Working Only 3 Hours A Day? Japanese Shocked by the French Work Ethic

A popular topic on oversea news “The French only work 3 hours a day” have shocked many Japanese, for it’s normal for them to work an extensive hour a day.

According to the France Economic Magazine “Les Echos”, the CEO of an American major tire maker has decline to buyout a French government operating factory which is in financial crisis.

However that did not make the topic popular, it is because of the reason of the declination.

On the letter this CEO wrote to decline this offer, later posted on the “Les Echos”, it sated as follow.

“I have visited that factory a couple of times. The French workforce gets paid high wages but works only three hours. They get one hour for breaks and lunch, talk for three and work for three.”

And to top it off, he told the French union work in their face, and they response “That’s the French way!” The CEO state “Not interest in this offer” for the benefit of the company. You can’t really place him for saying that.

It’s uncertain if this is a common work ethic shard by the French people, but because of the common 8 hours work day, and sometimes easily exceed that. This something that Japanese find hard to believe.

Now here’s some comment in response to this topic.

French union worker reply “That’s the French way!” in response to “working only 3 hours a day”. (from 2channel)
  • You can go home before lunch if it’s 3 hours lol
  • I doubt anyone go to work before noon
  • Good job French lol
    I like how you all “living your own way”
  • Awesome comeback
    Instead of “we actually work much harder than this!” they say “that’s the French way!” lol
  • If their economy is running like that 3 hours a day is okay right?
    Good cost performance ratio
    If it’s not then it’s just stupid
  • In the French movie “Taxi” how they portray the work place freedom is actually real then huh lol
  • Damn it, I work 4 hours a day
  • I work 6 hours a day, seems like I’m still not there yet
  • Isn’t the rich get tax over 75% there?
    A country where you work hard and lose more
  • I think 3 hours a day is enough
    If we always work 8 hours a day, that mean we didn’t improve at all right?
  • If tourism and farming is the main production, but an industrial country…
    But come to think of it the farmer in Japan have to wake up early in the morning and do hard labor too
  • I think even in Japan most of the work finish within 3, 4 hours
    It’s because new work kept coming so it seems like ti never end
  • Put it in another way a country’s work hours is less than Japan’s
    And still keep as a developed country doesn’t it mean that Japan is not that productive?
    Japan should look up to France
  • I think it’s behind these 3 hours workers there’s a lot of hard worker that kept the economy up
  • They let the immigrant work 16 hours a day so I guess that’s right
  • Ideal
    French”We should learn the Japanese’s diligence and innovation”
    Japanese”We should learn the French’s productiveness”

    French”Japanese is just a bunch of workaholic, slave to the industry”
    Japanese”French is just a bunch of lazy people”
  • To put it in simple term, the management gets good pay while the rest is kinda low
    Also promotion is is almost certain

    So, in result people rather work as hard just work to a bare minimum
    Also I heard the immigrants doesn’t have to work and still get money
    The classes are stabilizing
  • It’s easy for the cleark if a not so busy store with customuer coming and going asking for the same thing
    Of course there is risk of going out of business
    But if the whole country think like this there’s no way Aisan country can win
  • And they can make renault engine with that
  • France is one of the most diversified country in Europe that can compare to Amrica you know
    And yet they can be so relaxing like that
  • Even they say they only work 3 hours, with all that time left they must’ve done something with it
  • In persuit the true meaning of beauty
  • Well you can’t help it if there is a consensus on 3 hours a day among them
    But I’m surprise that no one brown-nose after them saying something like
    “They only work 3 hours but I took care of the rest of the work, hire me!”
  • France is more of a bureaucracy and unequal society compare to Japan 
    People from Grandes Écoles is said to work even harder than the Japanese
  • There isn’t a concept where if you don’t get the profit up you don’t get pay
    In any case Japanese will deny they work for money though
  • Instead of saying “Work 3 hours a day? Impossible!

    “That’s the French way!”

    So direct it’s almost awesome lol


While uncertain of the accuracy of the article above, it is safe to say it’s somehow just like then French image.

France’s image to most Japanese is more of a fashionable and humorous country, and the freedom of the people along with individualism. It seems that not that many people is in shock of this news.

Also, one of the most popular thing that the Japanese hold proud of over the French is the behavioral pattern. Because to the Japanese no matter if the situation is good or bad, most thing the French do is too dramatic.

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