Burnout, presenteeism and longer working hours. They’re the bane of most employees’ lives and, as of recently, their bosses’ lives too.

With increased reporting on stagnating productivity levels and problems with efficiencies, companies – and occasionally Governments, too – are looking at the benefits that getting their employees to switch off could have on the bottom line.

For example, the BBC recently reported that South Korea is almost ready to cut its maximum working week from 68 hours to 52 hours in a bid to boost productivity – and also the number of children being born.

In fact, the ruling body of South Korea are concerned that long working hours are impacting everything from workplace efficiency to the ways in which their citizens conduct family life.

South Korea has currently longer working hours than any other developed country: an average 2,069 hours per year, per worker, according to 2016 data compiled by the OECD.

However, workers on the Korean peninsula aren’t the only developed country to work longer hours – bucking a general trend which sees upper-and-middle-income countries working less hours than their poorer counterparts.

Japan also has a problem with long hours; so much so that the Japanese language has a word for “death by overwork”: karoshi. Japan has no maximum on the number of hours that an individual can work each week.

It could be worse though. Despite 32% of Asian countries having no limit on the amount of hours they can work, in India there is also no guarantee of annual leave.

Country / total average annual hours worked per worker

Mexico 2,255

Costa Rica 2,212

Korea 2,069

Greece 2,035

Russia 1,974

Chile 1,974

Poland 1,928

Latvia 1,910

Israel 1,889

Lithuania 1,885

Iceland 1,883

Ireland 1,879

Estonia 1,855

Portugal 1,842

Turkey 1,832

United States 1,783

Czech Republic 1,770

Hungary 1,761

New Zealand 1,752

Slovak Republic 1,740

Italy 1,730

Japan 1,713

Canada 1,703

Spain 1,695

Slovenia 1,682

United Kingdom 1,676

Australia 1,669

Finland 1,653

Sweden 1,621

Austria 1,601

Switzerland 1,590

Belgium 1,551

Luxembourg 1,512

France 1,472

Netherlands 1,430

Norway 1,424

Denmark 1,410

Germany 1,363