My friend told me (he worked in the U.S for 10 years) that Americans work longer hours because they don't work as intensely as we aussies do. He said that Americans like to socialise at work, therefore have to work longer hours to get the same amount of work done. He said that it takes Americans 10 hours to do 8 nhours work because of the socialising factor. Whereas Aussies just work flat out and finish the work in less time.
having worked in a few countries, I think that there is some truth in that. I keep it to about 55 or so. I used to do better than 70 on average, but I was pretty crazy then. I have had really crazy periods in my life when I worked harder. 2-3 times a year I'll be at a trade show where I do a 16 hour day for set up, then 4-6 12 hour days selling, 2 hours a day in transit, and maybe 4-6 hours drinking and eating with customers, then 8-12 hours folding up. that can be a really tough week. I try to get up and on the phone and computer by 5 30 am, Â and then get home before 6 pm, with only half an hour or so after I get home on the phone and email. and between 5 am and 6 pm, I will get to the gym and have lunch, so it isn't all work. oh, and I do it cause I like my work, and I have a family to feed, and a future to worry about, and I have certain goals, both personal and career wise that I want to hit.