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30 Countries with Best Work-Life Balance in the World

In this article, we will look at the 30 countries with best work-life balance in the world. We will also discuss current burnout levels at workplaces. If you want to skip our detailed analysis, head straight to the 10 Countries with Best Work-Life Balance in the World

The global health and wellness industry is poised to hit a valuation of $5.3 trillion in 2023 which is a major increase from the $4.9 trillion reported in 2022, as indicated in the Health and Wellness Global Market Report for 2023. The growth in the industry’s value also sheds light upon the growing importance people attach to their well-being. Notably, the COVID-19 pandemic sped up the adoption of remote and hybrid work setups, bringing into focus the crucial concept of work-life balance. Surprisingly, nearly half of those surveyed by the research firm Gitnux revealed that a poor work-life balance was adversely affecting their family relationships. What's even more concerning is that 37% of respondents mentioned it was impacting their physical and emotional health. While most jobs these days have added to the burnout levels of employees, some come with an excellent balance. 

One interesting finding in the recent Gallup survey was that 33% of women reported experiencing burnout in 2023, while the figure for men stood at 25%. This disparity in burnout rates influences what individuals seek in their next job. Notably, 69% of women consider work-life balance and personal well-being as key factors in their job selection, compared to 58% of men. Additionally, 58% of women prioritize job stability and security, while 62% aim to find roles that allow them to utilize their strengths. Both men and women (59%) are interested in jobs that largely boost their income or benefits. Moreover, The "lazy girl job" trend on Tiktok has also attracted considerable attention to lower-stress, well-paid positions for better work-life balance, especially for women. 

What Does Work-Life Balance Actually Mean?

Work-life balance is the essentially an equilibrium between an individual's professional commitments and their personal life which include their family, leisure, and self-care. Hence, having work-life balance means that one can manage work-related demands without sacrificing one's physical and mental well-being, relationships, or leisure activities. 

The countries with the worst work-life balance often struggle with extended working hours, limited vacation days, and high levels of job-related stress, leading to a strain on personal life. For example, in Mexico, 27% of workers are engaged in extended working hours at a paid job, which is way higher than the OECD average of 10%. It is also interesting to note that it is 33% of men that are involved in very long working hours, as opposed to 17% of women. 

In contrast, countries with the most work-life balance have shorter workweeks, generous vacation policies, and supportive family-friendly policies. For example, in Sweden, parents have the right to a total of 480 days of paid parental leave upon the birth or adoption of a child. If there are two parents, each of them is eligible for 240 of those days.

Companies with a High Work-Life Balance

One of the companies that promote a high work-life balance for their employees is Altria Group Inc (NYSE:MO). They offer competitive benefits packages that cater to employees and their families, including health and wellness programs, preventive medical coverage, flexible spending accounts, and access to personal health advocates. Altria Group Inc (NYSE:MO) also provides paid disability plans and support for family planning, including surrogacy and fertility treatments. Additionally, they offer travel benefits for accessing medical services not available within a 60-mile radius. 

For parents, Altria Group Inc (NYSE:MO) provides paid time off to attend to emergency care and school activities, and thus, helps one prioritize family needs. Additionally, employees can enjoy up to 12 weeks of full-pay family and medical leave, further supporting their work-life balance.

Altria Group Inc (NYSE:MO) is also one of the best stocks to buy for income

On the other hand, JPMorgan Chase & Co (NYSE:JPM) has addressed disparities in mental health and work-life balance for women of color through a $1.3 million investment in Fresh Start Women's Foundation. The initiative acknowledges that women, especially women of color, experience higher rates of depression and mental health challenges. These challenges often go unaddressed due to barriers such as cultural stigmas, high costs, and a lack of therapists from different communities.

Moreover, JPMorgan Chase & Co (NYSE:JPM) has also earned a commendable rating of 3.9 out of 5 stars based on over 18,000 employee reviews on Employees praise the company for its strong work-life balance with a rating of 3.7 out of 5 and 3.8 out of 5 for competitive salary and benefits. With JPMorgan Chase & Co (NYSE:JPM)’s inclusive work culture,  the company continues to  emphasize on learning opportunities and internal mobility for its employees.  

It is also worth highlighting that in the light of recent event, JPMorgan Chase & Co (NYSE:JPM)’s CEO Jamie Dimon addressed the Israel-Hamas war with a companywide memo. The bank condemned terrorism and hatred and also expressed sympathy for the tragic events resulting from the conflict. JPMorgan Chase & Co (NYSE:JPM) proved their dedication for equity and inclusion by denouncing discrimination based on religion or ethnic background. The bank assured its employees of safety, both physically and emotionally, and encouraged them to utilize support resources. Additionally, JPMorgan Chase & Co (NYSE:JPM) pledged an initial $1 million philanthropic contribution eligible for employee matching to assist in the humanitarian crisis.

30 Countries with Best Work-Life Balance in the World
30 Countries with Best Work-Life Balance in the World

A smiling couple walking hand-in-hand out of a modern insurance office, illustrating the company's commitment to its customers.

Our Methodology

To list the countries with the best work-life balance in the world, we have utilized Remote’s Global Life-Work Balance Index. To rank the countries in order, we have used their respective scores out of a total of 100. The list is presented in an ascending order. 

