependent on the project at hand and the urgency demanded by clients.

    Moreover, balancing work hour with rest should never be sacrificed at the altar of meeting targeted work time in a week.

    This post was found in kingged where it was shared and upvoted.

  16. sherman smith

    August 28, 2014 at 6:00 am

    Hey Harleena,

    Another great topic here! I work 40 hours week (sometimes more) 8 hours a day. I do have to say that I really don’t like it LOL

    I wish I can lower my hours making the same amount. But having a flexible schedule working 3 days a week would be perfect for me. I feel like I could be doing something else instead of trying to be focused on my position, although I like what I do.

    But you’re right, the ultimate goal is to be happy. I find that if i’m not working, I can become depressed because I don’t feel needed. So yes, work is a must for me, but something I enjoy which is true for me now. But if I can give more time towards piano, dancing, and traveling then i would be a lot more happier!

    Thanks for sharing! Great topic!

  17. Shivkumar

    August 28, 2014 at 1:01 pm

    Hello Vinay Sir,

    First of thanks to you for this article which has covered almost all the point of working hours.

    Many people try to work for extra time for getting good appraisal from their HR and end with frustrated mind when they don’t achieve their expectation. Working with such mind won’t really help to anyone since they are trying to work to earn not working to enjoy the work and that moment.

    I think if we are working to enjoy the work or we are enjoying while working then the stress due to 40hrs of work or any overtime doesn’t matter much and we are free from all the stress and tension because when we enjoy while working and we don’t consider it as a work but it becomes our hobbies.

    Thank you so much for sharing this with us! 🙂

    >SK Lohar

  18. Lorraine Reguly

    August 28, 2014 at 7:20 pm

    I was surprised to learn about the 9- and 10-day work weeks!

    But I’m striving for a two-day work week… 😉

    Or zero days would be even better!

  19. Minakshi Srivastava

    August 28, 2014 at 7:23 pm

    Hello Vinay sir,

    This post is very informative for those who works continuously and they
    don’t even know that how can they manage their work schedule.

    I did start my career with a small company and worked there 12 hours continuously.

    To manage our work schedule especially when you are in a small firm is very tough but to make time management in India is most toughest coz of competition.

    I have learnt from this article . I hope I would make my work more schedule with flexible management.

    Thank you so much for sharing this with us 🙂

  20. Adrienne

    August 29, 2014 at 1:41 am

    Hi Vinay,

    Good to see you back and I think this is a trick question! LOL!!! I say that because it depends on the work you do and the company policy as to how many hours someone usually works at a corporate job.

    I was always suppose to only work a 40 hour week but I was always asked to stay late and even come in on weekends. Unfortunately in my particular position I was a salaried employee so there was no overtime pay for me. If you didn’t work then you just knew they would find an excuse to get rid of you eventually so I was just stuck. I was the person they depended on for things to run smoothly so I enjoyed the people I worked with mostly but I ended up not really liking the job after every single one I had I ended up having to do this.

    Now coming online it would be great to say oh sure, I just work a few hours a day but that would be such a lie. I think that would be cool and maybe when you get to a certain point that can be achieved. But even in Tim Ferris’s book, he’s hiring the work out and when you aren’t at that place to be able to do that then you’re stuck doing it all.

    I really do love what I do though and it doesn’t feel like work but after doing this now for seven years I’m giving myself permission to take time for myself. I love blogging, I love helping people and I’d love to save the world but I do get burnt out from time to time. I do want to spend time with my family or have a lazy day every once in awhile without feeling guilty.

    Just like today, my day started off with bad news from a friend that they are going to have to put their beloved pet down this weekend, I got an email from a client who told me she lost her husband two weeks ago, I got a call from our property manager whose brother-in-law unexpectedly passed away the other morning and another friend on Facebook whose wife has a brain aneurysm and he has to pull life support. Just kind of takes the enjoyment out of your day ya know! I give myself permission to say to heck with it, I’m going to go and spend some time with my Mom darn it. That’s the beauty of working for myself and at home.

    Thanks for sharing this and I hope you and Harleena are having a lovely week and looking forward to the upcoming weekend.

