How many hours per week should we be actually working? In some environments we don’t have much say on this subject since employers are paying us for 40 hours work per week and no matter what we say or do, this will be very hard to change.

Experts are keen on trying to find that magical number of hours which will be an ideal model for a workweek. Some experiments have already begun and the results seems to be rather optimistic.

As a first one, a Swedish government have tried cutting down the workdays to only six hours per day to increase productivity and it seemed to work very well. Some companies from Singapore have purposefully end each workday at 3:30pm so their employees can still enjoy cultural activities in the afternoon.

It is a fantastic start, but is there any actual formula telling us on how many hours should we work in a day? And at the same time, how many days shall we work per week?

The answer for these is quite obvious, one size fits nobody. It all depends about personal circumstances, work load or even a company’s trajectory.

From what actually matters is to find work meaningful and bringing you joy, this way you will be able to keep a healthy balance in your life and take actual pleasure from the work you do. There is no ideal workweek, as something which could work brilliantly for you, may be completely opposite for your employer and vice versa. I believe that every case will need to be studied individually. First we would need to look at the company schedule, what is the business like, when are the peak times, which days are the most busy ones and which are the quiet ones, based on proper analysis of that we can create a pattern which then will fit employee perfectly.

We need to remember that quality need to be always valued before quantity, you can work 80hours per week but if it’s of a low quality, you are simply wasting time. Quality of the job also makes a huge difference to our mental health and wellbeing.

It must be pointed that there was a research which was checking after effects of working more than 45 hours a week – it has a detrimental impact to your health, physical as well as mental is so many ways. Overworking is then linked to risk of heart problems from having, including an irregular pulse, developing certain disease like coronary heart disease or cause myocardial infarction. It also brings a higher risk of stroke. Other studies suggest that long work hours may be also associated with diabetes and hypertension.

Another factor of working more hours is that you have a higher rate of developing a depression, anxiety as well as a poor sleep quality. All these can also link to dreaded worker’s condition as well as burnout. You will also have poorer quality of life as well as lifestyle choices as there will be less time to do certain activities as well as eating worse quality of food.

Your productivity levels are tend to fall if you work over 50 hours per week, when doing 55 and more, productivity will drop so much that there will be actually no point in working. Working 70 and 55 hours will bring you exactly same results so why work more if you will basically set yourself to lose time.

So how many hours per week shall we actually work?

A good rule of thumb is to take at least one day off a week to not do any work at all, a seven day workweek can only stifle productivity. If possible try to play with your time, try to make 3 day weekends and see how this will improve your wellbeing.

There are fantastic prioritisation techniques, for example combating the source of procrastination, or even drinking nootropic coffees – which helps to keep your stress level down as well as increase productivity.

I’m keen to hear from you on how many hours per week do you work and how are you finding it? Please feel free to let me know in the comments section below.

All the best,


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