David Bihanic, designer-researcher

Discrepancies in Work Time

The major OECD countries

We spend considerable time at work. But we are not all equal in this matter. Indeed, working time vary widely by country. In order to get a better picture of the situation, we (Thomas Bronnec and I) propose to combine three key indicators: the agreed working time (hours/week), the effective working time (hours worked/week), and the productivity of employees (GDP per hour worked — in US dollars).

This chart compiles these statistics for 2015 (from the OECD database). One look and you will understand that the very concept of ‘working time’ cannot have the same meaning for all — for the French, the Germans and the Mexicans, for instance. Some people work a lot and earn very little, others work less and earn far more money. Ultimately, if time is always money, the cost of the effort is still marked by great injustice.

After the data is collected, I thus began to develop two first charts (for Franceinfo) highlighting on the French situation compared with those of other major countries in the world: a parallel coordinate chart and a bubble chart.

Parallel coordinate chart

Click here: …/working_time/pc_chart/


Bubble chart

Click here: …/working_time/bubble_chart/


Then, I embarked on the design of a 3D idiomatic matrix allowing to quickly compare the statistics for all countries. This is the cone chart below — I used D3.js to built these three charts.

Cone chart

Click here: …/working_time/cone_chart/








This work was done in collaboration with Thomas Bronnec, head of information at Franceinfo.


Data sources:

Effective working time (hours/week):
OECD (2017), Hours worked (indicator). doi: 10.1787/47be1c78-en (Accessed on 22 January 2017).
OECD (2017), “Hours Worked: Average annual hours actually worked”, OECD Employment and Labour Market Statistics (database).
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/data-00303-en (Accessed on 22 January 2017).

Productivity of employees (GDP per hour worked — in US dollars)
OECD (2017), GDP per hour worked (indicator). doi: 10.1787/1439e590-en (Accessed on 22 January 2017).
OECD (2017), “GDP per capita and productivity levels”, OECD Productivity Statistics (database).
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/data-00686-en (Accessed on 22 January 2017).

Agreed working time (hours/week):
France Diplomatie” (French foreign policy — services to to citizens).


This visualisation was published by Ouest-France newspaper (rolling news website: http://www.ouest-france.fr):
“INFOGRAPHIE. Présidentielle: les Français travaillent-ils assez ?” by Julie Cateau. (Published April 12 2017 / 10:19):



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