Will Spain Turn Clocks Back to GMT and Change Working Hours?

clock spain
Photo copyright Arjan Richter, Creative Commons License

It is looking more and more likely that Spain will turn the clocks back to GMT and change working hours in the country, if the Spanish parliament has anything to do with it that is.

In fact, a parliamentary commission has already said this week they think it’s time Spain turned the clocks back one hour so the country will be in line with the United Kingdom, Ireland and Portugal as it should have been all along.

Spain’s odd working hours impact productivity and family life

Most of us know already what a hassle Spain’s odd time zone and weird working hours can be. Spaniards have far longer working hours than do most other Europeans, they also take longer lunches (sometimes 3 hours to accommodate ‘siesta’) and then go back to work until late at night.

Many Spaniards also barely spend time with their families at all, particularly if they work far away from home, as they leave the house by 8am and often don’t return back home until 9pm or later. That’s one reason why parliament thinks Spain should turn the clocks back to GMT and work normal hours like everyone else – 9am to 5pm, that is.

Why is Spain not on GMT time already?

Spain, of course, is out of whack with the rest of western Europe because that apparently is how General Franco wanted it. When he believed Germany and Hitler were going to be the leaders of Europe before the Second World War began, he had Spain’s clocks moved forward to coincide with the German time zone.

After World War II and Germany’s defeat, for some odd reason Franco didn’t bother to change the clocks back. Thus impacting more than three generations of Spaniards who are now far behind the rest of Europe in productivity, even though most work longer hours.

When will Spain turn clocks back to GMT?

There’s no word, however, on when or if Spain will turn clocks back to GMT, as it’s a big decision that needs to be made so Spaniards don’t want it to happen in haste.

Sure, turning Spain’s clocks back may improve productivity at work and shorten the Spanish work week. Then again, it may not, particularly if Spanish companies don’t adapt and change the hours their employees are required to work.

On top of that, there’s no guarantee a change in time will mean Spaniards get to spend more time with their families. Many already go home for a 2-3 hour lunch in the middle of the afternoon. With a change in time and shorter work hours, this would no longer be possible for some, meaning they could end up still spending the same amount of time with family as before, even with more time at home in the evenings, or even less.

Stay tuned. We’ll let you know when a decision has been made. Until then, enjoy your mid-morning breaks, your long lunches and your siesta if you get one. You may not be having them for much longer.