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What is your thinking about Setting up standard working hours in your place of living?

My place of living(Hong Kong) haven't implement the standard working yet. Although this topic has been discussed for many year, the difference between the employer and the employee is very big, I don't think an agreement can be made within recent year. How about your place of living? How many hours an employee can work per day/week in your place of living? What benefit and disadvantage if a standard working hours is implemented?


  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 31,042 mod
    edited November 2016
    @hardpeople in EU countries, there's a 48 Hour Directive that generally means most people are not expected to work longer than this per week. Most work far less: 35-40 hours being standard in most office jobs. When I worked for the government years ago for example, I used to work a 37 hour week. However when I worked in the City, for some years, we had to sign a special disclaimer to say that we were prepared to work longer than 48 hours because the UK didn't like to be constrained by this EU rule. I have no idea what the laws are anywhere else, except that in many places I doubt that there are any. In Nepal people just work whatever hours their employers require them to.
  • hardpeoplehardpeople Posts: 33 ✭✭
    @mheredge thank you. What bad things will happen if a place set up a standard working hours. Do you think that will limit the money the employee want to earn? For example, if an employee prefer the money than work. He may think he can not earn more by working longer time. On the other hand,if doesn't have any limitation on working hours. What is your thinking about this?
  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 31,042 mod
    This is the concern that limiting hours raises @hardpeople. Unless the employers are compelled to pay the same for fewer hours, this is what is very likely to happen. Conversely if they pay the same for fewer hours and output is less, this means that they become less productive and not as competitive. This is the big dilemma faced in France where working hours are limited to 35 hours a week. There is inevitably a trade off between hours and pay.
  • hardpeoplehardpeople Posts: 33 ✭✭
    Thank You @mheredge, Do you agree with standard working hours? Why?

    How about the other? Would you also give your opinion? Do you agree with the standard working hours? Why?

    If your country has already implemented the standard working hours, there may be some employees prefer to work longer and earned more , and some prefer work lesser and use the time to do other things. Which groups are larger proportion?
  • hardpeoplehardpeople Posts: 33 ✭✭
    @mheredge There is somethings interested. You mentioned about France, the employees at there earn lesser or not after the implementation of standard working hours? What is their thinking about this, they want it or not?
  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 31,042 mod
    I think in most areas, the French workers were able to maintain their earnings, even though this was for fewer hours. They have fairly strong trade unions there. But this comes at a price, as France is seen as not so competitive. It costs an employer about as much again in all sorts of taxes and other payments to hire someone as it does in paying the worker. I'm not an expert here, so I may wrong on this @hardpeople.

    I believe that there have to be limits on the hours people work as if they are too tired, they become unproductive and make mistakes. Also there are so many people without a job, wouldn't it be better to employ more people working shorter hours, so more people can be employed?
  • YellowtailYellowtail Posts: 767 ✭✭✭✭
    In japan, overtime work has been a serious issue for decades. Recently the government finally began to plan measures to force employers to limit work time strictly.
    But I think the biggest problem in the country is not employers but employees themselves. Many of them think that they work over time because they are diligent. And if you were leaving the office on time, you would feel as if collegues looked at you and wispered each other "Why does he/she leave that early, while we are still working?". So they work late into the night, even in the companies that don't pay for overtime.
    I think this is really ridiculous custom. As @mheredge says, the most important thing at work is efficiency. Actually Japanese workers' productivity is seen as not really high.
  • amatsuscribbleramatsuscribbler Posts: 2,308 mod
    I don't know whether you'll be able to access this, a whole series about how technology is affecting work and jobs.

  • YellowtailYellowtail Posts: 767 ✭✭✭✭
    That's the problem I seriously concern about these days. Robots can become a big threat more to professionals than to labors. Because computers are superior to humans not in the strength but in the brain.
  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 31,042 mod
    @Yellowtail this mentality is really counterproductive. I remember I had colleagues who would be in the office by 7am and never away before 7 or 8pm. Though I used to start early (before 8am), I used to leave at 5pm as I refused to work unnecessarily long hours. My view was that if I couldn't do my day's work in a timely fashion, then there was something seriously wrong with my time management.
  • YellowtailYellowtail Posts: 767 ✭✭✭✭
    Totally agree. I wish I could tell your word to me ten years ago. Back then I used to work to midnight everyday and get on the last train to go back home. And I used to be even proud of it inwardly. How stupid I was.
  • amatsuscribbleramatsuscribbler Posts: 2,308 mod
    @Yellowtail - I'm not sure it's inherently the robots that are the problem, rather the use made of them by humans. A bit like guns and bombs.
  • YellowtailYellowtail Posts: 767 ✭✭✭✭
    Yor're right. But I think humans often fail to control dangers of technological development. Just like guns and bombs.
  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 31,042 mod
    I don't think that fantasy is far wrong and I'd worry humans might make Frankenstein robots that will turn on us @Yellowtail!
  • amatsuscribbleramatsuscribbler Posts: 2,308 mod
    @Yellowtail and @mheredge I'm watching a TV programme called 'Humans' at the moment which addresses a lot of this. It's very good.
  • hardpeoplehardpeople Posts: 33 ✭✭
    I have read some articles. There is a standard working hours in France. However ,their workers are more productive than the UK workers. UK don't have standard working hours. Do you agree that shorter worker hours can provide better productivity?

    Any dangers will happen to workers if they work for long hours?

    How long do you think is a reasonable working hours in a week?
  • YellowtailYellowtail Posts: 767 ✭✭✭✭
    A woman, who worked for the largest advertizing company in Japan, killed herself a year ago. The authority announced it atributes to overwork this October. She worked overtime of over 100 hours a month before the suicide.
    Responding to the news, a professor said on a news site "It's a shame to kill herself due to only 100 hours overtime." It provoked criticizm. But in the country, I often come across people who brag how much overtime they work.
    I think the reasonable working hours depends on the person. People who do what they like for their job will be willing to work overtime. That's OK. But on the other hand, even standard working hours is hard for some people who have some problems in health or family.
    So more important thing than working hours itself is staying sane. It is totally insane that a worker hide his/her stress to death, and no co-workers notice it.
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