Great question +1. Do we really take longer to ferment our beer? It may seem that way but is it really that different?
Here are my thoughts:
The volumes brewed commercially generate far more heat than a homebrew bucket and, inspite of cooling, there must be many more currents self-rousing the beer. Maybe attenuation is faster in the exponential phase of fermentation(can anyone verify?). Commercial brewers in the UK leave their beer in the FVs for 3-5 days then transfer to conditioning tanks.
The conditioning phase is also referred to as the stationary phase of fermentation when the yeast reabsorbs much of the diacetyl and acetaldehyde produced earlier. For UK ale, the slow temperature drop, over a few days, from 21 to 10 degrees with a period of rest at 14 degrees, allows the yeast to 're-use' diacetyl. So, in all, they are probably looking at times of around 7 - 8 days. Not that disimilar to a homebrew fermentation - perhaps with the exception of your 14 day 'lazy' brew. It's just that we don't tend to rack off so early and probably the stationary phase happens in the fermentation bucket.
There was mention of the amount of yeast pitched. I don't think this is used to speed up fermentation, though I agree that not everything commercial translates to homebrewing. I looked into pitching rates and according to Chris White and Jamil Zainasheff (Yeast, The practical guide to beer fermentation pp 121), both over- and under-pitching "...result in a less than ideal fermentation with high levels of diacetyl, acetaldehyde, and low attenuation. Too high a pitching rate can also result in low or unexpected esters, yeast autolysis flavors, and poor head retention."