If you asked a global corporate firm’s boss what they offered their employees for a good work-life balance just a few decades ago, they would probably think it’s a joke. Luckily, the times have changed drastically and nobody can turn their back on you if you ask such questions.
Yet, some places in the world are a bit more open-minded about the topic and have a better understanding of how important your family and hobbies are for you to thrive. So read on and find the countries with the best work-life harmony.
The Netherlands is a very popular country with expats, and it’s no wonder why. It has a strong economy, an excellent healthcare system, a great infrastructure, as well as accessible and quality education. And that’s not all, Amsterdam and Rotterdam ranked among the 20 best cities in the world for work-life balance in 2023.
Along with the Nordic countries, Luxembourg offers a very high standard of living, one of the best ones in Europe. And even though the cost of living there is rather high, employees are paid and treated very well due to strict labor laws. Also, there is a low unemployment rate and an attractive paternal leave of 28 weeks.
Iceland is also home to a number of natural wonders, which you can savor thanks to fewer working hours per week. Same as Spain, it tested the 4-hour work week, which turned out to be a huge success. Thanks to that, you will find plenty of job vacancies there where you will only have to work 35 hours per week. That sounds dreamy, doesn’t it?
Even though Estonia is a very small country, it’s a great place to live and work. Family is the key focus there and employers know that very well. That’s why Estonians get at least 28 paid days of holiday annually (not including public holidays). On top of that, this Baltic country is known for its beautiful nature, where you will easily be able to escape the hustle and bustle every weekend if you wish.
Germany’s neighbor is not doing badly in work-life balance either. And attracts mainly entrepreneurs and those who want to start a new business. The government has implemented many measures to help young firms and start-ups, such as online registration of companies, tax incentives, and less unnecessary paperwork. Don’t want to strike out on your own? There are plenty of vacancies, too – the unemployment rate is below 5%.
If you’re looking for a destination with a stable economy and a fantastic social system, look no further. Germany boasts one of the largest and strongest economies in the world plus you will always have access to quality healthcare and support in general. They also have an excellent transportation system, so commuting is fast and easy meaning you get to spend more time with your family or friends after work.
It’s not just the sun that makes people choose Spain to be their home. The salaries there are high compared to other European countries. At the same time, the cost of living is much lower than for example in France or Germany. Also, many Spanish companies are already testing the 4-hour work week.
You guessed it right. As one of the Nordic countries, Sweden definitely shouldn’t miss on this list. It has a very low unemployment rate, a very high living standard, and a very high life expectancy – 82 years on average. If you want to live longer, then Sweden should be your ultimate destination.
Similar to Norway, Finnish workers can enjoy up to 5 weeks of paid holiday per year and have a prolonged paternal leave. What’s more, they have the most advanced social system in the world, meaning you don’t have to worry about retiring because you will always be able to live comfortably there.
It’s no secret that people living in Nordic countries often rank as the happiest in the world. And Norwegians could be their ambassadors. The country boasts plenty of career opportunities in fields like finance or renewable energy. Companies often offer shorter working hours (37.5 hours per week), 25 days of paid holiday per year, and a generous paternal leave (46 weeks).