Do you rank? Are you a Rob Fleming in High Fidelity keeping a list of Top 5 films, 9 Best Meals, 8 Nastiest Crossings, 2012 Spots to see in 2012 and so on? Would you hand over part of your Internet time allowance to “The 23 Best Countries for Work-Life Balance”? I did in order to see if Poland made it to this odd number.
It didn’t. Other states formerly behind the Iron Curtain did. Such as Estonia and Hungary. The measurements of balance were taken by OECD. I don’t have OECD-grade stats but I can see Poles enjoying plenty of time off. Sometimes it’s hard gathering people for a meet-up because their schedules have been fully booked with ECA stuffs.
So, I demanded justification from a brainy pal who works as an analyst for a research body churning out reports for clients including the Polish government. Replying via facebook from her vacation hideout in Thailand, she said, “Well, no good coffee, no good beer in Poland. We are too concentrated on what we want. Too nervous, too ambitious. Work too much. And always complaining.” She threw in a smiley.
Another economist friend suggested the reason for Poland’s absence from the list might just simply be GUS (the Polish Statistical body) not submitting the figures in time to the OECD. I laughed because it is believable. However, the Poles got their data in. The full report is here. Time devoted to leisure and personal care is 15.35 hours for the Poles compared to 16.31 hours for the Danes, who top the list. The difference is not significant. Other indicators that matter are “employees working very long hours” (1.85% Danes vs. 7.59% Poles) and “employment rate of women with children” (78% Danes vs. 59% Poles).