Reader ‘s opinion Working time does not necessarily indicate work productivity

Effective working time can be very productive.

I work as a small animal practitioner at a private veterinary station in Helsinki. My salary is commission-based, which is common in my industry. My salary is not a basic part – so all the salary comes from the invoiced transaction fees.

I work four days a week, seven hours a day, of which six hours are counted for active patient work. My working hours do not include breaks. Patient work often extends beyond working hours, and I do almost all patient preparation, reflection with colleagues, meetings, and post-consultation with clients outside of actual working hours.

I earn enough to be able to support my family of three on my own. The workdays are so intense that I can’t and I don’t want to work any more. If all the preliminary work, reviewing the results, and important reflection work with colleagues were counted as working time, it would be at least 40 hours per week instead of the calculated 28 hours.

I do not encourage anyone to work outside of work hours or without breaks. However, this suits me. According to statistics, weekly working hours in Finland are among the lowest in Europe (HS 5.6.). However, working time effectively can be very productive. Comparisons should therefore focus more on labor productivity than on absolute working time.

Varpu Kupiainen

veterinarian, Helsinki

Reader opinions are speeches written by HS readers, selected and delivered by HS editorial. You can leave a comment or read the principles of the writing at



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