OF all the cities in all the world, Spaniards might not be surprised to find that it’s their capital that has been ranked the most overworked globally.

For indeed Madrid, known for its fast-paced work culture, tops the list as the city where employees are most overworked, according to office space rental company Instant Offices.

The Spanish capital beat off stiff competition from a number of US cities – also known for their fearsome work culture – with Houston coming in second place.

Most overworked cities in the world

Some of Spain’s biggest accounting firms have been in the news this year after sweatshop working conditions were revealed, with employees allegedly working more than 12 hours daily.

The government has also previously put rules in place to combat overworking, requiring companies to register team members working hours, but this has done little to curb the issue.  

Iberian neighbours Lisbon come in fourth, with residents searching online for ‘burnout’ 349 times per 100,000 people.

Two US states, Texas and Washington, are the meat in the Madrid – Lisbon sandwich, with Austin and Seattle in the world’s top three most overworked cities. 

Austin has been called one of the most overworked places in the country, while Seattle was once named among the top 10 most burned-out cities in the US. 

Least overworked cities in the world

The World Health Organisation defines burnout as the consequence of ‘chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed,’ leading to symptoms such as exhaustion, detachment from work, and decreased productivity.

But if you are looking for a more relaxed way of life, the United Kingdom is a good bet.

Eight British cities come in the top ten, with Belfast taking top place, with Birmingham, Cardiff and Liverpool filling in the next places.

That famous bastion of underworking, Tokyo, has been ranked the fifth most underworked city, according to Instant Offices.

Their methodology involved analysing monthly searches for burnout by city and average hours worked, which they combined and weighted to get our final ranking. 


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