Is the US Workplace Becoming More European?

By: Anneken Tappe · May 03, 2024 · Reading Time: 2 minutes

Work Cultures

The American work landscape has changed a lot since the pandemic. For one, remote and hybrid work schedules have become commonplace. This is putting the U.S. well ahead of Europe.

The average American worked 1.4 days from home each week in 2023, according to the Global Survey of Working Arrangements from EconPol, the economic policy platform of the Center of Economic Studies . That’s almost twice as much as the average European (0.8).

Diving Into the Disparity

Historically, U.S. employees have logged more hours than their overseas counterparts. In 2022, Americans spent an average of 15% more time at work each year than Europeans, per OECD data. Cultural stereotypes of the workaholic Americans and the always vacationing Europeans also play on that.

But in 2023, Americans and Europeans spent roughly the same amount of time in the office. Americans spent 1,304 hours working in-person, compared to 1,320 for Europeans.

The Shifting American Workplace

Despite a slew of return-to-office mandates, the widespread popularity of remote and hybrid work among employees has reshaped workplace expectations. Many workers love logging in remotely because it helps them avoid long commutes, save time and money, and enjoy a better work-life balance. With this cultural shift, the American workplace may have moved closer to the European model, which is often cited to be more worker-friendly, even though big differences in economic incentives persist.

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