Here is a list of countries with best work-life balance in the world:

30. Argentina

Index Score: 53.08

The country provides 29 days of statutory annual leave and 100% statutory sick pay. With 12 weeks of paid maternity leave at 100% payment rate, employees can prioritize their family life. 

29. Romania

Index Score: 53.13

With a population of almost 20 million, Romanians enjoy an average of 34 statutory annual leave days, allowing for ample vacation time. Minimum statutory sick pay stands at 75% of one's salary that provides financial security during illness. 

28. Hungary

Index Score: 53.19

Hungary has 24 weeks of paid maternity leave that translate into family-friendly policies in the country. The country has an average work week of 31.9 hours, slightly below the European average and hence, has a reasonably good balance between work and personal life. 

27. Saudi Arabia

Index Score: 53.39

In Saudi Arabia, work-life balance is a growing priority for employees, with more than half valuing it as a top priority, as revealed by a recent report by Boston Consulting Group and The Network. Saudi Arabia is one of the Asian countries with the best work-life balance.

26. Poland

Index Score: 53.72

With an average of 34.3 hours worked per week, it has a moderate workload. Moreover, Poland operates a universal public insurance system to support its citizens' healthcare needs. JPMorgan Chase & Co (NYSE:JPM) operates in the heart of Poland with their office in Warsaw. 

25. Colombia

Index Score: 53.83

In Colombia, 76% of employees enjoy reasonable working hours in paid work, well below the OECD average of 90%. Moreover, 83% of women benefit from balanced work hours, compared to 72% of men.

24. Portugal

Index Score: 54.94

Portugal is spearheading a four-day workweek initiative, joining the global trend to improve work-life balance. The not-for-profit organization 4 Day Week Global has introduced this innovative approach, with the idea that employees work 80% of their regular hours but still receive full pay and maintain productivity targets.

23. Czech Republic

Index Score: 55.46

In the Czech Republic, 95% of employees enjoy regular working hours, which is better than the OECD average of 90%. It is one of the countries with the best work-life balance in the world

22. Italy

Index Score: 56.13

Only 3% of Italian workers experience very long hours, compared to the OECD average of 10%. Italians enjoy approximately 16.5 hours daily for non-work activities, like sleep, which is above the OECD average of 15 hours.

21. Ireland

Index Score: 56.28

Ireland is known as one of the countries with the highest wages in the world. The country also hosts multinational giants like Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) and Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL). Ireland is one of the countries with most job opportunities for foreigners

20. Greece

Index Score: 56.94

In Greece, the majority of both men and women benefit from regular working hours as 96% of employees maintain a balanced work-life schedule. The country also houses the office of JPMorgan Chase & Co (NYSE:JPM). 

19. Singapore

Index Score: 57.05

The country offers comprehensive public insurance and provides universal healthcare. It has a happiness index of 6.48 and an average workweek of 29.1 hours. It is worth noting that Singapore is one of the most hard working countries in the world

18. South Africa

Index Score: 57.78

South Africa has a balanced work-life lifestyle with slightly over 15% of employees having longer working hours. 

17. Austria

Index Score: 58.26

Austria is known for excellent work-life balance, with only 5% of employees working very long hours, well below the OECD average of 10%. Full-time workers in Austria dedicate 60% of their day, approximately 14.5 hours, to personal care and leisure activities. It is one of the European countries with best work life balance in the world.

16. Taiwan

Index Score: 58.55

Taiwan, a country with a population of nearly 24 million, has a generous statutory annual leave policy and a stable healthcare system. The people of Taiwan, hence, enjoy more time for leisure, family, and relaxation, while working reasonable hours. 

15. Finland

Index Score: 62.64

In Finland, an eight-hour workday is standard, accompanied by a typical four-week annual paid summer holiday, often in July. Many fields offer a minimum of 30 days of statutory paid annual leave. Finland is one of the countries with the best work benefits

14. Belgium

Index Score: 63.53

Belgium is one of the leading countries in Europe for work-life balance, as 53% of its employees are satisfied with their balance between work and personal life, according to a survey by SD Worx. Beligum is also one of the countries with the highest standard of living in 2023

13. Peru

Index Score: 64.57

Workers in Peru benefit from a relatively generous statutory annual leave policy and 14 weeks of paid maternity leave, promoting a family-friendly work environment. 

12. Germany

Index Score: 64.81

Germany promotes work-life balance with only 4% of employees working long hours, below the OECD average. Full-time workers enjoy 65% of their day for personal care and leisure, which is slightly above the OECD average. Moreover, owing to the well known punctuality and work ethic of Germans, Germany is one of the countries with the best work culture

11. Sweden

Index Score: 65.47

Sweden has a remarkable work-life balance with a strong emphasis on supporting families. Children as young as one have access to affordable nursery schools, allowing parents to return to work after parental leave. Compulsory education from age six to 19 is fully tax-financed, often including lunches. When parents need time off to care for a sick child, the Swedish Social Insurance Agency provides compensation for parents with children under 12. Owing to the family friendly nature of the country, Stockholm is considered one the best cities in the world to work for

Click here to see the 10 Countries with Best Work-Life Balance in the World

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Disclosure: None. 30 Countries with Best Work-Life Balance in the World is originally published on Insider Monkey.