The amount of time spent working in Switzerland has been steadily declining since 2010, according to recent statistics from the Federal Statistical Office (FSO).
In 2020, an employed person worked an average of 1,495 hours a year in Switzerland, 7.2% or 13.8 days less than in 2010.
To reveal the sharp drop in work hours in 2020 due to interruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic the data is split into the periods between 2010-2019 and 2019-2020.
Between 2010 and 2019, the effective annual working time per employed person in Switzerland fell by 3.9%, or 7.4 days. The main drivers behind this fall were more part time work, less overtime and increased holidays.
Over the decade from 2010, holidays have risen by an average of 0.8 days to 5.2 weeks a year. Among the self-employed holidays jumped by 1.4 days to 3.6 weeks. Even after a healthy holiday boost those working for themselves still trailed employed workers by 1.6 weeks.
The fall in working time was greater among men (-5.2%) than among women (-1.1%), higher among Swiss (-4.6%) than among foreigners (-3.2%) and more marked among the self-employed (-8.4%) than among employees (-2.9%). Those with children aged 0-6 worked significantly less too (-6.8%). The sectors with the greatest drops were the arts, leisure and other (-5.9%), agriculture and forestry (-5.6%) and public administration (-4.7%).
Between 2019 and 2020, Switzerland recorded a steep drop in working hours of 3.4%, mainly due to a rise in hours of absence due to work restrictions. The accommodation and food services branch experienced the sharpest drop (-22.2%).
When 2020 is excluded, Switzerland has one of the sharpest declines in work hours (-3.9%), coming sixth in Europe after Slovakia (-6.3%), Croatia (-5.4%), Malta (-5.3%), Slovenia (-4.7%) and Estonia (-4.1). At the other end of the scale were Ireland (+2.9%), the UK (+2.0%) and the Netherlands (+1.4%) where working hours increased. The fall in work time in Switzerland was higher than in neighbouring Italy (-3.5%), Germany (-3.0%), Austria (-2.8%) and France (-1.9%).