Farmers continue to work the longest hours per week in Ireland, according to latest statistics released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO).

Of the 14 economic sectors, the CSO figures show that the Agriculture, forestry and fishing sector had the highest average usual hours worked per week (seven days) at 50.4 hours in Q1 2015 with the Education sector having the lowest at 29.7 hours worked per week in the same period.

The average usual hours worked per week in Q1 2015 was 35.7 hours.

Interestingly, according to the CSO, farmers worked longer hours so far this year than any year since 2010. Last year farmers only worked 47 hours per week – some three hours less than this year.



The CSO figures (for Q1) also show that self-employed persons had average usual hours worked per week of 44.6 hours in Q1 2015 with employees working 34.5 average usual hours per week. Part-time employees worked an average usual hours of 19.3 hours per week in Q1 2015.

Time is a valuable resource.

According to Teagasc, how a farmer’s time is used influences both their effectiveness at work and their lifestyle. It says that having adequate time for leisure and rest has a significant impact on quality of life.

According to Teagasc, a balanced lifestyle with approximately equal amounts of time devoted to work, leisure and rest is crucial for long-term contentment and health.

  • Work is most satisfying when there is a sense of purpose and achievement. Setting goals and planning how to achieve them is crucial to gaining satisfaction from work.
  • Having adequate `social time’ is important, particularly for farmers with young families as house and family duties need to be shared.
  • As the numbers involved in farming decline it is crucial that farmers have leisure and other interests that allow them to interact with other groups in society.

Teagasc research shows that there is considerable scope to improve the effectiveness of labour use on many farms. However, it says it takes conscious effort to make the appropriate changes in practices and facilities.

Teagasc note that every farm has a different set of circumstances. Accordingly, it says approaches to improving labour efficiency will vary from farm to farm.