According to new research from Compare the Market, the ideal places for a work-life balance are those where factors such as the average number of hours worked, maternity and paternity leave, sick leave, and happiness have high scores.
Our lives are significantly dominated by our work schedule, hours, and duties, and it’s becoming more and more challenging and difficult to find time to indulge in our passions in between. This is why the cultural and legislative departments empowered to improve this aspect of the worldwide working population started various initiatives and implemented regulations regarding how to approach work life and the main reason why this top was made.
Who is leading the way for the best work-life balance? The top 20 countries were compiled and revealed below, with Romania being placed in the 14th spot!
“In modern culture where many countries work remotely, it can be easy to let your work–life balance stray more to the work side. However, our research shows that living in a country where you have more time to enjoy life moments, from bringing a newborn into the world, to having more opportunity to do the things you love, can likely increase your overall happiness […] Finding a job that you genuinely enjoy is key to many for overall happiness, however having access to health insurance and any type of mental or physical wellbeing can also be extremely beneficial and important.”Anthony Fleming, General Manager for Health Insurance at Compare Market
With its citizens working an average of 1,382 hours a year and scoring an average of 7.404 on the happiness scale, Luxembourg has the ideal work-life balance. Luxembourg also offers paid paternity leave for 28 weeks, which makes it a particularly enticing country for dads who wish to spend more time with their children.
Finland, Norway, Iceland, and Sweden are all in the top 10, making up a sizable share of the top. The Scandinavian nations have a similar trait: they all scored higher than 7.3 on the happiness scale overall, with Finland obtaining the highest overall score of 7.821. Europe’s other top 10 nations are Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Austria, Estonia, and the Netherlands.
Benefits awarded for parenting are greatly appreciated and tend to influence the overall work-life balance score significantly. Maternity leave is critical, as mothers desire to spend as much time as possible with their children after giving birth, during the most important time phase of their development. Romania ranks in the 5th place for the best maternity leave benefits.
Unfortunately, some countries don’t offer such benefits at all, for example, the USA shockingly doesn’t offer either paternity or maternity leave pay. Due to the lack of assistance for new parents, the US ranks worst for work-life balance, with a total score of 1.158.
Other countries struggle amongst the working population with other problems such as burnout and tiredness. Therefore, it’s crucial to strike the correct balance of work while maintaining well-being. While in countries such as Mexico, workers work almost double the hourly rate per year, countries such as Germany top the list of nations with the fewest total hours worked, clocking in at only 1,349. Germany is then followed by Denmark, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands, all of which clock in at less than 1,400 hours annually.
Methodology of the top
Compare the Market is a comparison directory website, certified and specialized in comparison shopping. The factors according to which scores for best work-life balance were awarded represent the following:
- Paid Sick Leave – The minimum number of weeks of paid sick leave given in a year for an employee of one year.
- Maternal Paid Leave Rate – The minimum percentage of normal pay that pregnant women and new mothers will receive whilst on leave.
- Paternal Paid Leave Rate – The minimum percentage of normal pay that new fathers will receive whilst on leave.
This information ranks nations according to how well they manage work and family. Eight such work-life balance-related parameters were chosen to construct this rating. The information for each of these criteria was then gathered, indexed, and given a score between 0 and 1. These scores were then added together to give each nation a final score out of eight. Based on this score, the nations were then ranked from highest to lowest.