Is Spain's Productivity Problem Due to Their Time Zone?
Many tall tales surround the Spanish workday. A friend told me that it's not uncommon to take a 2-hour lunch following a morning coffee break. From a productivity stand point, this is a nightmare. A recent CNN article says this work format is in fact a nightmare for the workers as well, and blames the entire issue on the country's time zone.
Due to certain time changes surrounding World War II, Spain wound up an hour behind surrounding countries. For this reason, workers claim they have to format their sleep schedules to accommodate this time change. With their long breaks and lunches, Spaniards have gotten used to a 12-hour workday. Coupled with their average seven hours of sleep a night, the Spanish population has become astonishingly unproductive.
In an effort to combat their productivity issue, the Spanish government has called for the country to join those around them on Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). The government will also ask media outlets to move their primetime programs from 10PM to 9PM. In conjunction with these two changes, the Spanish government also plans to start educational programs promoting the benefits of shorter lunches and condensed workdays.
At last, I am spared from my jealousy of the Spanish workday. By working shorter, more productive hours, we can all create more time for the things we love. With this being said, I will always have a soft spot for an hour siesta after lunch!