How Many Work Hours and Days Are in a Year?

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With the standard working hours of majority of the countries across the globe being around 40 hours per week and having approximately 52 weeks in a year, in total this gives us 2,080 work hours a year.

So to answer the question, “How many work hours and days are in a year?”

There are 2,080 work hours in a year and 260 working days in a year.


Capitalism and the origin of modern worktime

In order to fully appreciate and understand the 40 working hour standard, it is important to focus on how this came to be in the USA, in the 20th century.


Capitalism preys upon time as a commodity; and modern worktime can only be understood through the lens of capitalism.

Workers sold their time in exchange for wages, as work occurs in the dimension of time.

Once their time was sold, the workers’ time now belonged to the employers who dictated and controlled worktime schedules.



This was done with the aim of ensuring that all the time purchased was filled with productive work regardless of social concern or the wellbeing of workers.

Before the 1930s most American workers were working beyond 40 hours per week as a standard.

It took the struggle of workers, organizational changes and legislative reforms over the course of the 19th and early 20th century in order to arrive to the standard 40 hour worktime per week as a national standard.

They say that a mile’s journey begins with one step; well, it took the action of multiple players to get to our modern worktime.

Henry Ford, one of the earliest industrialist who argued that, ‘fewer working hours could generate more time for people to consume, to benefit the economy’.

Henry’s focus was purely about capitalist economics and not necessarily increased leisure time for workers. Though it was well towards change.

The great depression in the late 20s, a couple of legal bills and acts, including the 30 hour bill in March 1933 represented in the senate by Hugo L. Black, the National Industrial Recovery act in June 1933, favored by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, presented in the house of representatives, and the Fair Labor act in 1938; all paved way towards our 40 hour standard worktime.


How to Calculate Number of Work Hours in a Year

To calculate how many full-time work hours are in a year, multiply the hours worked in a week by the number of weeks in a year (52) and then deduct any hours lost to vacation days and holidays.

To deduce the full-time working hours there are some things to put into consideration, which may include;

  • Minimum daily rest periods
  • Vacations
  • Days off
  • Holidays

All these account for the non-working hours which are deducted from the total work hours a year.

For example, if you had 10 days of vacation in a year and 6 paid days off you would work a total of 1,696 hours a year.

In truth, work time may vary from one person to another depending on;

  • Economic condition
  • Obligations
  • Location
  • Culture of work
  • Lifestyle choice
  • Career


1. Economic condition

The major reason and motivation behind work, is to be able to meet basic costs of living.

For some people to meet these costs, it means more working hours on their schedule.

Additional overtime payments being around 25% to 50% above the normal hourly payments, would account for the need to pick up more working hours.

The additional working hours may come in the form of overtime hours or even multiple jobs.

With such, the traditional American business hours of 9 to5, becomes insufficient.

Dependents such as children and even the elderly will need special care and hence an increase to the basic costs of a household.


2. Obligations

Some workers opt for part-time work over full-time in order to care for children and family.

Family care has proven to be an important factor when it comes to deciding on compatible worktime.

Workers with family responsibilities seek decent worktime and flexibility in order to facilitate work-life balance and meet personal obligations.

Such workers are likely to turn down roles that entail non-standard working hours in the evenings, at night and on weekends.

In extreme cases, non-standard working hours as these lead to work-family conflicts.


3. Location

Worktime may differ from one country to another and some factors may also alter working hours from region to region within a state.

For instance; some countries work 6 days per week and some have a 4 day work week.

In some countries like the USA, minimum wage laws (which is determined by both state and federal fair labor standards act) vary from state to state, which also affects the working hours.

For example, two people with the same living costs and residing in different states; such as, one lives in Massachusetts, with a minimum wage rate of  $14.25 per hour, and the other in Georgia, which has the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour.

The one in Massachusetts will need fewer hours compared to the one in Georgia for an equal wage.


4. Culture of work

Work culture is a collection of attitudes, beliefs and behaviors that make up the regular atmosphere in a work environment.

It serves as a big contributor to the various factors that influence the working hours of workers in an organization.

The higher one moves up the career ladder, the more time is spent at work and less time with loved ones, causing a work-life imbalance.

Organizational culture is paramount in creating a positive work environment and a healthy work-life balance.

Culture of hours is the belief that one has to work long hours to succeed.

If such a culture embodies an organization, workers will probably have to work longer hours in order to meet demands.


5. Lifestyle choices

Some tastes and preferences towards a comfortable living are expensive compared to others.

In order to live in that big house or drive that dream car one would need a lot of money.

Like Kendrick Lamar puts it, Money trees is the perfect place for shade.

The chase towards turning a dollar to a million will go hand in hand with more time output, hence increased working hours.


