Human resources people worry a lot about worker productivity and “engagement,” a.k.a. happiness. But are the world’s happy workers the most productive? Do they work a lot or a little?
The circles, representing countries, are larger where workers are happier. The horizontal axis shows productivity (GDP per hour worked); the vertical, hours worked per year.
The U.S. is happiest, with 30% of its workforce engaged, while its GDP per hour is a high $63. Outside the U.S. two of the happiest nations–Colombia and Brazil–are not all that productive. The French and the Dutch put in short workdays and boast high GDP per hour, yet fewer than 10% of them are happy.