'Ooh la la!' France is mired in 'laziness epidemic', study shows

15 November 2022, 13:39 | Updated: 15 November 2022, 14:58

A study has found French people are 'lazy'
A study has found French people are 'lazy'. Picture: Alamy

By Daisy Stephens

A survey has suggested French people have become lazier than they were before the Covid pandemic.

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The research by the French Institute of Public Opinion (IFOP) and the Jean-Jaurès foundation claimed the country is stuck in a post-Covid "laziness epidemic".

It suggested 37 per cent of people were less motivated to work than before the pandemic.

Some people surveyed said they "can't be bothered" to work hard, or even to go out socialising.

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The research also found two thirds of people in France are happy to work fewer hours even if it means earning less money.

Around 41 per cent of people view leisure as very important, compared to 24 per cent who view work as a top priority.

In 1990 the numbers were 31 per cent and 60 per cent respectively.

MP Sandrine Rousseau said working hard was a right-wing ideology
MP Sandrine Rousseau said working hard was a right-wing ideology. Picture: Alamy

The shift in attitudes is thought to be at least partly a result of the pandemic.

The study found the increase in home working led to an "exhaustion and laziness epidemic when a part of the French want to slow down".

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Attitudes towards work are also closely tied with political persuasion.

Supporters of leftist leader Jean-Luc Mélenchon were twice as likely as Emmanuel Macron followers to say they had lost the will to work.

It comes a month after Green MP Sandrine Rousseau sparked controversy when she said working hard was "essentially a right-wing value", whereas taking breaks and being less productive was more associated with the left.

"We have the right to idleness," she said.

"We have the right to change professions, we also have the right to take breaks in our life and, above all, we need to regain time, a sense of sharing and a four-day week."

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