6. Career

Different careers have varying work schedules.

A work schedule generally refers to the days per week and hours per day that an employee is expected to be at their job.

A full-time work schedule will require a commitment of 37-40 hours per week.

This is where the traditional worktime of 9 to 5 is mostly adopted.

A part-time work schedule is any schedule less than full time employment.

Though it might not offer employee benefits as in full-time work schedule it allows for greater flexibility and a healthy work-life balance.


Workdays & Work Hours for 2021

For 2021, there were a total of 261 days and 2088 hours in the work year.

Month # of Work Days # of Work Hours
January 21 days 168 hours
February 20 days 160 hours
March 23 days 184 hours
April 22 days 176 hours
May 21 days 168 hours
June 22 days 176 hours
July 22 days 176 hours
August 22 days 176 hours
September 22 days 176 hours
October 21 days 168 hours
November 22 days 176 hours
December 23 days 184 hours
Total 261 days 2088 hours



Workdays & Work Hours for 2022

For 2022, there are a total of 260 days and 2080 hours in the work year.

Month # of Work Days # of Work Hours
January 21 days 168 hours
February 20 days 160 hours
March 23 days 184 hours
April 21 days 168 hours
May 22 days 176 hours
June 22 days 176 hours
July 21 days 168 hours
August 23 days 184 hours
September 22 days 176 hours
October 21 days 168 hours
November 22 days 176 hours
December 22 days 176 hours
Total 260 days 2080 hours



Workdays & Work Hours for 2023

For 2023, there are a total of 260 days and 2080 hours in the work year.

Month # of Work Days # of Work Hours
January 22 days 176 hours
February 20 days 160 hours
March 23 days 184 hours
April 20 days 160 hours
May 23 days 184 hours
June 22 days 176 hours
July 21 days 168 hours
August 23 days 184 hours
September 21 days 168 hours
October 22 days 176 hours
November 22 days 176 hours
December 21 days 168 hours
Total 260 days 2080 hours



How Many Hours You Should Work a Day

A 40-hours workweek is a standard for an average employee in most countries.

Decent working time is not only crucial in upholding workers’ wellbeing but also provides a basis for developing work time arrangements that can balance workers’ needs with the enterprise’s requirements.

Worktime issues run deeper than we could care to admit since there are so many players involved and each has their own set of preferences.

On a quest to improve working conditions across the globe, worktime issues need to be tackled on multiple levels in order to find the ultimate compromise between workers’ actual and preferred hours of work, as well as improve the sustainability of enterprises.


Situations to consider includes workers who; work ‘excessively’ long hours on a regular basis, work part-time and would prefer to work more hours to raise their earnings, or workers more concerned with the arrangement of working hours than the number of hours worked.

Irrespective of the situation, the five significant dimensions of decent working time, identified by the international labor organization (ILO), should be put to focus, which are;

  • Promoting health and safety
  • Advancing the productivity and suitability of enterprises
  • Being family-friendly and improving work-life balance
  • Promoting gender equality and
  • Offering workers a degree of choice and influence over their hours of work


What Are the Benefits of a Shorter Work Day?

The benefits of healthy work time arrangements for workers and enterprises are numerous and vast, which may include:

  • Reduced stress levels
  • Better sleep and lifestyle habits
  • Healthy family relations
  • Decreased risks of cardiovascular disease, gastrointestinal and reproductive disorders, musculoskeletal disorders, chronic infections and mental illness
  • Fewer workplace accidents and injuries, hence substantially reducing costs on enterprises
  • Increased productivity
  • Higher job satisfaction and motivation
  • Lower rates of absenteeism and staff turnover


What are the effects of working long hours?

Extended long working hours and non-standard working hours such as night and weekend work are often not preferred by workers and neither are they healthy for them.

They adversely affect the health of the workforce, the safety of the workplace and the productivity of individual workers, as well as the performance of the enterprise as a whole.

Workers working regular long hours have shown reduced hourly productivity due to greater fatigue, and those with heavy workloads report decreasing job satisfaction and motivation and higher rates of absenteeism and staff turnover.

The aftermath of these factors is, additional recruitment and training costs for employers and not to mention a dissatisfying work life for the employees.

With more enterprises recognizing that promoting a healthy work-life balance for their employees isn’t just the right thing to do but also serves as an effective strategy for improving individual and organizational performance.

There is indisputable evidence that ties reductions in long working hours to increased productivity, improved physiology and employee attitudes and morale.


Conclusion: How Many Work Hours in a Year?

As mentioned earlier, to calculate how many full-time work hours are in a year, multiply the hours worked in a week by the number of weeks in a year (52) and then deduct any hours lost to vacation days and holidays.

I hope this helps you find out how many work hours in a year.


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