IELTS Essay Sample: “working hours”

Countries with long average working time are more economically successful than those which have shorter working hours.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

The link between economic prosperity and the quality of life is beyond question. I concur with view that there are no connections between long working hours and economic success because of the reasons that will be discussed as follows.


First and foremost, high productivity levels have nothing to do with working hours as there seem to be bigger contributors, one of which is technology. Mexicans work not only longer days but also more hours than anyone else in the globe; nonetheless, they are not even half as economically successful as Germans who clock up the least hours. Statistics issued by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) show the average Mexican expends 2,255 hours at work per annum – the equivalent of around 43 hours per week. At the other end of the spectrum, German workers put in a comparatively meager 1,363 hours per year that is 892 fewer hours spent at work annually than Mexicans and this while the latter is the third strongest economy in the world following the US and China.


Furthermore, socio-economic factors are bound to play a major role in the number of hours employees have to spend in their workplace. In developing countries namely Iran where stagflation is rampant, people are obliged to work long hours to be able to make ends meet and this does not mean the country is financially prosperous, nor does it mean it has a high gross domestic product. Moreover, discovery of natural resources like oil, gas or mineral deposits is likely to boost economic growth as they raise countries’ production capacity.


In conclusion, I would assert that productivity has nothing to do with the number of working hours as the former can be influenced by an array of different factors, the last of which might be the time spent at work.


Hamid Mollazadeh

Word count: 290

Time: 45′

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