25 cities with the best work life balance in the world
Easy access to technology has made it increasingly challenging to maintain a healthy work-life balance.
Further, blurring boundaries between work and personal time, and the fear of getting laid off – a feeling gradually elevated by the season of mass job cuts in the corporate world – push many employees to work overtime, failing to use their sick leaves or vacation time.
But there are some cities where the situation is strikingly different. Companies there offer working professionals ample opportunity to maintain a work-life balance through sufficient vacation time, good healthcare, and the list goes on.
This article uses the Forbes Advisor 2023 ranking to highlight the top cities in the world that encourage a healthy professional life. The ranking compares data from 128 cities.
Europeans At The Top
Interestingly, twenty of the top 25 cities with the best work-life balance are in Europe. The locations’ diverse range of cultures and lifestyles offer their residents a better balance.
Copenhagen in Denmark tops the list with a work-life balance score of 70.5/100.
The top score has got a lot to do with the city’s low unemployment rate, high standard of living, 52-week-long parental leave, and growing focus on green spaces and sustainability. The Danish lifestyle, which emphasises self-care and relaxation, also helps elevate the score.
Helsinki in Finland, Oslo in Norway, and Stockholm in Sweden are in the top five as well, owing to their healthy lifestyles combined with generous parental leave and vacation policies.
In fact, the average employee work week in these cities is under 30 hours.
The massive proportion of remote jobs in Helsinki (over 50%) also helps the Finnish people get a better work-life balance.
Companies in Oceania Aren’t That Behind On The List
Although European cities dominate the top 25 list, some cities in Oceania also have quite great scores to boast about.
Auckland in New Zealand is at the fifth spot on the list. Workers there have an average work week of 26.3 hours, while the parental leave also lasts a year.
Meanwhile, the Australian cities of Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney follow an average work week of 32.4 hours to 38 hours. They have a work-life balance score of 53.3, 53.1, and 51.4, respectively, according to the Forbes Advisor 2023 ranking.
The sunny weather in these places is like the cherry on top.