    ~Adrienne

  21. Rohan Bhardwaj

    August 29, 2014 at 1:25 pm

    Hi Vinay,

    As of now, I work for 8 hours a day for five days and I find this as the best way to do all the things I need to do, but unfortunately, my travel time accounts for 2 hours, so that ruins the calculation.

    Considering my present scenario, I would prefer 6 hour shift. That way, I will feel more happy and enjoy even more.

    Definitely we can work smarter and give the same productivity with less number of hours. I am glad I am not forced to work in 10 hours shift like in some small companies.

    Nice post.

    P.S. I found this post on Kingged.

  22. Norbert

    August 29, 2014 at 2:27 pm

    Hi Vinay,

    I work from home as freelancer and usually the amount of hours I spend working depends on the amount of work I have and deadlines I have to meet.

    Sometimes I have up to 10 hr days but those are the days I’m really in a working mood. But on most days it’s 6-7 hours.

  23. Sanjay Pal

    August 29, 2014 at 10:27 pm

    Hello Vinay,

    First lets just say what an awesome post it was. It’s my first visit to your blog and I’m so glad I did.
    If someone reads this article, I believe he/she would find it both amusing and interesting. The facts, the justifications are all indeed commendable. However if you scratch the surface a bit, you would find a vast thought that doesn’t meet the eye easily. It’s quite strange how humans are becoming machine like to satisfy their wants. I don’t want to sound hypocritical but who am I kidding? Honestly, we don’t find enough time to reflect or retrospect. And that leads to tension and breakdown. 40 hours of work ends us up getting tired and hardly there is enough time left to enjoy with our families. It is also a paradox because the way our world is progressing, we all need to maintain a steady pace with it or else we’ll fall behind. On the other hand it leads to a lot of problems in our daily lives.

    Flexible working hours is a better option. I prefer it over the others.
    On a concluding note I thank you for sharing this with us Vinay. We all need to read and see it. Good Luck. Have a peaceful weekend.

    Regards,
    Sanjay……

  24. Joy Healey

    August 29, 2014 at 11:21 pm

    Hello Vinay

    Any post about “hours worked” always catches my eye because, as a self-employed person, I am known to my friends as a “workaholic” because of the very long hours I keep.

    However, it’s difficult to separate “work” and “non-work” – because, in addition to the fee paying work of my off-line business, I am working on developing an on-line business. Because that is largely speculative at the moment, and because I enjoy it, I sometimes wonder I count that as work or not?

    However, what I DO appreciate is that being self-employed, at the drop of a hat I can “down-tools” and either take advantage of an unexpected social event or dash off to support a family member or friend.

    Have a good weekend, Joy

  25. Profile photo of Carol Amato

    Carol Amato

    August 31, 2014 at 1:04 am

    Hi Vinay and Harleena,

    Great question! I think the answer is different for each person – as the needs vary, so should the hours worked.

    I’ve only had two nine-month terms working for a boss at an office in my entire adult life, for which I’m so thankful. I’ve either worked with my husband in one of our businesses or have worked from home for a company, and then in the last five years or so, for myself exclusively.

    Not having to get dressed up, full make up, hair styled professionally and commuting to work is SUCH a HUGE blessing to me- and I wanted to be there for my kids as they were growing up.

    You’re right, there does need to be a right work life balance, which is easier said than done. I struggled for many years trying to figure different ways to make sure I kept my priorities solid, and it was a challenge to say the least.

    Right now, my work week consist of 5 days, with Sunday completely off, and a little communication done on Saturdays.

    I used to live in Italy, and I can tell you that the regular work week is not 48 hours… It is 4-5 days per week, more often four than five.

    Yes, simplistic lifestyle is definitely what I’m after these days, and will my son at college now, and my husband working long hours, I pretty much have a lot of time to plan work projects and then fun times on the side – whatever I choose.

