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working hours/ schedules in general

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Something I notice on this forum and when I visit the US is that everything seems shifted earlier than I'm used to.

In the UK, at least among my salaried professional friends, normal working hours are about 9.15/9.30-5.30/6ish. Getting in at 8.30/9 isn't uncommon, nor is getting in at more like 10, but getting much earlier than 8.30 is considered a bit weird. Judging by when the tube is busy, that seems to be relatively true across London, though there are exceptions, or course.

Lunch is, on average, at 1 - 12 is about the earliest, 2 is the latest. Dinner is, on average, at about 7/7.30, 6 is the earliest you'd go and 9 is probably the latest.

Assuming that I'm right re: Americans keeping earlier hours, does anyone have any theories as to why?

I'd be interested in hearing about typical schedules in other countries too.

I've lived in two Australian states - Tasmanian and Queensland. Queenslanders work much earlier hours, probably because of the hotter climate.
Maybe Americans start earlier because of the insanely early time the school day seems to start. And why's that? Sending kids to school in winter in the dark on icy roads seems weird to me.

I think it also depends on the profession and the size of the company. I'm in the UK too, by the way.

I work part-time for an office of a small building/construction company. Officially, my hours are 8:30 - 5:00, but I often come in a bit earlier (say 8:15) so I can leave a bit earlier or have a little longer for lunch. (This is totally fine!)

The office manager works 7:30 - 5:00, and the other schedules vary wildly, usually down to what contracts they're working on, and where the sites are. There's six men who are generally office-bound, but they start work anywhen from 6am till 10am, depending on their own preferences.

In my case, it's a family-run company, so that might also affect things. So long as the work gets done, and there's at least one person in the office between 8am and 6pm, I don't think Tony (the boss) really cares.

I work in the hotel industry- have for many years and the main shifts seem to be 7a-3p, 3p-11p and 11p-7a in all of the hotels I have worked in; it seems to be an industry standard.

Iím in the UK too and Iím Scandinavian. Agree that the UK is ďlateĒ and Iím not quite used to it. At a previous work place I had a colleague who would regularly start at 10.30! Thatís like half a day later than in Scandinavia...

In Scandinavia the normal starting time for schools is 8-8.15am. Starting at 9am would constitute a lay in, whereas UK schools generally start at 9. Most Scandi offices open their switchboards at 8am (9am at current UK workplace) and when I worked there I used to get in around 8 too. Now in the UK I only get in before or for 8 when I have an 8am or 8.30 meeting, not that often.

This also goes with the working hours though. In Sweden 40 hours constitute full time, Denmark 37 hours. This is statutory in both countries. In the UK this may vary, I currently work 36 hours as full time (+ some over time most weeks).

Is there a fixed number of hours for full-time in other countries?


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