The way Americans work has people in other countries scratching their heads.
Although people in the United States are known for working hard — and much longer than those in other countries — workplaces abroad have largely shunned the American style.
Here are the most unhealthy American work habits that global workplaces are resisting.
Americans work crazy long hours
Perhaps the most notorious habit of American workers is their tendency to work long hours.
A Gallup report from 2014 estimated that the average full-time worker in the United States works 47 hours a week, one of the highest figures in the world, and significantly higher than the rates in Western Europe.
For example, in Europe, the Working Time Directive gives employees in the European Union the right to work no more than 48 hours a week. In practice, employees in some countries, like Germany and Sweden, work closer to 35 hours a week, according to Cary Cooper, an American-born professor at Manchester Business School in the United Kingdom.
Craig Storti, author of “Communicating Across Cultures,” said Europeans consider the typical American workload an ineffective use of time.
“Europeans see that as being inefficient,” Storti told Business Insider. “They say, ‘You should have finished that in the allotted time.'”
They hardly ever go on vacation
Vacation time varies from country to country, but Americans seem to get the short end of the stick, with most companies offering around two weeks of paid leave a year.
And what little vacation time Americans do receive, they don’t always take advantage of.
According to the careers website Glassdoor, the average US employee who receives paid vacation only actually takes 54% of the allotted time each year.
Compare to that to a country like Sweden, where workers get five weeks of paid vacation a year, and it’s no surprise that they reject the American system.
“American companies aren’t looking at the evidence of the important of holidays, in terms of productivity afterwards,” Cooper told Business Insider, who said burnout was a much bigger problem in the US than in other places. “You can’t continue to work without many breaks during the year.”
And they barely take any family leave, either
The United States doesn’t guarantee any paid leave to new parents, instead leaving it up to individual employers.
The result is new parents take far less time off after having a child than other parents around the world. That’s largely due to cultural stigma — women can be seen as prioritizing home life above all else, while men can be seen as being less serious about their careers.
But it’s not that way everywhere. In Finland, for example, expecting mothers can start their leave seven weeks before having a child, and can continue for 16 weeks after the birth. Men in Finland are offered eight weeks of paid leave.