    Thanks for the thought-inspiring content, Vinay, I really appreciate it as I enjoyed it very much. Sharing right now…

    Have a blessed weekend. 🙂
    – Carol

  26. Roja

    September 3, 2014 at 4:29 am

    Work life balance is most vital in todays life.Ideally 6 hours a day keep for working so that you get time for everything.Ultimately we work or living not that we live for work.Practicing yoga helps a person achieve balance.I was practicing sahajayoga meditation which helped me alot in achieving work life balance.

  27. Lawrence Berry

    September 3, 2014 at 10:05 am

    Hi,

    Wow, good post. I have been working so hard and I haven’t even sat to think about how much I work, but it’s a lot. I think there is a difference between just working to work and working to have a better future. I would say I put in over 40 hours a week of working when I combine my job, blogging, and studying for medical school. I work so hard now because I am still young (22) and want to get to a point where I have a good enough income to spend time with my family and do the adventurous things in life. I am a workaholic now, but it’s only so I can have the time I want later in life. I would rather work hard in my youthful years (before 30) and live out my life the way I want after then, because I worked hard to set a foundation for myself. As you get older, less work is better. Set a foundation and good habits while young, so you don’t have to work so much when you are older. Good post! Thanks for sharing!

    Regards,
    Lawrence

  28. Profile photo of Harshajyoti Das

    Harshajyoti Das

    September 6, 2014 at 7:02 pm

    I am really lucky to have this life. I work for 3-4 hours per day. So it will be around 21-28 hrs per week. Rest of the time, I spend reading, cooking, brainstorming ideas, watching TV, and playing with my wife. Playing? hell yeah.. We play board games to video games together. Life is fun and is a blessing.

    I do understand that I can’t reach a 4 hour work week because I need to write everyday.

    It makes me sad to see some people working 12 hours a day and spending less than an hour with their family. You call it a life? I better give up on 90% of my income if I can live a happy and a simple life. Actually I did give up on 90% of my income since Nov 2013. I stopped taking new consultancy clients and became a full-time author.

    Everything is in our hands. We need a little bit of courage to change our life.

  29. Reginald

    September 13, 2014 at 10:26 pm

    Hey Vinay,

    Thanks for sharing this. I think you have great points here and for me, I would suggest around 8 hours a day. I usually work over 12 hours a day though!

    Just my 2 cents and appreciate the write. Have a great weekend both!

  30. Oloyede Jamiu

    September 30, 2014 at 2:09 pm

    Hi Vinay,

    Thank you for releasing this post.

    I love reading it.

    Actually i work 5 hours daily on my internet business.

    Regards,
    Oloyede Jamiu

  31. SAMEER

    September 30, 2014 at 9:50 pm

    Hi there, I was having this doubt since ages, now i got clarified. Really a nice post taught me about managing time and work hours, Thank you.

  32. Profile photo of Abrar Mohi Shafee

    Abrar Mohi Shafee

    December 13, 2014 at 10:38 pm

    Hi Vinay,

    Thanks for an excellent post.

    Actually I work online at least 10 hours a day. Where it stands 70 hours after a week (no weekends 🙁 ).

    I think, I’ve to limit it otherwise there might be some health related issues. What do you say, which is the best working hour on computer a day?

  33. Bartosz

    September 9, 2015 at 6:31 pm

    Very good article Vinay, thank you!

    Generally I agree with you that anything over 40 h per week won;t be very productive. Although, there is one trick I’m using and I would recommend to others – try to gamify your duties and the dull stuff you must do.
    It makes the entire process of working much more pleasant!
    Cheers!
    Bartosz

  34. Rob

    March 13, 2016 at 9:52 pm

    This is a great article! I’ve actually read that the most successful companies seem to encourage just UNDER 40 hour weeks. Of course, for your own productivity you must decide what works. Awesome article and thanks for sharing!

  35. Vinayak

    August 30, 2016 at 11:57 am

    Hi Vinay Sir,

    At times when you want to achieve something and are very passionate about your work. you have a guilt feeling taking a break from work. It however is really imperative to limit yourselves to working too much else it leads to burnout. Work life balance is a must and I’ve learnt it the hard way an its too late now. However, I’m willing to give it a fresh start.

    Thanks for such a nice article!



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How Many Hours Should You Work Per Week

by Vinay Kachhara time to read: 8 min