Best cities for work-life balance

Published 2019-08-14 13:17

There is no way around it. If you’re uprooting your life to a whole other country, you are going to want to make sure your quality of life is better after your move. And chances are, one of the factors you will take into consideration is work-life balance. Will your new job, your new work culture allow you to spend enough quality time outside of work? Here are five cities where you will find work-life balance is taken to a whole other level. They are the best five cities for work-life balance according to Kisi, the world renowned security experts.


Does it have something to do with Finland being the happiest country on Earth? Because, yes, the country has repeatedly been at the top of the United Nations’ ranking of the world’s happiest countries. And yes, in the present ranking Helsinki does come at the top of the happiness ranking again scoring a whopping 100 marks. But this is not the only thing that makes Helsinki the best city for work-life balance. In a week, employees only work on average 40.2 hours which makes Helsinki the fourth city where people work the least in a week. With Paris, the city is also the only other city of the ranking which offers a minimum of 30 days of vacation a year and, on average, 28.7 days out of these 30 days are usually taken by employees. It is also undeniable that Finland’s popular parental leave policy plays an important role in Helsinki being the number one city for work-life balance. Indeed, parents can take 1127 days of paid leave altogether after the birth or adoption of their children.


A little behind Helsinki is one of Germany’s biggest cities- Munich. The country, with a total score of 98.32 comes in at second place of the ranking. On average, employees only work 41 hours a week in Munich and only 5% of employees work more than 48 hours a week. Overall, the city scores pretty well on all variables including time employees spend commuting to work which is on average 27 minutes in Munich as well as gender equality, healthcare and happiness although it does not score exceptionally well on any of these. Furthermore, German law provides for 20 days of vacation minimum a year while on average employees take 29.7 days off during the year. In the same line, employees are offered 406 days when they become parents making it the 5th city with the best parental leave in this ranking.


The capital city of Norway scores 95.26% making it the third best country for work-life balance. Of the top three cities, Oslo offers the best average arrival time allowing employees to get to work at 9.21 am on average. But what owes Oslo its third place is probably the average hours of work employees put in every week. Oslo is the single best city regarding working hours with workers only at work for 38.9 hours on average. The city also counts the least amount of people working over 48 hours a week- only 4% of people in full-time employment work over 48 hours a week in Oslo. Norway is also known for its liberal parental leave policy- the country offers 637 days of paid leave altogether for parents upon birth or adoption of a child. The country does not do too bad regarding vacation either offering a minimum of 21 days of vacation in a year while employees take, on average, 26.1 days of vacation.


Hamburg is the second of three German cities to be featured in the top 10 cities for work-life balance of Kisi. Just like Munich and Berlin, the two other German cities, however, employees work on average 41 hours a week in Hamburg. This makes the three cities 13th of the cities where employees work the least number of hours per week. What makes Hamburg the fourth best city for work-life balance, then? First off, only 5% of full-time workers put in more than 48 hours a week. Furthermore, Germany also provides for 20 days of vacation minimum for people in full employment while employees usually take 29.6 days off on average. Germany also provides for 406 days of paid parental leave.


Ranked fifth in terms of work-life balance, Stockholm is also the fourth happiest city in this ranking. And it is understandable. Only 4% of the workforce of the Swedish city puts in more than 48 hours a week and employees work on average 40.6 hours a week making it the tenth best country regarding working hours. What makes the difference is probably the minimum amount of leave an employee is entitled to in Sweden which stands at 25 per year and employees usually take 26 vacation days on average. Sweden also provides for 390 days of parental leave for both parents.  Unlike Germany, Sweden, like Norway and Finland also scores high on the healthcare index and is the second best city of this ranking for gender equality and the first for inclusion towards inclusion of the LGBT community.