ECONOMY

EU report: Greeks the most hard-working, but among laggards in job satisfaction

Whether due to habit or need, as well as being people of the last moment, Greeks are the European Union’s hardest workers, according to data in a report released yesterday by the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions (EFILWC). Perhaps inevitably, they figure in last place as regards job satisfaction. The report gives Greece a grading of over 50 in «work intensity,» against an EU average of 43, but perhaps the most interesting thing is the reason: The high grade results from a combination of the need for very fast work and the existence of very tight deadlines – a perfect reminder of the now legendary race to complete preparations for the 2004 Olympic Games in time. But again, this may merely be a reflection of the poor organization of services and businesses. It is probably no coincidence that in the same survey, Greece is grouped with the countries where the way work is organized shows high requirements in performance but also minimal autonomy for employees. EFILWC notes that this form of organization has «the most negative impact on working conditions,» and, ultimately, on productivity. Given such conditions, and with pay well below the EU average (with minimal relation to productivity), the answer to the question of how much satisfaction Greeks derive from their jobs is rather obvious: none at all. In fact, Greece ranks in penultimate place, above Romania, in terms of job satisfaction and in last position as regards a balance between family and professional life. The EFILWC is a Dublin-based European Union organization.