Benefits Americans Don't Get
It is time to stop living in a bubble and understand that all other industrialized nations take the physical and mental health of their citizens seriously. Maximum productivity does not require a 60 hour work week. How does the United States compare to other countries?
Below are minimum current standards in other industrialized countries, and you may be surprised to learn that Ethiopia, Afghanistan and Somalia give several weeks of paid leave to new parents covering their salary at 90 to 100 percent.
- Americans work longer than 40 hours a week. 35 hours is the average in industrialized countries.
- Businesses offer paid parental leave of 20 weeks in Europe.
- Mandated vacations no less than 5 weeks a year in many countries.
- Paid parental leave of several weeks to both parents.
- Mandated paid sick leave. No questions asked and job retention.
- Full-time pay for unemployed workers.
A new report from the International Labor Organization (ILO) states that Americans work 499 more hours per year than their French counterparts. The level of stress that Americans suffer from is unheard of in European countries and the level of satisfaction with life in Europe is unknown to most Americans.
Since we work longer hours, have little to no vacation and much less time to pursue hobbies, family and social activities, it stands to reason that we are an exhausted nation, we are less energetic and are always tired at work. Based on our current working conditions, reports show that most Americans are doing the job of two or more people. Fear of losing our jobs keeps us accepting more responsibility, taking less vacation time and feeling like indentured labor.
While we may not be able to control the current business climate, there are things we can do to be less tired at work and get energy boosts to stay alert and productive.