Working Days In France 2023

Working Days and Culture in France: Your Go-To Guide

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Working Days and Culture in France: Your Go-To Guide

Bienvenue en France!

If you're planning to work or do business in this beautiful country, understanding the local working days and culture is essential. France is renowned for its rich history, exquisite cuisine, and picturesque landscapes, but it also boasts a unique approach to work-life balance and productivity. In this blog post, we'll take you through everything you need to know about working days and the fascinating work culture in France, so grab your croissant and let's get going.

The French Workweek Unveiled

Just like a well-coordinated ballet, the French workweek is a finely tuned routine. Here's the lowdown:

Standard Workweek in France

In France, the typical workweek starts on Monday (Lundi) and ends on Friday (Vendredi), much like many places around the globe. A standard workday usually spans from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM adding up to a 35 hour work week. Yes, you read that right! The French value their work-life balance, ensuring they have ample time to sip their wine and indulge in the art of living. Keep in mind that this can vary depending on the industry and company policies.

The Cherished Lunch Break: Bon Appétit!

Ah, the French art of savoring a meal! Unlike rushed lunches in some cultures, the French take their lunch break seriously. The traditional one to two-hour lunch break, from around 12:00 PM to 2:00 PM, gives employees time to enjoy a delicious, leisurely meal. Many French workers prefer to dine at nearby cafes or restaurants, relishing the opportunity to socialize and recharge for the second half of the day.

The Midweek Break: Ah, Wednesday!

Unlike some countries where the middle of the week feels like a never-ending desert, the French have a midweek oasis. Wednesdays are often a half-day for schoolchildren and, in some cases, for parents as well. It's a family-friendly touch that has its historical origin in religious studies and is now a deep imprinted tradition in the country.

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Cracking the Vacation Code

You might have heard rumours about the French's knack for taking long vacations. Well, it's no myth. Vacation time is practically sacred here:

Paid Annual Leave in France

In addition to the standard working hours and lunch breaks, French employees enjoy generous annual leave allowances. The legal minimum annual leave entitlement in France is 25 working days per year. However, many companies offer even more leave days as part of their employee benefits package. That's enough time to lounge by the Riviera, explore the charming streets of Paris, and return with a sun-kissed glow.

The All-Important "RTT" Days

Here's a little secret to work-life harmony in France - RTT (Réduction du Temps de Travail) days! These days off are additional paid holidays or earned days for extra time worked beyond the standard 35-hour workweek. French employees love using their RTT days to extend weekends or create long weekends, allowing for mini getaways or quality time with family and friends.

August: The Month of Vacations

August is practically a ghost town in some parts of France. Many businesses, especially smaller ones, shut down for a few weeks as the locals flock to the beaches and countryside. This mass vacation phenomenon, known as "Les Vacances d'Été," is when the French take full advantage of their well-deserved time off to enjoy summer holidays. So, while you may find some establishments closed during this time, it's the perfect opportunity for you to explore the local culture and enjoy the sights.

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Public Holidays: More Reasons to Celebrate

The French love their holidays, and who can blame them? Here are some key dates to keep an eye out for:

Bastille Day:July 14th marks the storming of the Bastille prison and the beginning of the French Revolution. Expect parades, fireworks, and an undeniable surge of national pride.

May Day: On May 1st, the French celebrate Labor Day, and the streets come alive with rallies, marches, and vibrant flower markets.

Christmas and New Year:Just like everywhere else, Christmas (December 25th) and New Year's Day (January 1st) are public holidays, giving you the perfect excuse to indulge in festive treats and celebrations.

France is Embracing Change in 2023

As the world gradually recovers from the pandemic, France, too, has witnessed some intriguing shifts in its working landscape. From the rising popularity of a 4-day workweek to mental health, let's delve into the evolving working life in France.

The Rise of the 4-Day Workweek

The post-pandemic era has prompted discussions about work flexibility and employee well-being. France has caught onto the global trend, with certain companies and sectors experimenting with a 4-day workweek. This shift acknowledges that productivity isn't always tied to longer hours. More and more French employees are finding themselves with an extra day to explore, relax, or pursue personal passions.

Remote Work Revolution

Just like many other countries, France experienced a remote work boom during the pandemic. While the French hold a strong connection to their office spaces, a significant number of companies have adopted flexible remote work policies. This change has not only empowered employees to better manage their time but has also encouraged a reimagining of traditional office setups.

Prioritizing Mental Health

The pandemic's impact on mental health cannot be underestimated. France has taken significant steps to prioritize the well-being of its workforce. Employee assistance programs, wellness initiatives, and open discussions about mental health have become part of the new norm, fostering a healthier work environment for everyone.

Visa for Foreigners: Vive la France!

If you're a foreigner planning to work in France, you'll need to navigate the visa process. For European Union (EU) citizens, the process is relatively straightforward, as they benefit from the EU's freedom of movement. However, if you come from a non-EU country, you'll likely need a work visa or a residence permit. France's immigration policies are designed to attract skilled workers, and certain professions may be in higher demand than others, making it easier to obtain a visa in those fields. For more specific information on how to obtain a French working visa we encourage you to visit Welcome to France

Let’s start your French adventure

Working in France offers a delightful blend of professional dedication and a zest for life. From the cherished long lunches to the celebrated RTT days and the joyful August vacations, the French work culture showcases the perfect harmony between work and leisure. Embrace the "joie de vivre" and immerse yourself in the vibrant culture, while making the most of your working days. Whether you're dreaming of sipping Bordeaux in a Parisian cafe or enjoying the stunning landscapes of Provence, understanding the working days in France will help you fit right into the cultural tapestry of this enchanting nation.

Are you ready to embark on your French work adventure? Bonne chance et bon travail (Good luck and happy working)!


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