Your annual work hours are a reflection of how you spend a significant portion of your year.

Calculating them lets you grasp the commitment you're making to your job and how much time you have left for personal pursuits.

Typically, in the UK, if you're working full-time at 37.5 hours per week, you'd rack up around 1,800 hours annually, taking into account public holidays and annual leave. The total can vary, though, depending on how many holidays you're entitled to and any additional hours you might work. Part-time employees can end up working any number below that, of course.

Calculating working hours

To calculate your own annual working hours, start with your weekly schedule and multiply by 52. Then subtract any statutory leave you're entitled to, including bank holidays.

To get your annual work hours for any calendar year, simply multiply your weekly working hours by the number of weeks you’ll work in a year, which is typically 47-49. For instance, if your average working hours are 40 per week, the calculation could be 40 hours x 49 weeks, equating to 1,960 hours annually.

Things that affect your annual work hours

When planning your year, you’ll want to consider various things that affect how many hours you'll actually work. These factors include public holidays, your entitlement to leave, and any extra working days you might book in for.

Public and bank holidays

In the UK, public and national holidays play a significant role in determining your annual work hours. Most workers are entitled to have these days off, which means the standard eight bank holidays can reduce your work year total. During a leap year, an extra day in February won’t affect bank holidays but may influence your total work days if you work on a casual basis.

Leave and paid time off

Let’s consider your entitlements for leave and paid time off (PTO). In the UK, you're typically entitled to 5.6 weeks of paid holiday per year. This annual leave entitles you to vacation days through the year. The number of days of PTO you take will directly reduce the number of hours you work in the year. For instance, if you work a 5-day week, you could have up to 5.6 weeks (39.2 days) of leave, including your statutory entitlement.

For planning’s sake, we won’t take into account sick leave, as this can’t really be scheduled for any given year. Sick days do affect the amount of time you work, obviously, but they have to be recorded in retrospect.

  • Example calculation of number of work hours:
    • Standard full-time hours: 40 hours/week
    • Work weeks (minus bank holidays and annual leave): 52 weeks - 5.6 weeks (leave) = 46.4 weeks
    • Total time working (without overtime): 46.4 weeks * 40 hours/week = 1,856 hours/year

Extra working days

If your work schedule exceeds the typical 5-day work week, or you choose to work on public holidays, these are considered extra working days and increase your annual work hours. Any hours worked on a bank holiday should be included in your annual calculations and may also qualify for additional holiday hours in lieu, depending on your employer's policy.

Let’s continue with the same example from above.

  • Example calculation with extra work days:
    • You work 1 additional day per month: 1 day/month * 12 months = 12 extra days/year
    • Assuming 8-hour workdays: 12 days * 8 hours/day = 96 extra hours/year
    • Adjusted annual work hours: 1,856 + 96 = 1,952 hours/year

You’ll want to keep these factors in mind when assessing your work-life balance and financial plans for the year ahead.

The financial implications of your working hours

Most people want to understand how their work hours affects their income; from how their annual salary is broken down to the intricacies of additional pay for overtime. Here’s more on the link between working hours and money.

Hourly wages v. salaries

Hourly employees: If you're paid an hourly rate, your annual income will depend on the total working hours you clock in a year. The average full-time employee works roughly 35 to 40 hours per week, which translates to about 1,820 to 2,080 hours annually, before any annual leave is factored in. So, if your hourly pay is £10.42, working 40 hours a week means you would earn £416.80 weekly, resulting in an approximate annual income of £21,673 before taxes.

Salaried employees: As a salaried employee, your annual wage is fixed, regardless of the number of hours you work. This means that whether you finish your work quickly or find yourself working longer hours, your annual income stays the same. UK law states that employers don’t have to pay overtime, as long as the average pay doesn’t fall below minimum wage. That said, some employers still offer compensation for extensive overtime work through bonuses or time-off in lieu.

Either way, your total working hours, including overtime, can’t exceed 48 hours on average per week, as per the Working Time Regulations.

Work hours and employee well-being

No matter how many hours they work, full-time workers around the world have to stay conscious of their work-life balance.

With the standard full-time work schedule consisting of a 5-day work week, with an average number of hours hovering near 40, health it can be challenging to maintain.

In the UK, you're entitled to a minimum of 28 days of annual leave, which includes public bank holidays, ensuring that you have time to rest. We strongly recommend you make use of it – time off is hugely important for your mental health, physical wellness, and social life.

Employers should encourage their workers to enjoy free time to recharge because it makes them more effective employees. It also reduces the chance of burnout and absenteeism.

Smartly managing your total number of hours worked not only helps prevent work-related stress but also ensures you have sufficient free time for hobbies, family, and relaxation. Make sure to use all your paid leave days to recharge.

Annual working hours around the world

Across the globe, full-time employees are usually expected to work a 40-hour workweek, which equates to eight hours across five working days. These standards can differ globally, with some countries advocating for shorter weeks, and others, longer ones.

According to the OECD, the top three hardest-working companies in 2022 were Chile, Costa Rica, and Mexico, which reported a whopping average of 2226 hours per worker.

The UK, it’s reported, averaged 1532. Canada had 1686, Australia 1707, and Germany took its usual spot at the bottom with 1303. That low number is seemingly caused by high numbers of part-time workers, generous annual leave allowances, and a decent attitude towards a healthy lifestyle.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you calculate the total annual working hours?

To calculate your total annual working hours, multiply your daily working hours by the number of workdays per week, and then multiply that number by the total number of working weeks in a year.

What’s the average number of working hours in a month?

The average number of working hours in a month is typically counted by multiplying the average workweek hours by the number of weeks in a month. Since most months have about 4 full weeks, for a standard 40-hour week, this comes out to approximately 160 hours.

If you have a standard 40-hour workweek, what does that translate to in annual hours?

A standard 40-hour workweek translates to 2,080 hours annually, calculated by multiplying 40 hours by the 52 weeks in a year. That doesn’t include the usual time off that people take, though.

How can you figure out the total work hours in a year, excluding holidays?

To determine the total work hours in a year excluding holidays, subtract the number of public holidays and annual leave from the total yearly working days before calculating the hours.

What are the maximum working hours you can do in a year?

In the UK, the Working Time Regulations 1998 set the maximum average working week at 48 hours, so a working year could have up to 2,496 hours, before subtracting holidays and leave.

If working 37.5 hours a week, what would be the total for a year?

Working 37.5 hours a week for 52 weeks would give you a total of 1,950 hours in a year. However, remember to account for holidays and leave in your calculations.