Urban Eola

Why 87% of Europeans are happy and we're not

A European opinion poll came out yesterday that showed that 87 percent of European Union citizens considered themselves happy, with a record 97 percent in Denmark.

In contrast, I happened to see an article today on Yahoo with this title: Americans Hate Their Jobs More Than Ever.

Fewer than half of all Americans are satisfied at work. Although this dissatisfaction is strongest among those under the age of 25 (less than 39 percent satisfied), the trend is spreading among all workers, regardless of age, income or residence. It's also no coincidence that Americans work more than every European country in terms of annual work hours and get much less vacation time.

Consider this (from Wikipedia): "In most Western European countries, working time is gradually decreasing. The European Union's working time directive imposes a 48 hour maximum working week that applies to every member state except the United Kingdom (which has an opt out). France has enacted a 35-hour workweek by law. In the United States, by contrast, the working time has actually been increasing."

Minimum vacation time around the world (required)

- European Union - 4-6 weeks, more in some countries
- France - 5 weeks + 2 weeks of RTT (Reduction of Working Time) = 7 weeks.
- Ireland - 28 days, plus 9 public holidays
- Denmark - 6 weeks
- United States - not required, but 7-14 days is standard for most employers.

It's no surprise why Europeans enjoy themselves more

UE take // It all boils down to Americans wanting a BMW instead of a Taurus and a mansion instead of a ranch house. "More, more, more" is the American motto and all it's doing is making us more unhappy. We need to take after the Italians. They take a daily siesta (or reposo) which is a midday break that could include a nap and is intended as time to be spent with friends and family.

This "unsatisfied" trend is even more disturbing considering the one thing we're good at - sports - we're losing ground on as well.

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posted by Michael Tavani @ 12:35 PM |


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